Business Owners and Employees Need to Know Health Protocols When Reopening

As restrictions are lifted, more and more businesses open to the public — but it’s imperative to know and enforce health protocols to keep everyone safe.


Air Date: June 10, 2020

Moderator: Jeanette Mulvey, Editor-in-Chief at CO—, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Featured Guests: Alan Thayer, Founder, Innovative Law Group

As the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines roll out in early 2021, a hope-filled end is in sight to the pandemic. As new cases slowly trend downward and research continues to change restrictions and guidelines, businesses are finally getting the chance to open back up.

No matter the business sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses of every size. Businesses and organizations are ready to serve their customers again, but not without the proper plans in place to ensure their employees and customers feel safe in every experience they have with each other.

Reopening amid a pandemic poses unique challenges for business owners and employees — most notably understanding, communicating, and enforcing the new health protocols that keep everyone safe and help organizations avoid lawsuits. However, with a little work to put a researched and solid plan into place, businesses can be confident in reopening.

Alan Thayer’s Five-Point Plan for Reopening

Alan Thayer, founder of Innovative Law Group, has a five-point plan to take charge and formulate an action strategy for organizations planning to reopen soon. “The first is to know the rules,” he said. “The state and local guidances; the federal guidances [and] the industry standards.”

“Then, once you look at those guidelines, develop your own protocols and do that in writing each step along the way,” Thayer explained. “This is [now] how we are conducting business. [After developing your protocols], communicate those protocols to your employees, your customers, and your vendors.”

Identifying the various health protocols and understanding how they fit into your business are only one-half of the battle, though. The next part — communicating and implementing these protocols — is where business leaders and organizations need to take extra care in making sure that each of their publics understands their role and what is expected of them in this new normal.

“The way you [communicate to employees] is through training and signage,” said Thayer. As for implementing your created protocols, “sometimes that requires physical restructuring. That requires plexiglass barriers; it requires various steps that you need to make to your workplace [to] enforce your rules. ... If you know the rules, if you develop protocols, you communicate those protocols, you do what you say you're going to do, and you enforce those rules, then businesses should be in much better shape to reopen, to stay open, and to avoid lawsuits.”