March 13, 2020

Noun_virus_1772453Conscious of the human, operational and financial strain that coronavirus is placing on businesses and organizations worldwide, Jenner & Block has assembled a multi-disciplinary team, drawn from a variety of our practice areas and sector groups, to support clients as they navigate these uncharted waters.  We have also developed a COVID-19 / Coronavirus Resource Center.  It provides helpful and timely information on the legal and strategic challenges companies are facing. Following is a list of some of those pieces.

US OSHA Issues Guidance for Employers Regarding Preparing for COVID-19 Risks
On March 9, 2020, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” (Guidance) compiling best practices and existing regulatory standards for evaluating and preparing for risks to workers from exposure to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. OSHA urges that “it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19.” (p. 3)  The Guidance describes: (1) how a COVID-19 outbreak could affect workplaces; (2) steps employers can take to reduce workers’ risk of exposure; (3) classification of jobs into categories of risk and controls to protect workers in each category; and (4) how to protect workers living or traveling outside the US. To read more click here.

EPA Issues Emergency Guidance to Mitigate Spread of coronavirus in the United States
United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) activated its Emerging Viral Pathogens Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides (the Guidance) in an attempt to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) (the coronavirus) in the United States.  Drafted pursuant to USEPA’s authority under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Guidance sets forth a voluntary process by which companies holding FIFRA registrations for disinfecting/antimicrobial products can promote the use of their products against specific “emerging pathogens,” including the coronavirus. While the Guidance was finalized in August 2016, it had remained inactive prior to USEPA’s recent announcement.  To read more click here.

Insurance Law Update: Applying Commercial Property Insurance to COVID-19 Losses
Governments and health authorities worldwide are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.  To read more click here.

Action Plan for Government Contractors: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Be Prepared for coronavirus (COVID-19)
The headlines on coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to escalate.  The World Health Organization now categorizes the outbreak as a “pandemic.”  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently circulated new, additional guidance for federal workers. This guidance intends to ward off criticism that the government had not yet signaled that federal employees and their contractors should not be asked to choose between financial obligations and public health.  To read more click here.

To stay abreast of developments through this unprecedented situation, continue to monitor the Consumer Law Round-Up blog and visit the resource library for helpful reference materials.