Chalgian & Tripp

COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

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Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices, PLLC (Chalgian & Tripp) issues the following Preparedness and Response Plan to Covid-19 in compliance with Michigan Executive Order 2020-97, and for the safety of our employees, attorneys, and clients as we reopen.  This plan may be revised from time to time and will expire when Executive Order 2020-97 (or its successors) are no longer in effect.

Worksite Supervisors

As required by Executive Order 2020-97, the following are designated Worksite Supervisors:

East Lansing Doug Chalgian
Jackson Amy Tripp
Southfield Christopher Smith
Midland Joe Weiler and Chrysa Milholland
Saginaw Valerie Kutz-Otway
Ann Arbor Joelle Gurnoe-Adams
Battle Creek Phil Harter
Kalamazoo Erin Majka
Muskegon Drummond Black

 

Each Worksite Supervisor shall:

  • Carry out this Preparedness and Response Plan at each office location.
  • Assist with personal protective equipment.
  • Be on-site anytime an employee, attorney, client, or other visitors attending to Chalgian & Tripp business are in the office.

Each Worksite Supervisor may designate another individual to be the Worksite Supervisor when he or she is not in the office to carry out the above responsibilities.  It is the Worksite Supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that the designated individual has a full understanding of the Preparedness and Response Plan and to keep a record of when a Worksite Supervisor is serving in that role.

This Preparedness and Response Plan represents the minimum requirements for each office.  The Worksite Supervisors in conjunction with Chalgian & Tripp management may implement additional requirements at a location.

Training

As required by Executive Order 2020-97, all employees and attorneys shall receive training.  That training will include:

  • Workplace infection-control practices.
  • The proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • Steps to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • How to report unsafe working conditions.

The contents of this plan will also be reviewed.

Daily Screening

As required by Executive Order 2020-97, all employees and attorneys shall submit a daily screening when coming to the office.  Screening will be done electronically (via phone or computer) each day before coming to the office for any reason.  If an individual cannot take the survey on a phone or home computer, he or she can execute it when first arriving at the office only if the answer to the COVID specific questions will be “no.”  At a minimum, the screening will include these questions:

  • Are you currently suffering from any of the following symptoms – fever (100.5F or above), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting?
  • Have you lived with, or had close contact with, someone in the last 14 days diagnosed with or displaying the symptoms of COVID-19?

Efforts to protect privacy will be maintained to the extent we can and still comply with applicable legal reporting requirements.

Remote Work and Travel

Attorneys and employees may continue to work remotely at the discretion of the local Work Supervisor or management.  Worktimes may also be staggered at the discretion of the Work Supervisor or management.

All non-essential work-related travel is prohibited until further notice.  This notwithstanding, the following is allowed: (1) travel to and from home to the office; (2) travel required to promote remote working; (3) travel to the post office, bank, or courthouses to conduct work-related business; and (4) other travel to conduct client-related business after all options to conduct such business remotely have been exhausted.  All other work-related travel must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if it is essential.  For example, going out to lunch and coming back is generally not essential.

Travel between offices must also be essential.  If you must travel to another office, you must contact the Work Supervisor in that office beforehand.

All in-person conference events are prohibited at this time.

Onsite Requirements

The following is mandated by Executive Order 2020-97:

  • Six feet of separation shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
  • Non-medical grade face coverings are required in all common and shared spaces, and where six-foot distance cannot be maintained. If an employee or attorney does not have a face covering, Chalgian & Tripp will provide one.
  • Hand sanitizer shall be maintained at all entrances and used every time anyone enters or returns to the office.
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting, especially of high-touch surfaces (e.g., door handles) and shared equipment.
  • All water fountains shall be turned off.
  • Signs about personal hygiene should be posted.
  • Assign dedicated entry point(s) for all employees to reduce congestion at the main entrance.

In addition to or in clarifying the requirements of Executive Order 2020-97, employees and attorneys shall:

  • Clean their workspaces at least twice a day, including at the beginning and end of the workday.
  • The use of shared supplies and equipment should be reduced as much as possible. g., pens, staplers, printers, stamps, etc.  Work Supervisors are encouraged to help acquire additional supplies and equipment to lessen sharing.
  • Keep workspaces as clear as possible to allow for effective cleaning. Scanning and electronic files are encouraged even more than ever.
  • No lunches or other gatherings in common spaces.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of shared kitchen equipment.

Additional requirements may be added at each location by the Workplace Supervisor or management.

Clients and Visitors

Chalgian & Tripp is committed to serving clients in the same quality manner as before the pandemic.  We will also take steps for the safety and comfort of clients and our team.  To that end, the following additional steps are being taken at this time:

  • We continue to encourage remote meetings to the greatest extent possible. Our offices are prepared to conduct video meetings via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.  We can also make arrangements to conduct meetings via Facetime or Skype.  Good old-fashioned telephone calls will work too.
  • For everyone’s safety, no clients or visitors should come to our office if any of the following is true:
  • A client or visitor is suffering from any of the following symptoms – fever (100.5F or above), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of smell or taste, and/or gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • A client or visitor lived with, or had close contact with, someone in the last 14 days diagnosed with or displaying the symptoms of COVID-19.

If a client requires immediate legal attention, we will figure out an alternative solution.  We will also go out of our way to reschedule or make other accommodations.

  • All meetings are by “appointment only” at the current time. When a client has an appointment, we would appreciate a phone call from the client when the client arrives so that we can make sure we are prepared to welcome clients and visitors safely.
  • Under Executive Order 2020-97, we are also required to do the following:
    • Only essential visitors will be allowed in the office. We ask that clients limit the number of people attending meetings to the greatest extent possible.  We are also able to accommodate additional people via phone / video conference.
    • We will maintain 6-foot distancing whenever possible.
    • Masks are to be worn in common areas and, if at all possible, during meetings. If a client of visitor does not have a mask, we can provide one to you.
  • To the extent possible, any items typically shared will be considered disposable or left with the client. g., pens and cups.
  • We will attempt to maintain social distancing in conference rooms to the greatest extent possible.
  • Our offices may otherwise keep irregular in-person hours for the foreseeable future. Most of our attorneys and staff will continue to work at least a portion of the time remotely.  Thus, if a client or visitor needs to come at a nonappointment time, we ask that they call ahead before coming to the office.  If a client or visitor needs to drop something off, arrangements will be made for a “touchless” exchange if possible.
  • Even if the office is open, each office may decide to keep the doors of their offices locked for their safety. If the door is locked, a number will be posted on the door for clients and visitors to call.
  • Everyone entering the office will be asked to use hand sanitizer when entering the office. We are also asking that clients and visitors limit touching “high touch” surfaces (e.g., door handles) if possible.
  • Additional precautions may be taken at our individual offices. Clients or visitors should contact their attorney or the Worksite Supervisor listed above for that office if you would like additional information, or need further accommodations.
  • We will make our entire preparedness and response plan available on our website for interested clients and visitors. This notwithstanding, our plan may change before we can post it on our website.  If a client or visitor would like our most current plan, please call (248) 799-2711.

Positive Cases, Suspected Cases, and Exposure

In all cases, we will follow guidelines established by Executive Order, MIOSHA, and the CDC.  These guidelines are located at:

We will respond to specific situations as follows:

Employee/Attorney who has been in the office with a confirmed case of COVID-19

Consistent with Executive Order 2020-97, an employee with a confirmed case of COVID-19 shall inform the Workplace Supervisor and Christopher Smith as soon as possible of the confirmed case.  Efforts to protect privacy will be maintained to the extent we can and still comply with applicable legal reporting requirements.  Within 24 hours, we will notify:

  • The local public health department; and
  • Any co-workers, and others in the office who may have come into contact with the person with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

At a minimum, Chalgian & Tripp will then comply with current CDC Guidelines, and require the employee/attorney to do the same.  Current CDC guidelines require the employee/attorney to quarantine until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Chalgian & Tripp becomes aware that a client/visitor to the office had COVID-19

Consistent with Executive Order 2020-97, we will notify employees of that office location or who may have otherwise been in the office if we learn that an individual (including a client, supplier, or visitor) with a confirmed case of COVID-19 visited our actual office space.  We will determine whether to close or do special disinfecting of the office based on CDC guidelines.  Employees/attorneys who have had close contact with the individual will be handled as discussed below.

As a courtesy, we will do our best to pass along information if we learn that someone had a confirm case of COVID in a shared office building, but did not come into our office space.  Such cases will then be handled on a case by case basis consistent with CDC guidelines.

Employee/Attorney had “close contact” with a confirmed COVID-19 case

All employees/attorneys must inform the Workplace Supervisor, and Christopher Smith if they live with or been in “close contact” with a confirmed COVID-19 case, and immediately leave or not come into the office.  The CDC currently defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.

We will then follow CDC guidelines, and require the employee/attorney to do the same (which will include current guidance on quarantining).

Any employee/attorney may report to their Workplace Supervisor and/or Christopher Smith any other exposure to COVID-19 cases.  If this is done, Chalgian & Tripp will advise the employee/attorney consistent with current CDC guidelines.

An Employee/Attorney was symptomatic, but not confirmed COVID-19 case

Anyone symptomatic shall not come to the office.  A symptomatic employee/attorney should contact the Workplace Supervisor and Christopher Smith and stay home until further instructions.  Anyone in the office who is found to be symptomatic should be immediately separated and sent home.  In both cases, we will then follow CDC guidance.

Recordkeeping

In compliance with Executive Order 2020-97, Chalgian & Tripp will keep records of the following:

  • Attendance and materials relating to the employee training on workplace infection control practices, proper use of PPE, steps the employees must take to notify the business of COVID-19 illness, and how to report unsafe working conditions.
  • A log of answers to the daily entry self-screening protocol for all employees and attorneys.
  • Documentation that our reporting protocol of any confirmed COVID-19 cases have been followed.

Non-Retaliation

Consistent with Executive Orders 2020-36 and 2020-97, we will not discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against employees who stay home or who leave work when they are at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19.

We will further allow all eligible employees to invoke the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or the Family Medical Leave Act as it may apply to their situation.  Employees with PTO may also use such PTO.

A non-symptomatic employee ordered to quarantine under Executive Order or by CDC guidelines may be allowed to work remotely on a case-by-case basis if they have been previously designated and set up to work remotely, and can meet normal work requirements.

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Questions related to this Preparedness and Response Plan should be directed to Christopher Smith at (248) 799-2711.