Kenneth Silverman Quoted in diginomica on Re-Opening Businesses Emerging from COVID-19 Lockdown
A collaborative effort among U.S. member firms of Globalaw to two articles published on diginomica, the Globalaw US COVID-19 team shared their expertise in the articles Organizations might leave lockdown behind, but not liability - HR and legal questions around COVID-19 re-opening and Keep your distance - practical tips on the future of work after lockdown. Corporate partner Kenneth Silverman, spearheaded the initiative and was extensively quoted in both articles. Employment Practices partner Michael Passarella and Intellectual Property partner Mary Grieco contributed to this effort. With regards to re-opening businesses following their COVID-19 lockdowns, Ken highlights the issues employers face stating “[Current guidance at federal, state and local level] typically sets out general standards, but does not give a comprehensive set of concrete steps that businesses must take. Even the expanded CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control] guidance said to be under consideration by the White House is not mandatory. Ultimately, U.S. employers will have to tailor their preparations to the specific circumstances of their business operations and workplace.... An employer must maintain workplace safety, respect employees’ rights and, and strive to do so in a manner that will best protect the employer from liability.” Re-opening offices will not be easy as it appears the key challenge they face will be in balancing the desire to get people back to work with keeping them safe. As a result, says Ken, “a good starting point for employers in tackling the issue is to review all of the pertinent legislation, guidance and recommendations they can get their hands on in order to ‘effectively revise, create and implement policies’”. While it is clear that the return-to-work stage of the COVID-19 crisis will be phased, what also appears likely is that many employees will continue to work from home into the long-term. Ultimately, “the phenomenon of large portions of the economy working ‘virtually’ is still novel and easily could have long-term ramifications on businesses and the economy overall, not least in terms of which organizations end up as “winners and losers” based on their ability to digitise.” Joining Olshan in this collaboration were partners from other Globalaw member firms Hanson Bridgett, Hinckley Allen and Jackson Walker.