HOUSTON, Texas – As of mid-August, about 4,300 legal complaints were filed nationwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many targeting corporations and conditions of employment. In Texas, there were 299 complaints filed, according to a COVID-19 lawsuit tracker built by the Washington, D.C.-based international law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to the threat of legal action. Nearly every business around the world has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – but, perhaps, none more so than small businesses. A recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Business found that 92% of small businesses have been hurt by the pandemic.
It’s a given, then, that small business owners have many questions about their exposure to legal liability because of the coronavirus. What can they do to help protect themselves?
A family-run, Texas-based company called Compliance Learning Solutions (https://www.compliancelearningsolutions.com/) has developed a web-based program to address this issue.
Michelle Bordovsky, founder of Compliance Learning Solutions, says it is vital for businesses to confirm that their employees have been trained on proven ways to protect themselves, and others, against COVID – and to confirm that those employees have documented proof of a COVID course completion.
Simply posting COVID safety information in the workplace doesn’t ensure that employees have actually read the material, or that they understand how to keep the work environment as healthy as possible, she says.
“We wanted to provide business owners with tools to protect themselves,” says Bordovsky, who has been an educator for more than 15 years. “So, our course developers created a COVID-19 Training for Employees course, based on CDC and OSHA guidelines, that offers a fast, effective and solution for business owners of any size to enroll, monitor and verify that each employee has completed the course and passed a comprehensive quiz.
The COVID-19 Employee Training Course covers federal COVID safety guidelines, including hand sanitation, social distancing and the use of face masks to help prevent the spread of the disease. Upon successful completion of the course, one of several compliance courses the company offers, each employee will be able to download and print a Certificate of Completion. More than 300 people already have completed the course.
Documentation of completed employee courses is important for business owners and managers, Bordovsky says.
The potential legal jeopardy businesses face as a result of COVID has caught the attention of lawmakers. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) recently introduced the SAFE TO WORK Act, shielding all corporations, schools, healthcare organizations, non-profits and religious institutions from most COVID-19-related lawsuits. But, signing a bill into law takes time, a luxury many companies do not have. And, while the proposed bill would offer some protections for businesses, it does not protect them from gross negligence or willful misconduct.
“That’s why it’s so important that business owners are able to prove they gave their best efforts at protecting their customers and employees from COVID-19-related litigation,” Bordovsky says.
The following states currently require mandatory COVID-19 employee training:
Compliance Learning Solutions, established in 2012, also offers numerous other time-efficient, engaging and cost-effective compliance learning courses for busy professionals, including HIPAA, Texas HB 300, Sexual Harassment, Bloodborne Pathogens, Cultural Diversity, Ergonomics, Personal Protective Equipment and Workplace Violence.
Rich Content Consulting
Compliance Learning Solutions Contact:
395 Sawdust Road, suite 2136
The Woodlands, Texas 77380