Coronavirus (COVID-19), HR Management & Compliance

Santa’s Workshop Continues to Deal with COVID-19 Protocols

Everyone at Santa’s workshop is busily preparing for the Big Day. The COVID-19 shutdown earlier this year put them behind schedule, and meeting the workshop’s stringent pandemic protocols has been a challenge, but things look good now for meeting their Christmas Eve deadline.

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With production still in full swing, Santa decided to drop in on North Pole safety director Clark Griswold to review the facility’s COVID-19 safety program.

“Everything looks great, I must say,” said Griswold. “I met with the reindeer, and they are good to go. In fact, considering how they are positioned as they fly, they actually are pleased about wearing masks and wondered why they never thought of that before.”

“What about Rudolph?” Santa asked. “We might need him if the weather doesn’t cooperate.”

“No problem, sir.” Griswold responded. “We have a clear face shield for him.”

Workers Distance Thems-Elves

“Excellent. What’s new on the production floor?”

“We are on schedule, but it has been a little tense down there,” Griswold responded. “The social-distancing thing is hard on the elves because six feet is a lot of space to cover with those little legs. They also don’t like the fact that we banned singing carols while they work because of concerns about spreading the virus.”

“Well, no loss there since most of them have such scratchy little voices anyway. Except that one guy with the swivelly hips and the snarly lips—what’s his name?”

“You mean Elfis?” asked Griswold. “Yes, that’s the one,” said Santa. “Oh well, they may have a Blue Christmas with no carols, but at least we are keeping them safe.”

Santa then asked Griswold how their newest employee, Frosty the Snowman, is working out. “Pretty good, I guess,” ventured Griswold. “Although in the last couple of weeks, he has been complaining about body aches and a sore throat, and he says he lost his sense of smell. Of course, with that little button for a nose, I don’t know how he can smell anything anyway.”

“Don’t you think that might be a problem?” asked Santa. “Nope,” replied Griswold. “We take his temperature every morning, and he’s always nice and cool so I think we are OK.”

Santa nodded approvingly and added, “Wonderful. Is that everything?”

Unexpected Furlough

“Well, there is one more issue” said Griswold. “Mrs. Claus stopped by a while ago to say she is concerned about you. Given your age and weight, you are in the prime vulnerability category for the virus. Even though we have a totally contactless delivery process, she doesn’t want you going out this Christmas Eve.”

“Really? Then who is going to drive the sleigh and pass out all the toys?” asked Santa.

Griswold replied, “We offered the job to the Grinch, but he didn’t pass the physical because his heart is two sizes too small. Now, we think we may subcontract the work to the Easter Bunny. He seems to have the logistics and delivery system in place to get the job done, and as far as we know, rabbits can’t get COVID-19.”

“Oh dear,” worried Santa. “I never would have thought that I’ll be home for Christmas.”

Dennis J. Merley is an attorney with Felhaber Larson in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can reach him at