The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant and far-reaching. As the virus has spread, entire economies and industries are being impacted by the health and safety measures enacted by governments.
Due to the extreme and unprecedented circumstances that COVID-19 has brought, it may be difficult for parties to uphold their contractual or quasi-contractual obligations. This is often through no fault of their own as government-mandated policies and shutdowns can impact supply chains, thus limiting an organization’s ability to fulfill their side of the contract.
It is always important to have well-written contracts, which include processes to follow in the event that one or more parties cannot fulfill their obligations. This allows businesses to maintain relationships with their customers and/or suppliers through these uncertain times. Without well-written contracts, organizations may be exposed to high levels of business, legal and/or financial risk. Obtaining legal counsel to review or draft contracts prior to signing is always recommended.
Employers face the difficult task of managing staffing and employees during this global outbreak. Through this uncertainty, employers make decisions on how to protect their workforce while continuing to operate their business. Seeking legal advice on how to properly enact company policies such as sick leave, international and domestic travel, quarantines and shutdowns is critical.
During this global crisis, healthcare systems may not have the ability to handle high volumes of patients, nor the resources to properly support those who need medical help. Therefore, having proper emergency management plans and being able to roll out these plans in an efficient manner is critical to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on communities. Obtaining legal counsel for emergency preparations can limit liability to hospitals and health systems.
Insurance claims are significantly higher than what insurance organizations could have predicted. From cancellations and closures to limit the spread of this virus to broken contracts and supply chains, insurance is used to protect against these unexpected situations. Legal advice on appropriate insurance coverage and disputes will allow businesses to prepare for the unexpected and manage the aftermath of COVID-19.
The global spread of COVID-19 is still evolving. Thus, governing bodies are issuing frequent mandates and recommendations to minimize the spread of COVID-19 both at the federal and state level. Interpreting these ever-changing guidelines can be difficult, making it important to obtain legal counsel to ensure that your business remains compliant through these difficult times.
Because of the uncertainty of the situation, there will likely be more legal considerations than what have been highlighted above. If you need further advice, we recommend seeking legal guidance for your specific circumstances.