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Businesses with employees returning to the office face the risk of those workers being exposed to COVID-19, while at the same time exposing themselves to legal issues.

The major reason that offices have stayed closed or have allowed just some workers to return to their desk is that they want to protect people from getting sick. A lesson common, yet still popular reason that they've hesitated to bring everyone back is that intricate regulations on workplace safety can be mishandled, which could result in a lawsuit, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The concern over a possible lawsuit is higher for white collar companies than blue collar because they're not as used to facing workplace safety issues, one attorney tells The Wall Street Journal. He also said that about a quarter of the 600 companies he has advised on issues pertaining to COVID-19 have determined legal requirements are too significant to warrant reopening.

The thought of complying with all the regulations sounds dizzying considering companies have to adhere to new guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as whatever has been put in place by their state and local area.

To demonstrate the complexity of it all, The Wall Street Journal points to the guidance for office reopening put in place by New York State. According to the publication, the state's guidance is more than 100 bullet points long and is so detailed it touches on suggestions for what touch-free water fountains should be made available.

To read the story, which requires a paid subscription to The Wall Street Journal, click here.