Mitigating Exposure to Liability when Faculty and Students Return to Campus


July 31, 2020


Yolanda R. Gallegos

  3:30 PM ET | 02:30 PM CT | 12:30 PM PT | 60 Minutes

* Not able to attend the live session? We can arrange an on-demand session for You. Please call 1-‪814-892-0304


Institutions of higher education around the country are faced with the nearly unanswerable question:  What are the circumstances necessary to welcome students and faculty back to their bricks and mortar?  While known costs mount and future income becomes more uncertain, institutions must weigh what risks are reasonable and which could create liability that threatens their existence? 

On June 4  the U.S. Senate convened hearings to consider how return to college safely and is considering passing laws that would provide some measure of immunity from suit. Regardless of what Congress does, the return of faculty and students on campus, their return brings with them a wide array of unprecedented legal issues including:

  • Avoiding negligence claims if and when someone tests positive on campus;
  • Meeting new FMLA and sick leave requirements of the Family First Coronavirus Act, ADA requirements, OSHA safety mandates;
  • Hazard pay
  • COVID-19 informed consent forms;
  • COVID-19 tracking, testing, self-disclosure policies, and the like

This presentation provides institutions a one-stop shopping venue to provide a summary of employer legal considerations and a check-list of policy revisions institutions should consider.

Our expert speaker Yolanda Gallegos will cover how to avoid both negligence claims and statutory claims that could arise from improper preparation for the return of groups of faculty and students and claims of statutory violations stemming from disability-related queries and privacy issues.  He will also cover important insurance coverage concerns and address the wisdom of requiring signed waivers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Fundamentals of Workplace/Classroom Safety Including Resources Available to Prepare for Faculty/Student Return
  • Avoiding Employer Liability: Do’s & Don’ts Including Numerous Scenarios (employee does not want to return to work; employee with symptoms refuses to leave, proper and improper inquiries to employees, etc.)
  • Relevant Statutes: Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Worker’s Compensation
  • Wisdom of Waivers
  • Insurance

Who Will Benefit:

  • Officers and owners of institutions of higher education 
  • Investors in postsecondary institutions
  • Deans of students
  • ADA coordinators
  • Privacy officers
  • Post-secondary regulatory and compliance professionals

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