Project Description

Interview with Nancy Inesta

Runtime 30:04

Nancy Inesta of Baker Hostetler discusses the legal issues surrounding businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what they need to do to prepare for the near future.

RETURN TO GALLERY
LEARN MORE
CONTACT US

Transcript

[0:00:00]

Robert:

Hello. I’m Robert Tercek, the CEO of Direct Education Worldwide. We are the creators of the program COVID SMART. COVID SMART Training is designed to provide the best practices to employees and workplaces during the time of COVID-19.

In an effort to help our customers and employers all over learn more about the nature of their responsibilities and the challenges during the COVID-19 epidemic, we’ve created a series of webinars with experts on the topic. And today, my guest is Nancy Inesta, who is a partner at BakerHostetler in Los Angeles where she specializes in employment law. One of the reasons why I invited Nancy to join us on this podcast webcast is that her expertise involves COVID-19. She’s actually leading the COVID-19 Task Force at Baker in the Los Angeles office and on the National COVID-19 Task Force for that firm. In addition, you can find a number of excellent articles of unemployment law and the responsibilities of employers during this pandemic on the Baker website, at Baker Law.

Nancy, welcome to the webinar. Thank you for joining us here at COVID SMART.

Nancy:

Thank you, Rob. I’m happy to be here. Yes, of course, for the last six months has been pretty much only — one of the only things that I talk about is COVID and how it’s impacting employers.

Robert:

That’s partly because the nature of the subject is changing every single day, it seems. There’s a lot of information out there, but more coming forth, both from the medical understanding of the disease is certainly in a state of evolution and then that causes all of the regulatory agencies to respond. So there’s kind of a chain reaction as more information comes forth. What does that do for you as an attorney and your client? What’s the impact there?

Nancy:

The reality is this, is that clients really are having to adjust and to do so very quickly, because unlike other legislation, what is coming out in the information that’s coming out has the real-world impact for not only the client, how they deal with their customers, how maybe they deal with guests, but also in keeping their employees safe, which really is for what I do, one of the most important things in terms of getting people back to work, in terms of keeping the economy going is how do you do it in a way where employees can come to work, have confidence that all the safety measures they can possibly have have been put in place. And employers really do care, and the employers I’m working with really do care about that issue.

Robert:

I think that’s a great starting point for this conversation because sometimes there’s a perception or maybe a belief, a folklore belief that there’s these evil employers out there who don’t care about their workers. I think that’s actually pretty rare. Every employer that I’m aware of, every business person I know cares deeply about the health of their workers. And they do it, of course, for the right intentions and also for enlightened self-interest. They want to prevent any kind of disruption to the workplace. The disruptions, the impacts of COVID-19 are pretty significant. For the companies that have had an outbreak, of course, you have to send those workers home, put them in quarantine. Sometimes workers are very sick. Sometimes people can die. In addition, the workplace itself has to be sanitized and decontaminated and shut down for a period of time. So it’s a massive disruption. And there are other consequences. Nancy, tell me a little bit about the consequences that employers face during this pandemic.

Nancy:

I’ll be honest, Rob, at this point, we really don’t know what some of the consequences are going to be outside of the immediate consequences with respect to, and you’ve listed some of them. We have had employers who have had employees pass away. Very sad, very unfortunate circumstances. We have had employers who have had to essentially suspend business. One of the primary areas that I work in is hospitality. So I’m really dealing with a lot of hotel employers who really do not have the business. They don’t have the business coming in, and this has had a significant impact on employees because they don’t have work for employees.

And then for those employers, I have grocery company clients who have not stopped working. As you will see and as you have seen as people go out and venture out into grocery stores, the safety measures that have been taken have changed consistently. As we learn as a society more and gather more information about this disease, the recommendations have changed. Employers have had to move very, very quickly in responding to what is an enormous amount of information and then an enormous amount of change with respect to what the guidance is by the agencies that they really have to trust to tell them what to do and how to do it.

So it’s been a moving target. It has kept us very busy in making sure that our client employers are up-to-date with the information that they need, to have appropriate policies, to provide appropriate training, to make sure that they’re doing all that they can to keep their employees safe.

Robert:

Well, so in a way, this is the worst possible setup for, let’s say, the HR manager or the safety manager in an organization because, on the one hand, you started your answer by saying that there’s unknown liability, right? We don’t know what the full scope of liability could possibly be, but it could be great. And we know that there are about 70 class action lawsuits that have been filed already against employers in the context of COVID-19. So that’s not a theoretical problem. That’s a real potential problem, that unknown liability. But on the other hand, the guidance and the rules and the regulations, it’s very hard to conform those. It’s very hard to know that you’re actually conforming appropriately to this because they’re moving targets. They’re constantly changing.

So for the people who are listening today, for the folks who are trying to figure out the right response, maybe we can give them some advice. And if you don’t mind, tell me what, in your opinion, would be the best way for an employer to prepare, to bring their workforce back. If the goal is to bring the workforce back, I think everybody shares that goal. Of course, we want to turn the economy back on. We want to get the economy back running. Of course, we want people back at work, but we want to do that as safely as possible under these circumstances. What’s the best way to do that?

Nancy:

I mean the reality is you have to start with a plan and that plan needs to be in writing. And you have to have the right people guiding you in your organization, so you can develop that plan. So it can no longer be really just the administration level stating and thinking, okay, here’s the guidance. These are the things that we’re supposed to do. So we’re just going to tell everybody to do it, and then that’s going to be the end of the story. Because the way that this works is that you need someone from operations almost sitting at the table to say, How is this going to function in real life? How do the workers come in? Where do they gather? How do they clock in when they get to work? Do they have to congregate? How is the machinery set up? How are the walkway set up?

So it really is an approach that you have to take to planning to bringing people back to work. That’s going to impact pretty much every sector of your business. And in drafting that plan, you’re also dealing with the ever-changing guidance. And one of the things that I have been advising all my clients is when you are developing your policies, your procedures, your COVID requirements, whatever it is that you relied on, print it. Print out the pages from the CDC website that you looked at. Print out the guidance that you’re looking at from the LA County Health Department. Print out the guidance that we’re looking at at that moment, in that time that’s being distributed by the Governor of California because you want to say that to show the recommendations that we’re taking. This is what they were, and this is how we responded. And our response was sound. It was appropriate, and it was based on what we were being told at that time.

I think that’s really going to help employers if to understand, well, maybe that guidance isn’t correct today, and we had to shift it and adjust it. But at that point, that’s what we were being told to do. And you want to be able to document that so that somebody can’t look later and go, “Well, you, at one point, told people not to wear mask.” It’s like, well, the CDC told people not to wear mask, and we followed that. We followed that recommendation. So it’s really become important in employment. It’s always important to document. But I think that in this period of time, it’s particularly critical to take those steps.

Robert:

It’s a really important point because I think we often operate under the assumption that when something is published on the web, it’s going to be there if you return a month or a year later. But the reality is we’ve seen this happen again and again, particularly recently with the CDC in a very public way, where guidelines were posted and then just a matter of five days later, they were taken down, just disappeared off the website. Now that can be a real challenge if you’re in an HR department, for instance, and you’re trying to set forth guidelines for your own employees and you’re relying on that information. What you’re saying, what I’m hearing you say is that it’s necessary to print that out and timestamp. And then say, okay, these are the then current guidelines. And we made our guidelines based on these recommendations or regulations. If those regulations should change, the future, of course, will adjust, will course direct. It seems like an extra step, but obviously it’s a very necessary one to protect the company to ensure that they’ve documented everything.

[0:09:59]

Let’s talk a little bit about other return-to-work steps that one might do. So in addition to having a plan for bringing people back and figuring out the physical configuration and so forth, my understanding is that if you’re going to bring workers back to the workplace and you’ve changed the workflow or you’ve changed the layout or you’re issuing new equipment including things like gloves or masks or face shields, then the employer has an obligation to train. And that’s set forth very clearly in some states, and it’s implied in others. It may not be expressly set out, so it might change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But let’s talk about how you communicate and train employees in the new practices.

Nancy:

So I think one of the base guidelines that employers have that they have to follow really derives from OSHA, and what OSHA says is that you have an obligation to protect your employees. If there’s a known hazard in the workplace, you have an obligation to address that known hazard so that your employees can come into the workplace safely.

Now what is curious about this situation is that probably there is no amount of precautions that you can take. There’s no level of precautions that you can implement that completely eliminate this hazard. So it’s a very interesting thing as we proceed that what we’re basically saying is we’re going to do the best we can to keep you safe. We’re going to follow all of the guidance that is out there, but it does not eliminate completely the risk.

So there are two factors with respect to training. One of them is training people as to COVID. It’s training them, this is what the disease is. This is what you need to do to mitigate exposure. This is what we’re doing, and this is what we’re requiring you to do to mitigate exposure with one another in the workplace. This is what COVID is. This is how you prevent it from spreading. All of that training is pretty much across the country being mandated by various local, you know, by your state government, by your local government, by your city government, by your county government. They’re issuing requirements that employers actually have to train employees about COVID-19, and that’s one aspect of the training that you have to provide.

Robert:

Now let’s talk a little bit about that responsibility because I think that there’s an uneven knowledge in employers, among employers. In my business, I’m talking to employers every single day about their plans to go back to work. And I would say most people are trying to figure out what to do, but not everybody is aware that they have this obligation. Talk to me about negligence. How would you view negligence in this situation? Because I think that’s something employers must be aware of and keenly sensitive to the possibility of. They might inadvertently be negligent.

Nancy:

With respect to negligence, a lot of these cases are going to end up in the workers’ comp system. So for employers who bring their employees in, the workers’ comp system is going to be the insurance that’s going to provide some protection to the employer and to employees so that they can get some benefit if they are “injured” in the workplace, and that could include an injury that relates to COVID. So having contracted it, having had any kind of medical issues because of it, having to take time off because of it, that could be covered.

Now that may now preclude an employer for being held liable for negligence. And some of where that’s going to come from is, and what I’ve seen in the case law thus far and what I’ve seen in the claims that have been filed, it has been where the employer has wholly neglected to either implement the strategies and the recommendations and the requirements have basically ignored the practices that are being distributed by their various local governments. And one of the things employers really need to be aware of it is they have to start in developing the plan. What do they need to do? What are the requirements? And to do that, you’re going to want to look at your state. You’re going to see there’s going to be state guidelines. You’re going to want to follow those guidelines.

You’re probably going to need to look at your county. The county will develop and distribute their own guidelines. Some of those guidelines are going to be based largely on how that county is doing. So your county guidelines could be even more strict than the state guidelines, and you have to follow them. Then you have to look at your city guidelines. And in developing what you do and where you go, the closer you get to compliance, I think the less exposure and the less liability is going to be able to be kind of brought upon an employer who are doing their best to follow what they’re being told to do.

So knowing what it is and where you need to be and what you need to be doing and what the requirements are is that critical, critical factor. And as you implement those requirements into your plans and follow them, it’s not lip service. I’ve been to a lot of places where I walk in, and it appears that the employees are not following the guidance.

 

[0:15:34]

Robert:

That’s right. That’s right. I was about to ask you about that. So that also creates another possibility of risk or liability potential for the employer. Suppose you have ten employees in a workplace and eight of them agreed to follow the guidelines and they’re quite diligent about it and there are two, just because we live in the United States of America where people feel free to do whatever they wish sometimes, there’s going to be two people in every group of ten that just won’t wear a mask, or they won’t properly social distance, or in some other way they’re going to refuse to cooperate.

Now that actually creates a new problem for the employer because the other eight employees are going to look at the management and say, “Okay, boss, what are you going to do about these people?”

Nancy:

There are two things the employer needs to do. One is you have to get a handle on it, and you have to discipline as you would any other safety procedure. So the same way that you would discipline someone for violating a safety procedure in the workplace that puts them at risk or others at risk, and we see a lot of that in distribution centers where when you’re on a forklift, there are certain rules that you have to follow. And I think that what is difficult is for employers to look at this situation and treat it the same as that. It’s quite frankly, you put the rules in place for a reason. You put the rules in place because there is a real risk of injury, and you have to follow those rules.

On the second note is that even if it seems that all the employees are perfectly fine and they’re sitting too close together because they’re having a good time at lunch and they really don’t want to social distance, you really need to impose it because as soon as someone gets sick, all of the fun is going to be gone and what they’re going to say is, I sat in this lunch room, and I didn’t have a place to sit. People were not spreading out six feet apart, and I ended up being at risk and it’s the employer’s fault, even though maybe the employee in that moment was happy to be there and chose to be there and sat too close to the other individuals.

So you really as the employer have to be the monitor, have to apply the rules. And to the extent that you need to discipline with respect to people who don’t want to comply, you need to do it. And if that includes removing them from the workplace, suspending them, whatever it is you need to do, I think employers definitely have an obligation to do so.

Robert:

With respect to a disciplinary action, this is a difficult thing for employers to do in some states. We’re both in California where, of course, there’s a lot of protection for workers against the unreasonable termination. So you can easily envision a situation in California where a worker simply refuses to wear mask or doesn’t wear it properly, let’s say. That’s very likely, right? And if that were to happen and the employer doesn’t have any written guidelines or hasn’t done any kind of training, a formal training, it’s going to be very difficult for that employer to prove that they had a policy, an enforceable policy. At which point, that employee could say, “Hey, I didn’t even know. Nobody told me. I didn’t know this was something I had to. I wasn’t trained how to do it. I thought I was doing it right.” And once again, we find that that employer might have the risk at that point.

When we’re developing the COVID-19 program COVID SMART, this training program, we modeled it on sexual harassment training because we felt that that was a similar process that unfolded across the country in 1990s where organizations realized this was behavior that had happened in the past that was no longer acceptable. But if they didn’t have written policies and a training program that could prove that everyone had been trained in a uniform set of guidelines, then they were in a weak position to actually enforce those policies.

So talk to me a little bit about how all this fits together — the planning, the training, and then also the enforcement of the guidelines — because I think those three things together are going to create a safer workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nancy:

I mean, Rob, I think you got it right there is that there really is a continuum. I mean, the planning has to include and what are a lot of our clients are doing is in addition to policies and procedures and this is what you need to do is on the flip side of that is providing your managers and your administrators with very clear guidance on how to implement those policies. So managers need to be prepared. What do you do if somebody says they don’t want to wear a mask? This is the conversation you have. And it could range because remember, in the context of COVID, it doesn’t make the other laws that we have in California and across the country not apply. So for example, for an employee who refuses to wear a mask, there may be a medical reason that they’re claiming prohibits them from doing so. It makes it difficult for them for doing so.

[0:20:12]

Now, without any commentary on that issue on whether or not the mask is or is not good for people who have certain medical conditions, you’re still going to want to treat them just as you would any employee who came to you and said, “I have a medical issue, that prevents me from working.” And that should automatically trigger a discussion of does this employee — are they eligible for any kind of program that protects employees with disabilities, that protects employees with respect to sick leave, that protects employees and provides them time to address the matter? What documentation would you need? What conversation should I have with them? Do I need to accommodate this? How can we accommodate this? And it really should trigger that conversation about accommodation because it could also trigger FMLA leave. It could trigger mandatory sick leave that’s being provided for COVID. It could even trigger your own sick leave policies that are entirely unrelated to COVID, how people are allowed to use that.

So you really need to after implementing is part of that training is also again the administration. What I get the question of is after I’ve written all of the policies and drafted all of the procedures, the first question I get in the first phone call I guess is usually about three weeks in where they call and they say, “Nancy, we’ve had a case. We’ve read through all of our policies and procedures that talk about how not to get COVID, but now we have a COVID case. What do we do?” So that really has to be part of the planning is preparing people. These are the steps that you take when you have a COVID case. You have to isolate that person. You have to remove them, make sure they get removed from the workplace. You have to do an assessment of whether or not they had close contacts. You have to notify the other individuals that there was a case. And by the way, you can’t divulge the name of the person who has it because of privacy issues.

So there’s a lot of steps and there’s a lot of things can know when you walk people through. And they ask, what does that communication look like? We have, of course, the sample email going, okay, this is what you’re going to want to send to the rest of your workers. And then with respect to that person who has COVID, what are they eligible for? What benefits do they get under this circumstance? So on top of the let’s prepare the facility and make sure that it’s ready for employees to come in and on top of the let’s prepare the employees and make sure they know what to do and what the requirements are on their behalf when they come in, let’s prepare management and the administrators on what to do in these various circumstances, you then have to deal with benefits issues. What benefits are employees eligible for? And have that pretty much ready to go because it’s going to be basically an immediate response that you’re going to have to provide.

Robert:

Wow. Okay, that was an epic answer. You’ve given us a dissertation there on all the responsibilities. As I’m listening to you, I’m thinking, this is a pretty daunting checklist of items, the sort of checklist here for a company who wants to return workers safely. They have to be aware of quite a lot. So in the first part of this conversation, we talked about the things you must do before and a go-back-to-work safe plan. You want to have a way to prepare your workers, train your workers. You want to prepare the workplace. You want to be able to communicate that information to workers, and you need a set of policies that you can enforce. That’s sort of part one.

But now what you’ve talked about is kind of next level stuff where we now have to make sure that all of that fits inside of the current regulatory framework, the pre-COVID regulatory framework. You have to make sure that you’re consistent with that. And we’ll get into some of the nuances in the remaining time about exactly what that means, accommodations and so forth. But the other aspect that you just covered in that excellent answer is that you also talked about a timeline. There’s sort of before the workers return and then the process of returning workers to the work and then the scenarios of what happens in case of an outbreak, what happens in case of somebody testing positive.

So in your planning process, employers, you’ve got to be aware that you also have to do the hard work of envisioning scenarios. Sometimes they’re very unpleasant scenarios. What happens if someone tests positive? As Nancy explained, you have to be very cautious about how you communicate that information to other workers because there are also privacy issues here. So the employer has the challenge in a very chaotic environment with changing regulations and constantly changing understanding of this disease. They have to thread the needle between existing labor regulations, guidelines, and laws. Otherwise, they might put [0:24:49] [Indiscernible] and create a second set of problems.

So let’s dig into that in our remaining moments. Talk to me about accommodations. Two that come to mind for me are those related to age and disability. So those exist. They preexist before COVID-19. And you can easily imagine that people in your workforce who might fall into the category of ADA or those who are over the age of 40, they might feel like they’re particularly at risk because of this disease. So there might be a heightened awareness or an emotional state that’s involved as well. And tell me a little bit about what employers can do to make those workers feel safer, especially if they need this special accommodation. How might that unfold?

[0:25:27]

Nancy:

So the first thing, a starting point for that is, and the first question I get is, employers calling and saying, “Nancy, we’re aware that certain employees have a vulnerability. And what do we do about that? How do we address that vulnerability?” And what employers really want to do is keep their employees safe. And they’re almost inclined to say, I want to reach out to that person and treat them in a special way because of this special vulnerability. And that’s a very nice thought. You would think, okay, that’s a lovely thing. That’s very nice of you. But you really can’t do that. You can’t say to someone, “David,” or whoever it is, “you are in this vulnerable category, so we do not want you to return to the workplace because we really want to make sure, because you are extra vulnerable, that you stay safe.”

So it becomes very problematic because as much as you would like to do that, you really can’t. Why you’re obligated to do is, the employers to do this, you treat those individuals just like you would everyone else when you start to bring everybody back to work, and you let everybody know, hey, everyone, these are the vulnerabilities. And that’s part of the training and the education and the understanding about COVID, and that is so that those employees who believe that they could be at risk or are at risk can self-disclose and come forward and some of them will. And we have a lot of employers who are dealing with employees who basically have called and said, “I understand you want us to come back to work, but I don’t want to go back to work because I have a particular vulnerability,” and they’re very tough circumstances.

You would then start the process in training to some degree the same way you would anyone who says, “I have a disability and cannot return to work.” And they might need to be certified for FMLA or some other benefit. You might also want to look to see what benefits are eligible. There have been benefits that have been created specifically for the Coronavirus. There’s the FFCRA. That is in federal program. A lot of states have developed their own programs that employers have to provide time to employees who are unable to work because of COVID. And while most of those sick leave programs really address when somebody actually has COVID, some of them have expanded. For example, a lot of the legislation now covers,or some of the legislation covers employees who have to stay home because their kids are not in school and because of a school closure have to maybe work remotely or aren’t able to go into work because they don’t have care, they don’t have a sitter because of COVID-19, and their regular place of care, the daycare center or the school is no longer open.

So you really need to have that discussion so that you can determine what obligations you have to accommodate, whether you want to accommodate voluntarily and just provide that person additional time to not come into the office and what benefits in either of those circumstances would be appropriate. And in some circumstances, I haven’t really had a lot of terminations based on those issues. But at some point, there could be circumstances where an employee does not have really a covered benefit. They don’t fall into a covered protection. It’s still kind of out there on what obligations the employer has in maintaining the —

Robert:

The employer may need to make a judgment call there and take into account employee morale and the safest possible workplace for their particular circumstances. Let me see. You covered quite a last there, and that was a pretty nuanced answer. I want to make sure that I got it straight. So the first thing that I heard you say is for sure rules like the Americans with Disabilities Act, they still pertain.

Nancy:

That’s right.

Robert:

Under the circumstances of COVID-19, it’s not a good idea for the employer to isolate or single out those employees who might fall under the rules of ADA. Instead, it’s better for that employer to allow people to self-disclose, to come to the employer. Let the workers come forward and sort of raise their hand and say, “I have this situation.” And once they do that, now you can start to treat them in a slightly different category or accommodate them the special way. But it’s better for the employer maybe to create a situation where they ask, invite people to speak up or to do that. What’s the best mechanism for soliciting that kind of self-disclosure?

[0:30:18]

Nancy:

The best mechanism really is to make it part of the training. As you disclose this is what COVID is, this is how it transfers, these are the symptoms, and all of that is going to be you’re obligated to do in bringing people back to work is the education on COVID. Most of the regulations, most of the requirements that are being distributed both by state and local authorities have a section that say you have to notify people that certain classifications of employees may be more vulnerable to the symptoms or to the kind of negative impacts of COVID. And you have to read off that list of people who are of a certain age, have certain medical conditions, maybe have other issues such as obesity, that those people are more vulnerable.

When you’re giving that information, I highly recommend that the employers say to employees, if you have an issue or concerns related to returning to work, please contact your experts and your office administrator, your human resources person, that you specifically provide the employee a path to disclose whether or not there is going to be an issue with them returning to work based on that vulnerability. And you make it very open so that people do feel like they can come forward.

Robert:

And once again, you recommend the document that you made that offer, that you made that available to people. Okay, the second part of the answer that you gave was about people who don’t necessarily fall into those existing rules, people who aren’t necessarily of a certain age or have an existing visibility, that’s already well known in the workplace. But yet those people might feel that because of COVID-19 or because they have some personal vulnerability that previously was never disclosed, they feel they might be at risk. What I heard you say is that this is a judgment call for the employer. Here they have to figure out whether or not they must or want to give it accommodation, and they’ll have to determine if that works out. You gave a couple of excellent examples, including the one that hadn’t occurred to me, the absence of daycare, when the students are at home. Of course, it’s a gigantic problem that affects lots of people with schools closed.

So in the remaining time we have, tell me a little bit about the other side of the equation. What is a reasonable expectation that an employer can have of their employees? What are the responsibilities that employees have during this pandemic?

Nancy:

I mean, I think that responsibilities for employees really deal with having to comply with the world and regulations and having to properly disclose. It seems that we are already having employees who, despite being asked on certain days that if you have certain symptoms, you need to disclose them. So a lot of employers, under the new COVID environment, have utilized the ability to ask questions about COVID. So you generally can’t after your employees’ medical information. You can’t go to them and say, every day you’re going to fill out a little form that says, if you have a cough or runny nose or if you have a sniffle, you really need to call HR and tell them you have a sniffle. So that’s not generally information that you are allowed to ask employees. But because COVID creates that danger in the workplace, you are allowed to ask certain questions if they relate to trying to prevent COVID from coming into the workplace.

So you can’t ask somebody to disclose every medical symptom that they might how on a particular day, but you can ask them to disclose what COVID-related symptoms they might have. And those are those symptoms that have been identified as being indicative potentially of someone having COVID, which include very common things like I have a headache, or I have a cough, which could just mean that my allergies are kicking in for the season. And not that I have COVID, but I will probably, nonetheless, go get tested because everybody is very fearful right now.

Robert:

Can employers oblige people to take a test and to do temperature checks as well?

Nancy:

Yes. So as part of that being able to be more intrusive as long as it’s COVID-related, you may potentially perform medical exams, which would include taking a COVID test and asking the employee before they enter the workplace to have a COVID test done. You can also ask that they either take their own temperature, or you can subject them to a temperature screening or scan as they enter the workplace. You are allowed to do that now. What we’re running into already are circumstances where people are saying, “No, I don’t have any COVID-related symptoms,” but then when they develop COVID say, “Yeah, I had a headache. I had a stuffy nose. I had some of these things. I just thought it was my allergies.” And that’s where the obligation is on the employee is that this can be very dangerous to people.

[0:35:32]

Robert:

Because of the asymptomatic cases and that’s actually a pretty large percentage of the cases where they show no symptoms for a period of time. So you might very well have this disease and not be aware of it.

Nancy:

That’s right.

Robert:

Well, I think that’s all we’ve got time for today. I want to thank my guest, Nancy Inesta. She’s a partner at BakerHostetler in Los Angeles, and she serves on Baker’s. National COVID-19 Task Force. As you can see from her comments today, she’s richly equipped to help employers understand the very complex landscape that they have to navigate during this pandemic.

I’m Robert Tercek, the CEO of Direct Education Worldwide and one of the teams that created the COVID-19 training program COVID SMART. Check us out at gotoworksmart.com.

Thank you very much, Nancy.

Nancy:

Thank you, Robert. It was nice to be here with you today.

[0:36:27]        

End of Audio

Music Credit: Happy Life by FREDJI https://soundcloud.com/fredjimusic

https://www.facebook.com/fredjimusic  Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/u4PI5p5bI9k