Four Panelists Joined the 2nd Event in CorpGov’s Reopening the Workplace Series
With flu season creeping in and COVID cases spiking, employers face countless questions about how to proceed with reopenings. What happens to employees who break safety protocols and cause infection? Can companies demand employees return to the office even if they protest? What’s the best way to provide meals with minimal human contact? To answer, CorpGov hosted a panel of four experts on Tuesday, October 27 for the second event in its Reopening the Workplace series.
For free access to the full replay and transcript please click HERE and also see select highlights from each panelist below.
The panel included Alex Bisignano, CEO of Phosphorus, one of the first two companies to secure FDA emergency use authorization for out-of-clinic COVID tests, Alex Bluebond, Senior Associate, Labor and Employment at Vinson & Elkins LLP, who addressed difficult questions around employee treatment, Michael Wallace, Chief Executive Officer at The Perfect Company, whose software helps restaurants such as Yum! Brands, Inc. and giant corporate offices including AT&T Inc. offer touchless foodservice, and Anton Nicholas, Managing Partner at ICR, who provided expert counsel to companies on how to explain it all to their employees and stakeholders. The panel, hosted in partnership with The Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association, also featured data from Sentieo, an AI-enabled research platform, and was hosted by CorpGov Multimedia Editor Hope King and CorpGov Editor-in-Chief John Jannarone.
As employees return to work in offices, companies need clear rules regarding COVID-19 safety. If an employee repeatedly breaks the rules, it may require discipline and even termination. “If you can show that you then disciplined them as a result or ultimately terminated them as a result, that’s a much better defense for a lawsuit,” he said. These are just some of the difficult questions around employee treatment addressed by Alex Bluebond, Senior Associate, Labor and Employment at Vinson & Elkins LLP.
Panelist Michael Wallace, Chief Executive Officer at The Perfect Company, explained how his company’s software helps restaurants and giant corporate offices adopt technologies even faster than they were before COVID. “The market has kind of blown up for us,” he told the panel.
Anton Nicholas, Managing Partner at ICR, provided expert counsel to companies on how to explain it all to their employees and stakeholders. “We’re in a obviously very charged environment and the point is to stay neutral on the politics and try to stay strict on the rules, based on guidelines,” he said. “You need to be super transparent with people with what the liabilities are for you as a company.”
Alex Bisignano, CEO of Phosphorus, said that there’s been an explosion of tests available, with the two main ones offered being PCR and Antigen. He said Phosphorus uses PCR testing through saliva, which can be done without the aid of a healthcare provider. “It’s something that we think is very powerful,” he said, adding that the company returns results within 48-72 hours. Phosphorus has done a number of partnerships with companies on regular weekly testing to get employees back to work. “We’ve seen that people have adhered very well to frequency, when the barriers are really low to get tested,” he said.
To watch the full replay please click HERE.
John Jannarone, Editor-in-Chief