Seyfarth Shaw publishes Return to Business Checklist


As shelter-in-place orders are lifted, your business will enter uncharted territory. COVID-19 will permanently alter supply chains, workforce planning, service models and growth strategies. How will you respond?

Seyfarth Shaw LLP has published a "Return to Business and Post-Pandemic Planning Checklist" to help companies prepare for the  business impacts arising from COVID-19 and as business begins to reopen.

A legal update from Seyfarth Shaw about the checklist notes: "Getting started with your return-to-business plan involves a comprehensive understanding of your business and how it fits into the new legal landscape. The foundation of a successful plan contemplates the people involved (both your workforce and the leaders of your business functions from HR to communications), the place of work (including health and safety and continuing requirements around social distancing), and elements of business (such as stimulus, taxes, insurance and more)."

This checklist provides a roadmap to navigating those issues, with three overarching themes identified by Seyfarth Shaw:

"Past experience should inform future decisions. Tackling the shutdown and reacting to the pandemic was brand new for all of us, but it also gave us tools to prepare for the nation’s reopening — leveraging lessons learned during the pandemic will position you for a smoother transition back to work.

"Plan, plan, then plan again. Guidance is constantly changing (as are local, state, and national directives), so implement appropriate social distancing and health and safety measures now, but stay flexible, knowing that you will need to revisit and retweak your return to work plan many times over the coming days, weeks and months.

"This is a NEW normal. Return to business is not a return to normal — and may never be. How has the pandemic impacted your business goals, and what is the impact of that on who you want to return to work and when?"

The planning checklist covers the following topics:

  • Selecting employees to return to work
  • Finding your workplace's new normal
  • What logistical concerns must be addressed before bringing your people back?
  • When an employee says "no": refusals to return to work and requests to continue telework
  • Benefits and executive compensation
  • Customers, vendors and visitors
  • Planning for future outbreaks
  • Physical space coordination
  • Social distancing at work
  • Business travel
  • Keeping clean and safe: OSHA and beyond
  • Covering up: PPE
  • What to do when OSHA, the police or a public health official pays a visit
  • Economic stimulus loan and forgiveness programs
  • Taxes, including credits and deferrals
  • Insurance policies and claims
  • Contracts, including supply chain and vendor commitments
  • Credit and liquidity
  • Corporate governance
  • Workouts and distressed situations

Download the checklist

Read more from Seyfarth Shaw, including next steps (beyond the checklist), here.

Find additional resources from Seyfarth Shaw and other associate members of America's Newspapers, here.

Seyfarth Shaw, COVID-19, coronavirus