Back to Work Resources

Guiding Principles for COVID-19 Duty of Care Best Practices

“Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.” (Business Dictionary)

All businesses and other organizations serving members of the public or retaining employees or contractors should adopt and implement an appropriate Duty of Care regime focused on taking reasonable steps to mitigate foreseeable risks of COVID 19 infection and/or transmission recognizing that some risks will remain.

• All reasonable steps should be taken based on current information, which are likely to change over time resulting in changes to the Duty of Care.  

• The Duty of Care will include, at a minimum, compliance with applicable laws, such as all federal, state or local mandates related to the pandemic. 

• The Duty of Care policies and procedures related to COVID-19 should also include proactive planning and continuous COVID 19 communication to facilitate, where appropriate, testing, quarantining and contract tracing.  

• Based on the organization’s core values, risk appetite and capability, active consideration of recommended and wellness based policies and procedures could be considered. 

Staff correspondingly agrees to abide by and not purposefully undercut, diminish or put at risk an organization’s ability to implement its Duty of Care obligations.
• This is often called “Duty of Loyalty” and also may include staff agreeing to an “Informed Consent.” 

An employer will not intentionally or negligently fail to adopt or implement an appropriate Duty of Care regime and will update it, from time to time, as reasonable and appropriate.


Resources (listed alphabetically by company name)

COVID-19: 3 Course Correction Steps for Enterprise Recovery

Appian & KPMG
KPMG and Appian have launched a "Workplace Reentry Digital Toolkit" to help business' enable a safer return to the workplace.  More information including a PDF download and a video, can be found here


COVID-19 Resources

Data Energy Consulting LLC
Water Systems Checklist for preparing to reopen your office building 


KPMG’s 2020 U.S. CEO Outlook: U.S. CEOs confidence grows as they bolster resilience of their organizations and confront threats to growth.
Challenges presented by COVID-19: KPMG surveyed more than 100 U.S. audit committee members to understand how COVID-19 is impacting committee oversight and operations.
Directors Quarterly: October 2020

Podcast: What Does The Law Say About Your Return To The Workplace Strategy?
Podcast:Risk Management Best Practices For Your COVID-19 Return To Work Plans
Blog: Assess, Locate, Act, and Analyze: An Organizational Approach to COVID-19 Risk Management
LiveSafe Connect Overview document 
WorkSafe Overview document 

National Safety Council
SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns

OSHA Guidelines on Returning to Work Safely

Back to Work Roundtable Series

Join the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) for our new “Getting Back To Work” virtual roundtable series that will bring together industry experts, thought leaders, and technology innovators to help Northern Virginia get back to work. This not to be missed series will highlight the building blocks necessary to help companies define their own new normal and create best practices for safely and efficiently getting their employees back to work. A special thank you to our premiere sponsor, Appian, for helping to make these events possible.

Webinar Recordings

Getting Back to Work Webinar #4
Ensuring a Safe and Healthy Return to Work

Ensuring a safe and healthy return to work is top priority for many employers. You are invited to join NVTC and Dr. Craig Cheifetz from Inova Health System for a discussion covering important aspects and considerations for successfully returning employees to work.

Presentation topics included:

• Best practices for pre-entry and entry
• Physical office space considerations
• COVID related issues
• Mental health and wellness guidance
• Assessing home productivity vs. onsite employees

Craig Cheifetz, MD, FACP
, is VP, Corporate Health and Premium Services, Inova Health System

Access webinar recording here....COMING SOON
Download slides...COMING SOON

Getting Back to Work Webinar #3
Day One and Beyond for Government Contractors
Join NVTC and Venable, an NVTC member company and American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, for a discussion on the challenges confronting businesses as the country reopens and employees return to their offices. We know that concerns about how to conduct business in an office setting while maintaining a safe work environment are top of mind for many of you. The goal of this "Getting Back to Work" webinar is to provide timely and useful information relating to legal issues arising from office operations, office leases, and labor and employment issues, as you prepare for "Day One and Beyond" in your office.

Jennifer Bruton, Partner, Venable 
Caroline Gately, Partner, Venable 
Ronald Taylor, Partner, Venable

Access webinar recording here
Download Venable's slides

Getting Back to Work Webinar #2

The Next Normal: Reimagining the Post-Pandemic Organization

The organization of the future is taking shape in the moves that companies are making now. This presentation will focus on remote working and all aspects of this from productivity to impact on culture and work environment —and why some companies say they won’t go back to “normal." Join leaders from Appian, LiveSafe and McKinsey & Company to hear the latest thinking on how organizations are reimagining the next normal.

Andrea Alexander, Partner, McKinsey & Company
Dawn Mitchell, Vice President of Human Resources, Appian
Carolyn Parent, CEO & President, LiveSafe
Brooke Weddle, Partner, McKinsey & Company 

Access Webinar Recording here
Download McKinsey's slides 
Download Appian's materials 
Download LiveSafe materials

Getting Back to Work Webinar #1
Employee & Customer Health Data: Back to Work in COVID-19
As organizations open their doors again, it’s important that they do so with certain safety measures in place to minimize COVID-19 risks for both employees and customers. With our unique perspective on privacy risks and complex, high-technology litigation, we will explore some safety measures being considered by employers with an eye toward privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity. For example, your workplace may be considering temperature checks to ensure those entering your workplace are temperature free; video monitoring and surveillance to ensure social distancing rules are followed; or questionnaires to evaluate people’s health condition and symptoms, contacts, and travel histories. Attorneys from Rothwell Figg will discuss best practices for obtaining, storing, sharing, and disposing of this data, as well as how organizations can manage workplace privacy and security through the adoption of reasonable and effective practices while at the same time taking measures to protect employees and customers from the transmission of COVID-19.


Martin Zoltick, Shareholder, Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C.
Jenny Colgate, Partner, Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C.
Christopher Ott, Partner, Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C. 

Access Webinar Recording here
Download Rothwell Figg's slides

Additional Resources