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Swine Flu Plans Triggering Difficult Legal Questions, Says Noted Pillsbury Attorney
Date:4/28/2009

fects, Taber advises clients to take an integrated approach to planning for all manner of related business disruptions, from reduced staff levels to constricted supply chains, missed deadlines and service failures.

"After addressing their top priority of human health and welfare, organizations have to look at what could happen in adverse impact; if an offshore parts supplier or service provider is in a particularly hard-hit region and incapacitated or if the company itself is unable to serve customers due to an epidemic -- liabilities and legal implications could vary," Taber explains.

"Quarantines can cause significant disruptions. Clients need to determine whether they will follow voluntary quarantines affecting their workforce, or how tightened border screening of potentially contaminated goods and travelers will affect their logistics and business travel requirements. These questions are best asked in advance, before costly delays and interruptions force the issue."

Taber recommends that organizations routinely review, revise and test their emergency response plans to ensure they reflect both changing needs of the organization and accepted risk and compliance levels.

"Epidemics lead many businesses to cancel travel and encourage employees to work from home -- putting higher demand on computer systems and IT staff as a result," he notes. "Unless management has adequately planned for and practiced secure tele-commuting, there could be data privacy risks if employees are untrained on following office technology policies outside their cubicles or use improperly configured laptops -- these are hard problems to fix once employees are stuck at home."

In alliance with the American Red Cross in Greater New York, Protiviti and LMI Government Consulting, Pillsbury's Disaster Planning & Liability Management (DPLM) program has developed a customized proprietary methodology that e
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SOURCE Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
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