Abbott's Plan to Reopen Texas

Governor Abbott announced more details on his plan to reopen Texas. You can find the full report here to see how your business is impacted by the announcement. Here are our main takeaways: The stay-at-home order expiring April 30th will not be extended. Thus, the essential vs. non-essential split between businesses will be irrelevant after April 30th. Replacing the stay-at-home order is a list of minimum standard health protocols for all individuals and employers as well as some special requirements for retailers, restaurants, movie theaters, and others. These minimum standard health protocols apply to everyone: 6 foot Social Distancing for other individuals not within the same household

Ralph Marek: A Life Well Lived

It is a testimony to Ralph Marek that so many people considered him a friend, mentor, and inspiration beyond just his family and the many thousands employed by the company that bears his name. Yet, Ralph would refuse the credit and point us toward God and His Holy Spirit instead. We would do well to follow his lead. We are so very proud to count Ralph, his business, and his family as customers, but he was so much more than that. We will have more to say later. For now, let us join the chorus of celebration for this man's life and example. God bless you Ralph, please say hello to Martha for us. For a wonderful and more thorough testament to Ralph, please see his obituary linked here. PH

Returning To Work And Avoiding Awkward Runs-in with The EEOC

From the Employment Law SuperLawyers at Martin, Disiere, Jefferson, & Wisdom LLP: May an employer ask employees now if they will need reasonable accommodations in the future when they are permitted to return to the workplace? Yes. Employers may ask employees with disabilities to request accommodations that they believe they may need when the workplace re-opens.  Employers may begin the "interactive process" - the discussion between the employer and employee focused on whether the impairment is a disability and the reasons that an accommodation is needed. While you may not want to invite RA requests, it probably would be a good idea to get out in front of this so that you can think through y

Why is Norman Suing The Governor?

Norman has taken to the pages . . . er bytes of TexasGOPVote to explain why he is challenging the Governor's Executive Orders. I am one of hundreds and soon to be thousands of plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Governor Greg Abbott. As most of you know, I have always supported Greg Abbott, long before he became Governor. I am also an opponent of lawsuit abuse. I don't like to be involved in a lawsuit, as a plaintiff or as a defendant. So it is natural that you would wonder why I am suing the Governor of Texas. The bottom line is that I believe that the government-imposed "lockdown" put in place by our city, county, and state officials is worse than the disease we are fighting against.​ Politic

All-Time Top 10 Masks

In light of the fact that everyone, at all times, will be wearing masks next week (UPDATE: Thanks to Governor Abbott's April 27th order, mask wearing will NOT be mandatory), this is the perfect time to rank the all-time great masks - this is a cross-genre list that will only be limited by the bounds of its author's knowledge of pop and geek culture: 10. Any Ninja Mask As anyone who surfed the web via netscape can attest, ninjas are super cool and fight all the time. That cool factor is largely due to their masks, which also have the added bonus of being compliant with Harris County's mask mandate. 9. Phantom of the Opera The original Masked Singer, the Phantom of the Opera has an iconic mas

Who Is That Masked Man?

I don't think this is what the Dread Pirate Roberts had in mind. Harris County has now joined Dallas County to require masks to worn by pretty much everyone all the time for the next 30 days. Here are the basics from the Houston Chronicle: The new rules, which require residents 10 and older to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home, will take effect Monday and last 30 days. Acceptable garments include a homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief. Medical masks or N-95 respirators are not recommended as they are most needed by first responders and health workers. Under the order, the county’s 4.7 million residents must cover their faces at all times except when exercising, eating

Governor Abbott Outlines Reopening of Texas

Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has issued three executive orders designed to start the process of reopening the state of Texas. Executive Order 16 starts the process with the extremely small step of allowing non-essential retail establishments to open and conduct pickup or delivery business starting next week April 24, 2020. Perhaps, more importantly, the order has mandated that all schools, public or private, will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. That was the noise you heard at 12:15 PM today as countless parents across Texas opened their doors and screamed at the sky. For businesses allowed to open, the following guidelines have been issued by the Texas Health and Human

10 Skills I've Developed To Fight The Pandemic

Incredible elbow dexterity. I have become "elbow-dextrous." I can open all sorts of doors using nothing more than the two elbows (and sometimes a foot) that God gave me. It's amazing. Expanded mental capacity. I now have a photographic memory of the 6 to 7 things I touch with my hands when entering a building. Remember, how Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes would do all those math computations in his head before judo chopping some dude in the throat? That's basically how my head thinks about the stuff I have touched now. Enhanced Fashion Senses. I now wear untucked Hawaiian shirts paired with sports jackets WAY MORE than I would have thought humanly possible before the pandemic. This may

A Different OSHA 10

Here is OSHA's 10 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus at work: Encourage workers to stay home if sick. Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes. Provide a place to wash hands or alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol. Limit worksite access to only essential workers, if possible. Establish flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), if feasible. Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, or other work tools and equipment. Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment. Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved cl

America, Welcome to Your Kobayashi Maru Test!

"A no-win situation is a possibility every commander may face. Has that never occurred to you?" Captain Kirk in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan America, God bless her, shut down the economy to slow the spread of COVID-19. Did it work? At this point, it appears the doomiest predictions and worst-case models will not come to pass. We seemed to have "flattened the curve," but that is not the same thing as beating or stopping the virus. We seemed to have entered a new phase in this fight. We now have to "reopen" America, but this part seems even more challenging than the shut-down. It is a lose-lose scenario. Reopen and regardless of how we do it, odds are that those virus counts that we

CDC Endorses HITLER('s mustache)!

Did my click bait work? Trying to get the hang of the mainstream media's ways to drive traffic to THE ROUND UP. This is totally NOT made up. Proving that there are no boundaries for overreach, the CDC has recommended various styles of men's facial hair to be compliant with the wearing of a tight fitting respirator. Here is the CDC's helpful chart (HT: AGC). Take a closer look at a few of the endorsed staches: Notice anything odd? When was last time you saw a man walking down the street styling the "toothbrush?" Was it 1939? Sometime that year, the "toothbrush" as the CDC refers to it, jumped the shark as acceptable facial hair. Note that they also endorse a style they call the "vill

Telemedicine Has Now Gone Viral

Most health plans offer some sort of telemedicine option. It varies by insurance carrier, but all of the major insurance carriers now offer it and most plans have chosen to provide it. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers MDLive. Aetna offers Teledoc. United Healthcare has Virtual Visits. Still other plans use Healthiest You. With coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine has gone viral (sorry for pun). If your plan offers it, now would be a good time to remind your plan members of that benefit. Odds are that many of them already know about it and use it, but a large percentage have not used it and would appreciate the reminder. Typically, you need to enroll in the app or website before your first

Why Don't I Have Any Coverage For This?

These are the words insurance agents hate the most. Insurance companies . . . well, they would never admit to LOVING these words and let's not accuse anyone of delighting in another's misfortune outside the realm of Twitter and politics. But, your insurance carrier is feeling relieved right now for not holding the bag for the TRILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC CATACLYSMIC we are experiencing. Just like a beloved canine companion WANTS to fetch the bone for his master. Your friendly neighborhood insurance agent WANTS to find coverage for his customer. Yes, I just compared myself to a dog and I am good with it. I like dogs. Finding coverage is what we are about. Indeed, it give us pleasure in an i

Governor Abbott Expands Essential Only Order to Entire State of Texas

This is no April Fool's Joke. Governor Greg Abbott has ordered only essential businesses to operate in Texas, something he had previously left to local authorities. For those of us in large cities, this is nothing new. We have been living under a similar lockdown for a week. But, for many people in rural areas, this will come as something new entirely. You can find the full text of the order here. Some folks are noting that the inclusion of religious services as essential is something new and perhaps is a signal that churches should resume large in-person worship services. We do not believe that is the intent at all. Governor Abbott specifically addressed worship services in his remark

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