Planning for Temporary Workplace Closures and Related Actions

March 16, 2020

Yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced his intention to sign an executive order requiring restaurants and bars to limit services to take out and delivery orders. Similar operational limits are also in place in other jurisdictions around the country, with several more sure to come. Retailers such as Apple, Nike, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie and Fitch, Patagonia and Lululemon also announced that they were either temporarily closing their retail stores or significantly limiting their hours and scope of operation. Teleworking is quickly becoming the trend to encourage social distancing and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The Coronavirus has made the previously unthinkable option of business closure the new reality, with no end in sight.  

Businesses are suddenly faced with the decision to alter, streamline or close their operations as the pandemic is bringing about unpredictable challenges that require quick and thoughtful decision making and immediate action. Closing offices or places of operation is never an easy decision, and execution of such decisions requires consideration of a wide variety of factors. The following key considerations must be kept in mind:

These issues and others that may relate to your workplace must be carefully considered in order to ensure that you are best prepared for the uncertainties ahead. We strongly encourage you to work with your counsel or a Crowell & Moring, LLP attorney with whom you work to place your business in the best position in dealing with these difficult times.

Trina Fairley Barlow
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2830
Email: tbarlow@crowell.com

Thomas P. Gies
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2690
Email: tgies@crowell.com

Kris D. Meade
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2854
Email: kmeade@crowell.com

Eric Su
Partner – New York
Phone: +1 212.803.4041
Email: esu@crowell.com

Ira M. Saxe
Partner – New York
Phone: +1 212.895.4230
Email: isaxe@crowell.com

Katie Erno
Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2926
Email: kerno@crowell.com

Nicole Janigian Simonian
Partner – Los Angeles, Shanghai
Phone: +1 213.310.7998
Email: nsimonian@crowell.com

Jackson C. Pai
Counsel – Los Angeles
Phone: +1 213.310.7989
Email: jpai@crowell.com

Suzanne E. Rode
Counsel – San Francisco
Phone: +1 415.365.7276
Email: srode@crowell.com

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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