COVID-19 is impacting businesses and their operations, and parties are looking for guidance in the event that one or the other party to a contract is, or claims to be, unable to fulfill its contractual obligations. Whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic excuses contract performance largely depends on the language of the contract and the facts that either support excusing performance or not. For example, following the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic, a Court in California excused prompt performance, but not complete performance, after carefully analyzing the contract and the facts incident to delayed performance. See Citrus Soap Co. v. Peet Bros. MFG. Co., 50 Ca. App. 246 (1920).
The coronavirus outbreak known as COVID-19 has been spreading around the world, including the United States. Employers must respond in rapid fashion and face a series of questions regarding the impact the virus will have on the workplace. Below are answers to various questions all companies must know.