A Post First-Wave Planner for Small Businesses

7. Legal

  • Gather and review relevant insurance policies. Focus in particular on property/business interruption clauses and riders and any event cancellation policies. Look specifically for communicable disease coverage.
  • Document all insurance claims, including:
    • The presence of Coronavirus/COVID-19 at the relevant location.
    • All lost income and extra expense attributable to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 health crisis.
  • Assess impacts on insurance, short and long term.
  • Mitigate impacts on the business from potential failures due to policy and insurance shortcomings.
  • Contact state agencies to inform them of your status as an employer. Be sure to cover any exposure related to unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, or new regulations and taxation that may have changed while you were closed or on a reduced schedule.
  • Document losses and keep receipts for federal tax purposes following IRS guidelines and the professional advice of an accountant or attorney.
  • Consider requiring medical clearance from a doctor before an employee who was exposed or infected returns to the workplace.
  • Follow all applicable wage and hour rules for employees who telework; be aware of differences concerning exempt and non-exempt employees with respect to time worked and furloughs.


The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center provides information on other employment laws owners should consider during this time including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.