Practice Management: Employment Issues When Disaster Strikes: Employer Preparation and Response

Vol. 14 No. 2

Sandra R. McCandless is a partner with SNR Denton in San Francisco, California, where she specializes in employment law and litigation. She is a former chair of the TIPS Section
(2005 –2006) and can be reached at

By the time disaster strikes, it is too late to mitigate the effect on a business and its employees’ health and safety. Legal liability may exist under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, state workers’ compensation statutes, and common law, which could have been avoided with sufficient preparation.

Employers should take the following steps in preparation for, during, and after a disaster to limit its effects, comply with legal requirements, minimize potential liability, and enable a restart of business that is as speedy as possible.

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