Considerations for Nonprofit Employers Beginning to Re-Open

May 14, 2020

by Lee Cotugno

As the country emerges from the shutdown resulting from COVID-19 pandemic, planning will be essential to ensure workplace safety and to avoid legal complications.

To assist in this effort, guidance has been offered by federal and state governments, as well as by the private sector. Rules and guidance established by governmental entities, in particular, those of an organization’s home state and locality, should be carefully reviewed and followed to ensure legal compliance.

In addition to the legal and regulatory dimensions, many of the issues that arise involve matters of more practical concern. The legal and business communities have begun a robust discussion of the areas of uncertainty employers will face as the restart their operations.

In my latest white paper, Considerations for Nonprofit Employers Beginning to Re-Open, I outline some of the top questions and answers that have been recently raised and provided by professionals in both law and business.

The whitepaper addresses topics such as communications with employees, the use of temperature checkpoints, staggered return-to-work programs, and solutions for employers who need to reduce their workforce or work hours.

This is a time for patience, compassion and understanding. The pandemic and the resulting closures have challenged fundamental beliefs about human life, the role of government, our vulnerability as individuals and as a society, and personal freedom. There will be disagreements, often strongly expressed, about what has been done and what should be done. But those disagreements need not lead to division. Despite

the uncertainty of these times, employers should hold fast to these basic principles: (1) acknowledge the concerns of your employees and staff; (2) treat all with respect, and (3) remember the story of the Good Samaritan


Lee W. Cotugno obtained his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1977 where he was a Member of the Moot Court Board and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1973. Prior to joining his present firm, Mr. Cotugno worked for a prominent Los Angeles law firm and litigated a variety of complex business and commercial cases. He has tried numerous jury and court trials and has been lead trial and appellate counsel in unfair competition, banking, labor and real estate actions. A substantial portion of Mr. Cotugno’s current practice is in the area of employment law, representing small to medium sized companies as well as corporate officers, employees and workers who have claims for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and other violations of state and federal civil rights laws. Mr. Cotugno also advises and represents companies that seek to comply with state and federal employment laws in order to avoid litigation.

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