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Town Hall: Law, Economics & Health in the Past 150 Days

Recently, Petra Coach presented a Town Hall webinar featuring experts in the areas of law, economic and health to answer your questions from over the past 150 days.

If you’re a business leader, you need to see this.

You can find the full recording here.

Meet the Experts

Teresa Bailey

Teresa Bailey is a Wealth Strategist at Waddell and Associates. She orchestrates the financial affairs of executives, entrepreneurs, and other driven individuals. She also builds the W&A brand through coordinating brand development, client events, and educational content development.

Teresa is certified as a financial planner (CFP®) and divorce financial analyst (CDFA®) and has earned the Series 7, Series 66, and Series 24 securities registrations. She was named one of Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016.

Tim Ellis

Tim Ellis is responsible for managing relationships with clients and providing financial planning services covering the areas of retirement, income tax, estate and gift, risk management, and education at Waddell and Associates.

In addition to client responsibilities, Tim serves on the firm’s investment committee assisting in portfolio construction and allocation as well as the searching and vetting of portfolio strategies.

He is a licensed CPA in the state of Tennessee. He has also earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certification and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential.

Dr. Leah Cordovez

Dr. Leah Cordovez is double board-certified in Integrative and Internal Medicine and is recognized as a prestigious Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee and holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management from Vanderbilt’s Owen School of business.

 

She most recently served as the Concierge Medical Director for MPOWER and Elite Orthopedics and is embarking on a new concept in the delivery of healthcare, Be Well Integrative Health Partners based in Frankin, TN. Her new practice is scheduled to open on September 1, 2020.

Martha Boyd

As a shareholder in the Labor & Employment Group at Baker Donelson, Martha Boyd advises nonprofits, for-profits and public companies on all types of employment issues. Her role includes but is not limited to:

  • Creating legalese-free employee handbooks and employment policies that employees can actually understand and follow
  • Advising businesses on their obligations regarding employee leaves of absence
  • Counseling clients on responding to harassment claims and investigating those claims when an outside investigator is desirable
  • Helping business leaders understand employee and independent contractor worker classification
  • Advising businesses on the use of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements for employees

Martha has also performed human resources due diligence in a number of corporate acquisitions.

 

Where Are We Now?

Medical

Because it’s a new virus and we don’t have a vaccine, it can quickly mutate to evade treatment. The most important thing we can do is be prepared for it. A well prepared immune system can handle this much better – think sleep, nutrition and immune status.

Economy

We’re having a V shape recovery instead of a U or L, etc. Technology and healthcare have held up very well. The energy industry got crushed as many people didn’t drive anywhere for months. We’ve shifted our spending habits but we are still spending. The unemployment rate is improving/ going back down.

HR/Legal

People are wanting their people to get back to work, but nobody is wanting to come back. The guidelines keep changing in regard to when an employee can return to work if they have had COVID. Right now an employee only gets 80 hours of paid leave and that’s it, no matter the circumstances. This expires in December. FFCRA gives 12 weeks paid leave if you have a child whose school or daycare is closed.

 

Q&A

Q: What does it look like if an employee sues an employer over getting exposed or sick from COVID?

It would be difficult for an employee file a lawsuit against an employer for getting sick unless they were openly put in danger. If employers follow the CDC guidelines, that will keep your business safe from a lawsuit and deflect that you got someone sick.

 

Q: How long does an employee have to wait to return to the office if they tested positive for COVID?

If they tested positive – 10 days from the positive test or 24 hours after resolution of symptoms. It’s not recommended to re-test because they are still carrying the positive test but they are not a carrier of symptoms

If someone has been in close contact with a COVID confirmed person (within 6 feet), they should quarantine from the moment of exposure until 14 days have passed without symptoms.

 

Q: How long until we see a recovery around business travel?

Business travel usually lags leisure travel. We’ve been able to do a lot of things virtually and that may make it wait longer for business travel. If sales drop, that may incentivize people to start traveling.

 

Q: Can we tell our employees the name of someone in our office that has tested positive for COVID-19?

You can tell your employees that someone has tested positive, but it violates the ADA if you tell them the name of the employee. They will probably know who it is by seeing who is not there, but still – tell them the department or when they were last in the office and tell the team to just monitor their symptoms.

 

Q: With managing schooling children from home – what is the responsibility of the employee vs the responsibility of the employer?

From a legal standpoint – the employer only has to comply with the paid leave (up to 12 weeks if the school or daycare is closed). Anything that can be done to help accommodate them would be accepted (i.e. working with them on changing their work hours so that they can tend to their children or reducing their work hours). There is no legal obligation, but you have options if you do not want to lose your employees

Idea: You can hire someone to come to the office to teach or monitor your employees children so that your employees can work.

 

Q: What is the truth about a vaccine and when it will make a difference?

They’ve taken parts of the virus and made a vaccine from it – what we don’t know is how well it works. They are out there, but they are in phase 3 trials. We don’t know if they will get sick if exposed to the virus. We need time and exposure to make sure it works.

Wait until the one that is out at the end of the year and has had a lot of testing done

 

Q: How long until we treat this like the regular flu?

Next Fall, hopefully, we have had enough experience.

 

Q: How would you suggest to prepare for someone who is thinking they will lose their job?

Reduce your expenses and stockpile your cash to prepare for a worst case scenario of losing your job. Raise cash to keep you through 6 months – no bonds, pure cash. You do have access to your 401K plan and you can draw up to $100,000 and set up a plan to pay it back.

 

Q: Is there any truth to long term COVID effects?

Yes. 12 weeks of fatigue, shortness of breath and underlying lung damage – microscopic bloods clots that are damaging to the lungs and heart.

 

Q: What is 1 thing someone can do to protect themselves every day?

Sleep well, rest well and eat well.

Medical Recommendations from Dr. Leah Cordovez HERE.

 

Like what you see? Be sure to register for the rest of our upcoming webinars!