How Retail Zipline Protects Brands From Inevitable Covid Lawsuits

Industry Trends
August 25, 2020
Zipline Staff Contribution

Chief Executive recently reported that more than 460 employment, labor and consumer lawsuits involving coronavirus safety claims were filed by the end of July. Regardless of how mindful you are about safety, any company that exposes its people to others is at risk of being sued. Retailers with store associates are most exposed since it's a challenge to communicate and control desk-less workers. But direct to consumer brands are also at risk because of their distribution centers.

To prepare for the wave of lawsuits on the horizon, Chief Executive provided CEOs (and their boards) with some simple tips to get ahead of the problem. When combined with an automated communication, task management and compliance solution like Retail Zipline, these strategies could mean tens of millions of dollars in cost savings.

Chief Executive advises:

Maintain detailed written policies and procedures regarding worker safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, as they will help companies fare far better than those that don’t have them. Explaining what steps should be taken if an outbreak occurs will also show the company has acted in “good faith” with the employees’ best interest in mind.

The Resource Library in Retail Zipline is purpose made for ensuring that store associates have instant access to the latest policies and procedures, at all times, without having to sift through reams of information they don’t need. Zipline’s resource library is search-primary, so teams don’t need to memorize a complicated hierarchy to find what they’re looking for. Rather, they can pull up information in seconds. And, since we know your stores are geographically diverse, library contents are targeted by location and role, so there’s no risk of employees looking at (and executing) the wrong direction. 

As changes are made to policies and procedures, you can immediately let the field know that documents have been updated. In Zipline, there is just one source of truth. And, when you need to confirm that teams have read and understood new policies or directions, you can require that employees sign off using the Surveys solution. With Surveys, you can get to a 100% response rate faster than ever before: DMs can see which of their stores hasn’t completed a live survey in real time, so they can remind them while it's still in progress. And, HQ teams can access results directly so there’s no bottleneck.

Chief Executive advises:

Involve frontline workers in the development of the health and safety protocols to keep workers safe. Survey workers to find out areas that they feel are unsafe and ask them for suggestions on what can be done to ease their fears. Document these interactions—it is much harder to argue that the company has been negligent when the workers have participated in developing the safety protocols. It’ll also help your managers see the gaps and, perhaps, help you avoid being sued in the first place.

Retail Zipline provides effective feedback loops that improve execution in stores, drive employee engagement, give a line of sight throughout the organization and protect companies by ensuring that employees are part of safety discussions and have the opportunity to provide input. 

Surveys in Zipline are a lightweight tool that makes it easy to gather information from store teams. With Surveys, you can easily poll the field in a targeted and personalized way, which helps to improve the number and accuracy of responses. HQ partners and Upper Field teams have immediate access to the answers they need with the ability to view and download survey results. This promotes alignment, shared knowledge, a faster feedback loop and the ability to show employee involvement in safety protocols.

For more in-the moment conversations, Zipline’s Groups is a chat module that’s built for dialogue, discussion, and debate - but is still trackable down to the individual comment. Teams in the field can connect in real-time with HQ business partners to share best practices, ask questions, and raise concerns. Every interaction is searchable, so teams can quickly hop into pertinent discussions, and every message is securely stored for records retention purposes.

With Zipline, you can be sure that:

Everything is preserved.

Zipline's infrastructure, systems, and data management procedures are compliant with legal holds at all times. That’s because all data entered into the system - such as group messages, file uploads, tasks, assessments, and more - is preserved throughout the lifetime of a customer’s contract. Backups of the application database are taken daily.

Everything is tracked.

Fully auditable event logs are kept of all actions and events in the application (like when a task was created, when it was completed, or when a Resource Library item was uploaded, and who it was uploaded by.) This audit log exists independently of the database, ensuring it cannot be changed or tampered with by a Zipline user or support personnel.

Retail Zipline is the compliance and data solution you need to assist with security incidents or legal investigations. Want to learn more about how Zipline can help track compliance and protect you from lawsuits? Visit retailzipline.com to learn more or email info@retailzipline.com for a demo.