For those of you have been
following our employment law lawyers’ blog, you have seen that we have been
addressing the legal impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak on workplace
issues; and we will continue to do so over the coming days and months. (This
link will bring you to updated employment blogs on the Coronavirus).
Because our attorneys are always and exclusively on the side of employees, it
is easy to forget that The Spitz
Law Firm is also an employer. In addition to our incredibly talented
attorneys, the core of what we do is built upon the wonderful work of our
staff, management team, docket manager, receptionist, and executive assistants.
We value them very deeply.
First, the good news: As of
this writing, there are no reported cases of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm team members or
their families being infected with the virus. There have also not been any
reported cases in any buildings in any city where Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm has an
office. With the news changing by the moment – and three remoted cases in Ohio
(specifically Cuyahoga County, where our main office is located), we are planning
to respond to the situation as it evolves.
We are making sure that in
addition to health and safety, that we will still be able to continue to take
care of our clients. To that end, we are installing VPNs on all employee
computers and arranged for them to be able to get their calls at home so that
they can work remotely from home in the event of a quarantine. All employees
are being instructed that if they have any symptoms such as fever, sneezing,
coughing, etc. they should stay home. Hopefully, any such symptoms will turn
out to be a cold or the flu – but stay home. If someone is at high risk or has
family members at risk or with symptoms, they are advised to stay home. We have
an attorney that is currently aboard a cruise ship (he was already on board when
the State Department’s recommendation not to board came out). That attorney
will work from home for 14 days in self-quarantine upon his return.
We have instructed our
employees to stop shaking hands, including with our clients (so please do not
be offended). We continue to wipe down surfaces and wash our hands.
While I would like to say that
this will all work perfectly, this is really uncharted territory and we can
expect hiccups with the process, such as minor delays in responding or
rescheduling of depositions and court appointments. Please be patient with us
as we are making the health and safety of our team members and clients our top
priority. At no point will any of this have a detrimental impact on the
ultimate outcome of your case.
For potential new clients, do
not worry, we are still taking intakes and handling new cases. Depending on the
circumstances, we may be doing more phone intakes than in person interviews. We
have done this very effectively for many clients across the country.
One of the advantages of being
a larger firm is that we have the resources available to address these issues
and continue forward working for you without any major interruption.
If you have any questions or
concerns, please email me directly at [email protected] I
have always got your back.
Lastly, below my signature, I
have included an incredible email from our CEO, Elise P. Spitz to all of our
staff. I feel that it is important to include this because it demonstrates our
commitment to handling this issue the right way.
From: Elise Spitz
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 11:11 AM
To: [all employees]
Subject: Covid-19 Update
As the virus continues to
spread across the US, we would like to keep everyone up-to-date surrounding our
preparedness plan. The health and well-being of our employees is of the
utmost concern, as such, please note the below:
- If you are sick, stay home. Flu season is in full-swing and symptoms mimic those of the flu, we cannot be too careful. As indicated in my previous email, we will allow you to make up time in the same week of the absence or use PTO.
- If a family member or close contact is suspected of having the virus, please stay home until a diagnosis is confirmed. In other words, if you are around someone who is suspected or has been diagnosed with the virus, do not come to work.
- If a family member or close contact has recently traveled to China, South Korea, Italy, Japan or Hong Kong and is under a 14-day quarantine, please do not come to work. We will work with you on how to work remotely under these circumstances.
- Yesterday early evening, March 8, 2020, the US State Department issued a do not travel on cruise ships warning. Accordingly, if you travel on a cruise ship, you will not be able to physically return to the office for 14 days from the date of return. We will work with you on working remotely.
- Please wipe down your personal areas regularly. Clorox wipes are available, and more are on their way. Keeping surfaces clean helps reduce the spread of germs.
- Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. www.cdc.gov is an excellent resource on how to properly wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face. Yes, this is a thing. The CDC has advice on this, as well.
- No shaking hands. You are not being rude when you tell someone no hand shaking right now, this has proven to cut down on the spread of germs.
In the event there is a need to
adjust for a work-stoppage because of the virus we will ask everyone to work
remotely. All attorneys have the capacity to work remotely from their
laptops. Some staff have this as well. I have purchased additional
laptops for staff. We are also able to move phones. More
information on this will be distributed if and when the need arises.
Temporarily, we will offer phone intake meetings if a client asks.
In the interim, please email me
your cell phone numbers to confirm I have everyone’s correct contact
information in the event of an urgent announcement. Also, if you do not
have a laptop, I will need to know that as well.
We are prepared to respond to
any eventuality. I will continue to provide updates as they become
Stay safe, informed and
Elise P. Spitz