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COVID-19: America's Path Forward: Returning to Work

KL Gates Hosted Event
Date: 28 April 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact life and business in the United States, state governments are working through the challenge of developing “reopening strategies.” Governors and state economic development agencies are balancing a wide array of interests, including financial, health, and civil rights. All are focused on ensuring the safety of their citizenry while at the same time establishing reasonable protocols to allow for businesses to open and people to fully return to work.

K&L Gates’ COVID-19 Task Force hosted senior officials from Washington, California, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, for a town hall discussion about critical issues they are addressing as they establish plans for their communities and citizenry to begin to return to work and engage outside their homes. In addition, some states are working collaboratively to coordinate reopening activities. Our participants discussed considerations related to such interstate coordination as well.


  • Lisa Brown, Director, Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Mike Brunelle, Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
  • Jason Elliott, Senior Counselor to California Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Christian Gaston, Labor and Workforce Policy Advisor to Oregon Governor Kate Brown

From K&L Gates:

  • Rosemary Alito, Partner and leader of the labor, employment and workplace safety practice
  • Limo Cherian, Partner in the health care practice
  • David Wochner, Partner and co-leader of the policy and regulatory practice (moderator)

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