The DEC Educational Webinar Series Ep1 w/ Rick Gerber

Show Transcript


good day to you all

this is Chaz Freutel with the Dublin

entrepreneurial Center and you are

joining us today for the Dec educational

webinar series we really appreciate you

joining us today we want to continue to

provide you with excellent information

about what’s going on during the Cova 19

virus situation and how we can best help

employers in the Central Ohio community

I have a great guest with me today Ric

Gerber from Gerber and Mitchell law.  Good

day to you Ric. how are you today

doing well how about you good good well

hey Rick we’ve got a challenging time

right now it’s it’s really causing a lot

of havoc in so many ways with families

and businesses and and all around and

we’re here to give businesses a little

bit of advice this morning as to how we

can best handle the new guidelines

presented by governor DeWine in the

state of Ohio the new responsible

restart Ohio guidelines and discuss how

that may affect bringing employers and

businesses along with their employees

back to work and we want to discuss a

little bit about those guidelines and

what some of the liabilities might be

for those employers bringing employees

back as well as facilities that would be

hosting those businesses so Rick I know

that you’ve taken a look at the the new

guidelines and kind of give us your

overall impression of what we’ve got

right now

well Chaz what we have right now is

what’s going on in every other part of

our lives it is changing often and

and in rapidly the guidelines that were

came out Monday are being rewritten and

we expect they have more this afternoon

from from the governor and the the Ohio

Department of Health this is a very

fluid area as I say and what we are

seeing is we we see in our newspapers

and our business sections not only here

in central Iowa but all through the

country looking at to see what employers

should be doing but also what are the

expectations of customers and in

employees like I said it is very fluid

and but there are measures that

employees I’m sorry employers can take

that will protect them and and equally

so protect their employees and customers

well that’s the most important thing we

want to make sure that businesses

understand what they need to be doing

what employees need to be doing that are

that are coming back to the workplace

and I think there are three different

sections three different industries that

are that are affected in this but we’re

it’s gonna more specifically talk about

the regulations and guidelines for

general office environments which tends

to affect most of those employees that

are coming back to offices we have you

know still maintaining the six feet

between folks personnel should work from

home when possible employees must

perform daily symptom assessments that’s

one that we kind of need to talk about a

little bit more require employees to

stay home if symptomatic face coverings

must be worn at all times while coat by

working but I know that the governor

maybe said something else about that so

we need to talk about that require

regular hand washing reduce sharing of

work materials limit travel as much as

possible stagger arrival of all

employees and guests and post signage on


safety guidelines in common areas so I

guess we need to really help employers

understand how they can better make sure

that they’re following these guidelines

and you know what what what do we do to

make sure that we’re that we’re

following these in the correct manner

and what are the potential liabilities

for an employer if for something happens

and maybe they don’t sure well a lot of

this is common sense

but but nonetheless as you can see from

what we had put up on the the board

there there are mandatory guidelines

there are also recommended best


I would advise and we’re on the phone

with many of our clients it seems like

every day on these issues and we are

advising our clients to put together a

policy if you will and have that

reviewed by by their lawyers also

disseminate this information out to

their managers and also out to the

employees I think although the the the

requirement is on the employer to make

these safeguards I think it’s also a

partnership with their employees the

employees have to participate and abide

by these as well so it’s kind of a

two-way street there I think that’s very

important to emphasize it’s just not a

one way street where it’s all up to the

employer to do these things and the

employee just sits back and says well

I’m not going to participate or

cooperate also when it knows that it’s

up yeah I’m sorry Chaz I also wanted to

note that a lot of these things we’re

testing ones temperature and the like

you know up to this point before the

virus that would not be lawful to do but

these are exceptions these are extreme

times so employers do have that right to

inquire from that their employees you

know what’s your temperature how you

feeling where you’ve been traveling on

weekends things like that the employer

has a right to know those things and to

take action

if there are warning signs such as a

fever or they’ve been traveling to

another state maybe it’s best that

employee stays home for quarantines for

a period of time well that’s good advice

that’s good advice where do you think a

business should best start when they’re

developing these types of policies that

you’re that you’re suggesting obviously

sitting down and addressing each one of

these mandatory guidelines so that they

can post those around their facility

distribute those to their to their

employees that type of thing what what’s

the best way do you think that they

could do to handle that is something is

that something that your firm is ready

to to potentially help folks with

absolutely we are prepared to help help

out business clients with with these

like guidelines I would recommend that a

business look to OSHA at the federal

level and also to the Ohio Department of

Health here in the state of Ohio each

government agency has a list of

mandatory requirements and also

recommended best practices and as the is

the way the law is shaping up as long as

an employer follows those guidelines

they should be able to protect

themselves from liability you know we

were talking earlier this morning was

with a group of people and and an

employer asked me well how is somebody

going to prove if they contracted the

virus at my place of employment and I

said well I don’t think they were going

to have to show that they contracted

there there’s what they’re going to have

to show is that you did not follow those

mandates or those recommended best

practices and if there’s a showing that

you fail to adhere to those that I think

that employee will have a cause of

action against their employer okay well

I understand that on the federal level

that there have been to some discussions

from congressmen and Senators about

trying to limit some of the liability if

you heard some of those discussions

I certainly have at the federal level

we’ve heard from the the president that

he would

would like to mmm this could be a camp

the liability we’ve also heard some

Congress of people say the same thing

but there’s a recognition that most

likely the House of Representatives

would not go along with was such an idea

as such I imagined that the the Attorney

General of the United States is advising

the President as to what executive

orders that he could sign to to further

that end also here in Ohio we have a

little different environment I believe

that our legislature could take up the

issue and pass it so I would not be

surprised to see within the next week or

two or three to see legislation and

executive orders coming out on these

issues wow that’s great great

information I was on a call yesterday

with Congressman Jim Jordan from Ohio

and and he was kind of saying the same

thing that he didn’t feel optimistic

about something happening from Congress

on the federal level but he thought at

least from a state level in Ohio

considering Ohio has a supermajority

that leans toward business maybe that

that it’s possible that something could

be could be passed at least here in Ohio

if you feel more optimistic maybe about

that oh absolutely I think Ohio Ohio has

always been a very business friendly

state and I would expect the Ohio

legislature to take up the issue and and

to come to some balance and I think

that’s I think that’s the theme and the

end goal for all concerned

with that so yes I I do think Ohio will

be doing something here very soon well

Rick that’s that’s the key to this whole

thing is obviously we want to get

business back to to working get

employees back to work get more

businesses not being jeopardized in in

their success and to do that we have to

do it the right way and obviously these

guidelines are new untested I’m sure

there’s going to be some instances where

people are going to be

come in some changes and and that type

of thing but at least we’ve got

something to move forward with it’s

gonna happen it happens soon

tomorrow’s Ohio is reopening in some

ways then comes Monday and then I

believe it’s the 12th and and moving on

for restaurants and things like that so

there’s various phases as this is

proceeding our folks going to be able to

there again get in touch with you and

provide them with some additional

guidance –is as well as the policies

absolutely we do monitor this it seems

like every day we are aware that the the

guidelines will be posted here for this

of this area today came out late Monday

and we are we have been advised by the

Department of Health that updates to

this will happen later today after the

governor speaks this afternoon so we are

watching this day and day out and and

it’s something that we just all have to

stay on top of you know Chancellor was

one thing I forgot to mention earlier

we’re very blessed here in Ohio we seem

to have a very cooperative spirit among

the entire residents both other states

they have taken this virus very

seriously if you go to the store grocery

store or a drugstore you see most people

that are wearing masks people are

washing their hands the Ohio as as I

think been a great example for the rest

of the country on how to handle in this

situation so I fully expect that many of

our employees customers that do out

frequent our our businesses will do

their part as well as our employers will

well I completely agree I’ve seen much

of the same thing and and just to give a

plug to our deck tenants who have been

coming in kind of throughout this time

whether they have been able to come in

as a as a necessary employer or just

coming in to pick up mail those kinds of

things for the most part they’ve been

following those kinds of guidelines

already which has been which has been

great to see and we’ve already been

providing wipes and and regular daily

cleansing and things like that around

the common areas and we’re asking our

tenants when they do come in to make

sure that they’re keeping their

individual areas clean and we can help

them to do that if necessary and I’m

sure other facilities are gonna have to

to step up and do the same kind of thing

interestingly enough over the last three

weeks I’ve actually had four businesses

that have contacted us that are that are

wanting to start a business right now

which is certainly challenging but it’s

great to hear that there’s actually

businesses out there that are that are

wanting to step into the fray and and

get a brand new business going Rick so

what if if they are a new business what

are some of the things that you can do

for them well for a new business

certainly we can help form their entity

whether that’s an LLC or a corporation

and also with that LLC which is the

popular entity of choice today if they

have partners certainly go through that

operating agreement for them and to

advise them on the tax structure of the

of the entity and get an idea of what

type of employees they anticipate hiring

what their role will be those sort of

things we can also assist with advising

them on their financing needs and

structuring their their overall

relationship with with third parties

toward that end well that’s great advice

and I know that you’ve done an excellent

job of a number of our tenants as well

as some new businesses that that we’ve

connected with you along the way I do

have a question from that’s come in from

one of our tenants here at the deck the

question is what recourse do I have if a

customer who normally has been paying me

on time stopped paying recently for

their invoices which I’m sure is a

challenging time and luck

income not coming in like it like it

usually does what do you think the

recourse should be or what would your

recommendation be at this time for

employers that are facing challenges in

this area well you can always take

somebody to court but as I often remind

people there is no pay window down there

litigation is expensive the best thing

perhaps to do is to keep a remain and

have a open dialogue with these folks

try to work with them as the saying goes

you get more you get more bees with

honey than you do vinegar and I work out

a payment plan of some kind over a

period of time no one likes to have to

wait for their money that they’ve

they’ve earned but in these times it may

make sense to work out a payment plan as

it is to simply sue them in and go down

that route one thing to keep in mind if

you do sue them is that the courts right

now are not entertaining these type of

cases they are working on a limited

schedule the court dockets are being are

now backed up with criminal cases and

alike and once they open which may

happen in here in the next two or three

weeks they will be working through all

of those cases probably well into the

late summer so again I would recommend

that try to work through that a lawyer

can be very helpful with that to maybe

work out some payment terms that are

mutually beneficial that’s great advice

Rick and and we really appreciate you

coming in here and and sharing with our

audience today just one last thing

if you could do us a favor and give us

any a takeaway or a prescription the

business owner should keep in mind as we

as we leave today what I would recommend

for all business owners is keep aware of

the changes that are going on read the

papers listen to the radio actually

watch the governor DeWine show my wife

watches that every day it’s become kind

of a cult following but

information situations are changing


and I think it’s a move all of us if we

were to just simply stay up on what is

going on today

and be mindful that in your business we

all like certainty but we also have to

be willing to make changes as they occur

well that’s great advice Rick thank you

so much for joining us today

Rick Gerber with Gerber and Mitchell law

right here in Dublin Ohio it’s been a

pleasure talking to you today Rick and

we appreciate you coming and and

visiting us today and I know that you’ll

give some outstanding advice to any

employers that might want to give you a

call and and again get some advice well

thank you jazz and it’s always a

pleasure to talk with you thanks so much

thank you very much no problem

well we also want to thank our sponsors

parasol video Dot The i Creative, and Event Video

video and Metro Data Center for making

sure that we could put these videos on

in these educational webinar series from

the Dublin entrepreneurial center I’d

like to ask you to please join us for

our next series recording that will be

coming up and available soon and we will

be hosting Michelle Rosebery from HBK

CPAs and consultants and we’ll be

talking about those accounting issues

tax issues that you’re going to have to

keep in mind especially those of you

that are receiving some of those PPP and

other dollars from the federal

government and what the timelines are

for filing and all those kinds of things

so be looking out for that next series

and as always we appreciate you joining

us here this is Chaz foretell and I like

to thank you so much for joining us have

a blessed day