Question: We are finding that city rules regarding shelter and place and lockdown are different than county rules we cross multiple city and county in our business and I cannot find a reliable source to view rules that seem to be changing daily. We want to make sure we are abiding by city and county rules. Any recommendations on how to remain up to date?
Gary Elekes; EGIA faculty member and iMarket Solutions Founder:
We're definitely all in that same situation. I don't know who that question is from but when that question is asked, I was visualizing Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky and then the Kentucky counties and Indiana. There's like three states that converge right there and each of the counties seem to have their own conditions and rules in that area, so it can be very complicated.
I don’t have a very good answer for that to be completely honest with you. You need to do what you're doing, which is check in everyday and look at the government websites. I think you're probably going to have a difficult time reaching anybody in a government facility at this point. If you are successful with that you probably should be on this call next time and give us the recipe for how that happened.
Our human resources person in our company is in charge of that function. We probably have a few more bodies than the average company, so we've assigned somebody that responsibility. We're not having any more luck than what that question is about, which is the rules are changing and because they're changing we don't necessarily have good clarity.
Our position that we're taking is we're going to do the work and will beg for forgiveness after the fact. We feel like at this point that, given the circumstances, there's really not a lot anybody can do. If that's the worst thing that is happening in the world, I think we're probably okay.
Other company owners may not want to accept that risk and I get that but I think when we're looking at our community and what we're doing to solve problems - especially people that have plumbing problems or situations when it gets to be about 115 degrees in the desert in another month or two, things are going to get real. Health problems occur in a lot of different ways, so I can't accept the idea that we wouldn't necessarily just do the work and then figure it out.
That's not a great answer. I know it's not a great answer, but I think what you have to do is just decide if you’re going to push forward and do the work and then beg for forgiveness later. I think any good legal counsel would have a field day with that whole process. I just don’t think that you’d lose that battle.
Weldon Long; EGIA faculty member and New York Times Bestselling Author:
Here in Colorado, we don't have multi-jurisdictional issues with counties because we’ve just got one big county here in Colorado Springs. But we did get some information from the state that outlined and designated heating and air conditioning companies as essential services, so we just print copies of that letter and put it in everyone’s truck. That way, they have it if they get pulled over for some reason, if they have any interaction with anybody, whether it’s law enforcement or a homeowner wanting to know what we're doing out the neighborhood.
I think like Gary said, there's no way to know absolutely what the changes are in jurisdiction but there are some general guidelines: social distancing, no more than 10 people, etc. If you're practicing the common-sense stuff that everybody’s out there talking about, you're probably going to be okay but it's a personal decision of liability for sure.
We’re following the state guidelines and I think if you're doing that, you’re probably not going to get harassed too much. Just follow the guidelines everyone else out there is using.
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