Identify the Business Risks from COVID-19 to Manage Them

Mar 11, 2020 | Attorney Article

Business risks get smaller when one looks at them without the panic or fear that comes from encountering them by surprise.  Many of the risks to businesses from the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) outbreak are also legal perils that can be reduced through discussion among management and its internal and external advisors.  In this regard, Barton LLP will present four articles in the next week that will analyze and suggest plans for managing the most prominent challenges beyond advice on the use of hand sanitizers (if one can find them) and avoiding the office if one is sick.

The articles will explore the following considerations:

  • Hackers read the news just like everyone else, and they know that more and more people will be working from home. What is necessary to maintain security over your business’s sensitive electronic information when the number of people accessing it from myriad devices and over unknown Wi-Fi networks increases exponentially?
  • If your work force is depleted due to the need to stay away from the office or factory, can your performance of your contracts with customers be excused or delayed by operation of force majeure clauses in those contracts? Whose law governs those agreements and how does that law treat these events?
  • The Human Resources dimensions of the outbreak are considerable. Employers need to consider more than the traditionally thought of illness, leave, and disability laws when considering possible employment issues arising out of the Coronavirus.
  • Does your insurance coverage provide for business interruption protection in the event the company must temporarily cease operations due to the outbreak? Is disease and epidemic/pandemic covered in or excluded from coverage in these policies?

The Crisis Management Team at Barton LLP comprises attorneys with expertise in these areas, and we will endeavor to provide suggestions for planning and business reviews to reduce these risks in the calmer light of knowing what they are and how they can be managed. If you have questions or require guidance through the legal issues associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact the Barton LLP Crisis Management Team: Roger E. Barton, Kenneth Rashbaum, Marc Dedman, and Philip Mortensen.



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Coronavirus Could Impact Your Business—But Will Your Insurance Policy Cover the Loss? (MAR 09, 2020)

Deciding Whether to Assert That Coronavirus Excuses Contract Nonperformance (MAR 10, 2020)

When Prepping for COVID-19, Don’t Forget About Laws Not Typically Associated with Office Workers (MAR 11, 2020)

Will Your Insurance Cover a Data Breach Arising from COVID-19? Review the Policy to Plan Your Claims Now (MAR 25, 2020)