SCG Legal COVID-19 Message
SCG Legal would like to remind our members that the network is here to provide legal support across the US and globally. If you have colleagues, clients, or family that are in another state or country, please reach out to our representative in that location for the latest developments and restrictions. Even during these trying times, client legal needs continue, and the law firms of the SCG Legal network are ready to assist during the COVID-19 crisis. Each member firm can direct clients to the appropriate legal specialist, whether transactional, litigation, health care, estate planning, government relations, and more. 

We encourage sharing information and ideas as we navigate the challenges law firms will be facing in the coming weeks. Please forward links to your firm alerts and updates daily, to Diane Case.

Thaddeus E. Morgan            Alina Gorokhovsky
Chair, SCG Legal                   CEO, SCG Legal


Member Directory                                        COVID-19 Member Alerts                                        COVID-19 Global Resource Centers                                        #SCGThrive

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Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Ryan Curtis
May 23, 2020

Department of Labor Announces New Safe Harbor for Electronic Communications to
Participants of Qualified Retirement Plans
The Department of Labor recently expanded the ability of qualified retirement plans to provide certain communications to participants and beneficiaries online or via email, in large part to reduce the cost to plans of participant communications and to facilitate communication with participants during the COVID-19 crisis. This change is set forth in final regulations adopted May 21, 2020. The long-anticipated new safe harbor rule allows plans that meet the safe harbor conditions to use electronic delivery as the default method to communicate with participants. Participants wanting to receive paper notices will need to opt-out of electronic delivery. 

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Amber McGraw Walsh
May 23, 2020

June 3 Deadline for Provider Relief Fund and HHS Guidance for Acquisitions
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on May 20 that eligible providers have until June 3, 2020, to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit their tax documents and financial loss estimates to the General Distribution Portal to be eligible to receive an additional payment from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund’s (Provider Relief Fund) $50 billion (the General Distribution). HHS also provided guidance clarifying how providers can access payments from the General Distribution for acquired entities and other entities that have been involved in recent transactions, as described further below.

OCR Warnes Providers and Media: Patient Privacy Remains Protected Despite Pandemic
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued various notifications of enforcement discretion related to compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its implementing regulations, discussed previously. However, OCR issued guidance on May 5, 2020, reminding covered healthcare providers that the HIPAA Privacy Rule remains in force during the COVID-19 public health crisis except as expressly relaxed under OCR’s prior guidance. Specifically, OCR’s most recent guidance addresses the disclosure of patient protected health information (PHI) to the media by allowing the media to film patients in facilities where PHI is accessible.

OSHA Issues New Enforcement Policies Regarding Workplace Inspections and Employer Recording Requirements for COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced two new enforcement policy revisions related to its COVID-19 workplace inspections of employers and employer’s recording requirements…

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Diane Flannery
May 22, 2020

Avoiding COVID-19 Personal Injury Litigation – Top 10 Plaintiffs’ Allegations
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have started filing personal injury cases on behalf of employees and customers, including wrongful death claims and class actions. A review of the cases filed to date reveals that the core allegation in all of the cases is that the defendant knew or should have known the dangers of COVID-19, but failed to act reasonably.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Scott E. Adams
May 21, 2020

Business Beware: Premise Liability in the Age of the COVID-19 Economic Restart
Join McGuireWoods’ real estate and products, environmental and mass tort litigation teams for a webinar to address the potential liability businesses face as “stay-at-home” and “shelter-in-place” orders expire and businesses start to reopen. They can expect the law governing COVID-19-related lawsuits to continue to evolve as the situation develops. Are you prepared? 
Thursday, May 28, 2020 | 2:00 pm EDT          Register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Harrison Marshall
May 21, 2020

Reopening Colleges and Universities: COVID-19 Funding, Legal Insights and Safety Protocols
Join McGuireWoods Consulting, McGuireWoods LLP, BioIQ and Thompson Industrial Services for a webinar on legal issues, federal funding, and protocols surrounding re-entry for higher education institutions.
Friday, May 29, 2020 | 1:00 pm EDT          Register

Canada, Ontario
WeirFoulds
Alexandra DiCenzo
May 21, 2020

Planning Ahead in a COVID-19 World: Short and Long Term Considerations for Returning
to an Office Workplace
For the past few months, businesses have been focused on navigating their operations and employees through the COVID-19 world, and the many government directives and regulations that have come with it. This has required most businesses to move from their physical work environments to online and virtual workplaces (if possible) in order to comply with government regulations and help stop the spread of the virus. While businesses that are considered “essential” were permitted to keep their physical workplaces open during this time, some employers still chose to close down these spaces (either partially or entirely) to focus on keeping their employees and customers safe.

Canada, Ontario
WeirFoulds
Alexandra DiCenzo
May 21, 2020

New Details Emerge About Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program –
But Questions Still Remain
On April 16, 2020 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to help landlords and tenants weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, program details were limited because the federal government was still in the process of negotiating the CECRA program with the provinces and territories, who would be backing the program as partners.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Cheryl L. Haas
May 21, 2020

Financial Services Regulators and SROs Continue to Address COVID-19 Impact
On May 13, 2020, the Staff of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets issued a no-action letter to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) stating that Staff would not recommend enforcement action against FINRA for issuing targeted, solely technical or ministerial COVID-19 regulatory relief or temporary guidance without complying with Sections 19(b)(1) and 19(g)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), and Exchange Act Rule 19b-4.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Patrick M. Birney
May 21, 2020

Financially Distressed Businesses: Revisiting the Business Judgement Rule and the
Entire Fairness Doctrine
Overnight, seemingly-healthy companies have seen their business models collapse, revenues evaporate, cash reserves dwindle, and valuations impaired. Some corporate boards, which in recent memory have focused almost exclusively on capital raising and unprecedented expansion, are confronting financial distress, many for the first time. While the “business judgment rule” and “entire fairness standard” are familiar concepts to most directors, it is important at this time to revisit both in the context of financial distress. This article will revisit the “business judgment rule” in the context of companies that are insolvent or operating in the zone of insolvency. It also will provide a short primer on the “entire fairness doctrine,” which demands that transactions that purport to transfer the value of an insolvent corporation to a controlling shareholder or related party must be inherently fair to the residual claimants, by both demonstrating fair dealing (i.e., process) and fair price (i.e., substance).

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Michael F. Maglio
May 21, 2020

PPP Update: Loan Forgiveness Application
On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application and related instructions (collectively, the Forgiveness Application). The Forgiveness Application provides some long-awaited clarity with regard to loan forgiveness eligibility and the application process, but still leaves unanswered questions that some borrowers will have as they prepare their applications.

Canada, Alberta
Field Law
Jenny Reddy
May 21, 2020

The ABTraceTogether App – Key Privacy Considerations
In a bid to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Alberta has become the first Canadian province to launch a contact tracing app to track community transmission of COVID-19.  Alberta released the app, ABTraceTogether, on May 1, 2020. The app uses Bluetooth technology to identify users who have been in physical proximity with COVID-19 infected users. Once potential exposure has been detected, the app alerts the user who can then choose to get tested. This method of contact tracing has been used in other jurisdictions to slow transmission of the virus; however, the app’s ability to track user’s contacts and movements within the community has raised concerns around privacy and data collection. 

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Melinda Bell
May 20, 2020

Returning to the Workplace: Moving Forward from COVID-19
Many businesses are in the midst of planning a return to the workplace for their employees. But with restrictions still in place, navigating this return is far more challenging than when everyone left the workplace.  As a CEO of a major organization has said: ‘It took us 24 hours to move everyone out of the workplace; it is likely to take us over six months to move everyone back in’.
Thursday, May 28, 2020 | 1:30 pm AEST          Register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Sabrina A. Beldner
May 20, 2020

You’ve Mastered Remote Working – Now What About Trade Secret Protection?
The pandemic has shifted the way most companies conduct business, from requiring remote work, to using new technology to meet daily operational needs, to furloughing and laying off employees and making cost reductions. With these business impacts, precautions should be taken and best practices established to protect valuable trade secrets and confidential information.
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 1:00 pm EDT          Register

New York Federal Reserve Releases Municipal Liquidity Facility Application and Form Documents
On May 18, 2020 the New York Federal Reserve released additional information regarding the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) program, including (i) a sample application to the MLF program and (ii) multiple form documents including a note purchase agreement, a note purchase commitment, a continuing disclosure undertaking, and Eligible Issuer certifications. The sample application and form documents are provided for informational purposes to assist an Eligible Issuer’s understanding of the process and requirements of the MLF program. This announcement follows the Federal Reserve’s release of a pricing index for the purchase of Eligible Notes by the MLF.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Diane Flannery
May 20, 2020

Campus Conundrum: Defeating COVID-19 Class Actions in Higher Education
In response to governmental recommendations, stay-at-home orders, and shelter-in-place orders, colleges and universities transitioned to distance learning to keep their students, staff, visitors, and communities safe and healthy.  Nonetheless, the plaintiffs’ bar has viewed this as an opportunity to pounce and even advertise to sue colleges and universities nationwide.  Indeed, plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed over 60 class action lawsuits against higher education institutions and many, many more are likely to come.

Canada, Alberta
Field Law
Steve Eichler
May 20, 2020

Employees are Afraid to Return to Work. Now What?
On May 13, 2020 we hosted a webinar about pandemic-related work refusals as Alberta and other governments enable businesses and other organizations to reopen and call employees back to work. The most frequently asked question was: What do I do with an employee who is afraid to return to work (or doesn’t want to) for health or family related reasons? Examples included immune-compromised workers or their family members and employees without available child care.

IRS Relaxes Section 125 Mid-Year Change Rules and Increases Health FSA Carryovers
In two recently released Notices, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) relaxes the irrevocability rule under Internal Revenue Code section 125 relating to cafeteria plans, increases carryover allowances for health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs), extends the period of time to “spend down” unused health FSA and dependent care FSA amounts, and expands previous guidance to provide that certain covered services will not affect high deductible health plan (HDHP) status… retroactive to January 1, 2020.

Michigan
Fraser Trebilcock
Paul V. McCord

May 19, 2020

SBA Opens Safe Harbor Certification for PPP Loans of Less than $2 Million
The SBA recently issued guidance extending an automatic safe harbor to borrowers receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million. These borrowers will be assumed to have performed the required certification concerning the necessity of their loan requests in good faith, according to guidance posted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Eric S. Schlichter

May 19, 2020

Evaluating IP Assets: Practical Considerations for Today’s Oil and Gas Companies
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused global industrial slowdowns and travel restrictions resulting in an unprecedented and rapid decline in the global demand for oil. Coupled with the failure of the OPEC+ producers and Russia to negotiate a production cut in February/March 2020, this rapid decline in demand resulted in an oil supply glut that sent prices spiraling downward. Ultimately, in April 2020, May futures for West Texas Intermediate crude — the U.S. standard oil price — turned negative for the first time in history.

Virginia
McGuireWoods

May 19, 2020

Privacy vs. Containment: Federal Privacy Legislation Meets COVID-19
As the federal, state, and local governments and industry grapple with how to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19, a group of senior Republican senators recently announced consumer privacy legislation designed to protect personal “covered data” collected from consumers relating to personal health, geolocation, and proximity. The proposed legislation is a response to contact tracing solutions aimed at tracking the virus and those who may have been exposed to it.

Federal Reserve Updates Municipal Liquidity Facility Term Sheet, Pricing Index, FAQs
On May 11, 2020, the Federal Reserve published an updated term sheet and frequently asked questions (FAQs) section for the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF). While minor changes were made with respect to the rating and prepayment provisions, the most notable updates included (i) the additional required steps for participation in the MLF and (ii) the release of the pricing information for the purchase of Eligible Notes by the MLF.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Stephanie A. Kennan

May 18, 2020

U.S. House Passes HEROS Act – 12 Provisions for Healthcare Providers
On May 15, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed, by a 208 to 199 vote, H.R. 6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act). House Democratic leadership introduced the HEROES Act as their “phase four” 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus and relief package. The HEROES Act would provide $3 trillion in tax cuts and spending to address the negative health and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including financial relief to state, local and tribal governments; extensions to enhanced unemployment benefits; debt collection relief; and direct cash payments to households.

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
James Lawrence
May 16, 2020

SBA Provides Much-Needed Safe-Harbor for PPP Loans Under $2 Million
The CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has provided nearly $670 billion in funding ­for businesses affected by the pandemic. However, after the first round of funding ran out, it was revealed that public companies received almost $1.3 billion in forgivable loans. In response, the SBA issued guidance requiring all borrowers to assess their economic need for a PPP loan in light of their “other sources of liquidity.” The guidance foreclosed access to PPP funding by public companies. But it also raised confusion, and even fear, among many small businesses who questioned their eligibility for the program because of the requirement that they certify the loan was “necessary” after reviewing other sources of liquidity.

Canada, Alberta
Field Law
Richard Stobbe
May 15, 2020

Returning to Campus During a Pandemic: Privacy Issues
This week, as this article went to press, several major Canadian and American universities announced plans to maintain classes online when the fall semester starts in September. Other universities and colleges are making plans to bring students back to campus physically. Currently, public health orders prohibit in-person classes in Alberta and many other parts of the country.

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
David M. Glaser
May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Update: New Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Relief and Guidance
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently issued Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33 which allow employers to provide various new types of relief to employees participating in Section 125 cafeteria plans (including flexible spending account arrangements) related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, clarify certain eligibility rules around health savings accounts, update the carry over limit for health flexible spending arrangements (“health FSAs”), and provide other clarifications relating to certain health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”).

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Michael F. Maglio
May 15, 2020

PPP Loans: Further Guidance on the “Necessity Certification”
All applicants for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) must certify that the current “economic uncertainty” makes the loan request “necessary to support the ongoing operations” of the company. The Small Business Administration (SBA) initially provided very little guidance on how to interpret this certification, except that it needed to be made in good faith. However, on April 23, 2020, the SBA, in consultation with the Treasury Department (Treasury), issued FAQ #31, which states that all PPP applicants must assess their economic need for a PPP loan, including taking into account “their current business activity and their ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support their ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business.” 

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Michele L. Maresca
May 15, 2020

Executive Order to Address Zoning Barriers to Re-opening Restaurants and Retail
Just as quickly as we wrote COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts on Land Use and Zoning, Connecticut Governor
Ned Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7MM (the Order) to provide municipalities and land users some
clarity regarding outdoor operations (dining and retail, specifically) under Phase I of the re-opening of business on May 20, 2020. As discussed below, the Order provides expedited review processes for zoning code amendments and permitting of outdoor activities, as well as some flexibility as to where and how outdoor activities may occur, to help promote the implementation of the Phase I Sector Rules

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
Stephen P. Younger
May 14, 2020

COVID-19’s Impact on Commercial Transactions and Disputes in the United States
The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is among the most devastating and disruptive forces in recent history. As a result of the emergency measures imposed by various governments, it has or will become impracticable or impossible for many parties to perform their contractual obligations – or at least some will claim as such. A common question in the wake of the pandemic will thus be whether a party should be excused for its non-performance.
Thursday, May 28, 2020         Email to register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Mark A. Kromkowski
May 14, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program: Legal and Compliance Issues Now and Later
Witnessing the scale and implementation speed of the Paycheck Protection Program, many in the compliance world hear echoes of the 2008 financial crisis fallout and experience nervous anticipation of what is to come. As lenders and borrowers move from the application and funding phase to the forgiveness phase, and finally to the post-forgiveness loan-servicing phase, the range of legal and compliance issues to consider will only increase.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. EDT          Register

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Stephen E. Goldman
May 14, 2020

Robinson+Cole Facilitates Launch of Statewide COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic in
Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic
Robinson+Cole and the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) will lead the Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic as part of the nationwide program organized by Lawyers for Good Government to assist small businesses in weathering the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisconsin
DeWitt LLP
Jordan Lamb
May 14, 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court Strikes Down Safer at Home Order
On May 13, 2020, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued a decision declaring Emergency Order #28 Safer at Home Order (“Safer at Home”) “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.” The Safer at Home Order was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee, Andrea Palm, and had extended Wisconsin’s Order through May 26, 2020. In its decision, the Court ordered that “there can be no criminal penalties for violations of [the] order.”

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Bruce B. Barth
May 14, 2020

IRS Issues Guidance on Cafeteria Plan Elections and Other Changes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued two notices affecting employee elections under Code Section 125 cafeteria plans. The COVID-19 pandemic and large-scale “stay at home” orders left many employers facing questions relating to elections employees made with respect to their health and dependent care benefits long before the start of the pandemic. The two notices, Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33 permit, but do not require, employers to make certain changes to their Section 125 cafeteria plan documents, retroactive to as early as January 1, 2020.

Maryland Governor Hogan Announces Start of Phase One Reopening
Today, Governor Larry Hogan announced the beginning of Phase One of Maryland’s reopening.  Phase One will commence on Friday, May 15th at 5:00 pm.  Governor Hogan noted that local jurisdictions may exercise discretion to enable Phase One businesses to reopen or not.  Special attention should be paid to directives from local jurisdictions from the Baltimore/Washington Corridor, several of whom have already indicated they may impose requirements or limit reopening in a manner different than just announced by the Governor.  Entities that can reopen must continue social distancing and take enhanced safety precautions, including requiring masks indoors. 

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Matthew D. Fender
May 14, 2020

Policyholders Must Give Timely Notice to Preserve COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims
It is approaching two months since state and local governments began to issue orders requiring businesses deemed non-essential to close. As noted in McGuireWoods’ prior alerts, commercial property policies may afford business interruption coverage for lost profits and unavoided expenses incurred due to an order from a civil authority that bars access to a business property. Some policies also contain contingent business interruption coverage that provides similar coverage to the policy holder if its direct or indirect customers or suppliers are closed by order of the civil authority.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Michele L. Maresca
May 14, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts on Land Use and Zoning
As we are all too aware, on March 10, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont issued declarations of public health and civil preparedness emergencies, proclaiming a state of emergency throughout the State of Connecticut as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On March 12, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 7 that, among other things, prohibited gatherings of 250 people or more for social and recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, leisure, or sporting events, and similar activities. This Order was replaced by Executive Order No. 7N, which limits social and recreational gatherings to no more than five people.

$2 Million PPP Safe Harbor Announced by SBA
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has just published additional guidance in the form of FAQ # 46 which provides for a safe harbor for eligibility for those applicants whose Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is below $2 million. Under the safe harbor, an applicant’s loan request will be deemed to have been made in “good-faith” for purposes of making the certification that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” The safe harbor allows applicants with loans under $2 million to have outside liquidity and still be eligible for the PPP loan, but does not necessarily guarantee forgiveness for these applicants.

COVID-19: New Regulatory Flexibilities for Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers
On April 29, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its guidance regarding several emergency waivers related to Medicare and Medicaid policy and regulatory revisions, which were originally issued on March 30, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Department of Health and Human Services and CMS very likely will continue to announce supplemental guidance on the blanket waivers, so be sure to visit the McGuireWoods COVID-19: Impact and Insight page for the latest updates.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Jaron P. Blanford
May 13, 2020

Businesses: Submit Your Reopen Proposal!
Governor Beshear has created a phased approach to reopen Kentucky’s economy called “Healthy at Work.”  As soon as the Governor determines that Kentucky has met certain public health benchmarks, he will begin authorizing certain qualified businesses to reopen. 

Kentucky
McBrayer
Jaron P. Blanford
May 13, 2020

Updated: EEOC Releases Guidance on ADA Issues and COVID-19 for Employers
On April 17, 2020, the EEOC published updated guidance for employers on how to comply with ADA and other anti-discrimination laws and regulations in the face of COVID-19.  This information is updated regularly, with the current information.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Cynthia L. Effinger
May 13, 2020

Employee Temperature Checks and Confidentiality: Separating Fact from Fiction
The COVID-19 pandemic has sent employers scrambling for answers to questions regarding health, safety, and confidentiality in the workplace they may have never envisioned dealing with. Recently there have been questions concerning the regulatory requirements that an employer encounters when the employer performs temperature checks for employees to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus among its employees and possible customers.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Jaron P. Blandford
May 13, 2020

Phased Reopening Guidelines: How to Stay Safe and Compliant
Over the weekend, the Governor’s office revised certain portions of Kentucky’s Healthy-at-Work phased reopening minimum guidelines for all businesses,  outlining the affirmative duties of both employers and employees upon returning to work on-site. All businesses – even those that have remained open – will have to adhere to these fourteen requirements in order to remain open: 

What to Do With Employees at High Risk for Serious COVID-19 Illness: The ADA and
Return to Work
In many states’ reopening guidance, employers are directed to accommodate employees who are at high risk of being infected by the novel coronavirus or developing serious illness from COVID-19. How should employers accommodate such high-risk individuals? What if an employee in a high-risk population does not want to be accommodated? 

Beware the Whistleblower: Avoiding Fraud Liability Under the PPP
In the midst of a national and global economic crisis, the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression, the United States government enacted an emergency lending program to stabilize the economy. In order to qualify for this loan on extremely favorable terms, borrowers certified that their financial condition made them eligible. Sound familiar? 

COVID-19: IRS Aids State and Local Governments with Tax-Exempt Tender Bonds
and Commercial Paper 
State and local governments frequently finance capital projects such as airports and utility systems by issuing tax-exempt qualified tender bonds (also commonly called variable rate demand obligations or “lower-floaters”) and commercial paper. These obligations give the issuer the benefits of long-term financing with short-term interest rates.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Staci E. Rosche
May 12, 2020

CARES Act PPP Loan Enforcement Targets Five Companies; Safe Harbor Date Approaches
On May 8, 2020, the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis wrote letters to five companies calling on them to return Paycheck Protection Program loans or produce supporting documentation by May 15. The press release announcing the action included the names of the companies and characterized them as “large” and not the intended beneficiaries of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Hungary
Szecskay
Hédi Bozsonyik 
May 11, 2020

Quick Guide on How to Restart Office Work in Light of the Threat of the Coronavirus
This is a brief summary of the most important issues employers should consider before deciding on the restart of the office work, taking the current pandemic into account.  When deciding on getting back to office work, a gradual and proportionate approach is highly recommended, and employers should be prepared for a possible second wave of the pandemic as much as possible.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Philip Maw
May 11, 2020

Considerations for Getting Your Business Up and Running for Alert Level 2
COVID-19 Alert Levels are set to drop to Alert Level 2 in the coming days. NZ businesses will be able to recommence trading – in some form or another. This document highlights some important considerations for businesses as they gear up to open their doors to staff and consumers alike. Wynn Williams is a leading NZ law firm with specialist skill in corporate advisory.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Sabrina A. Beldner
May 11, 2020

California Imposes Rebuttable Presumption for Workers’ Compensation for
Employees with COVID-19
On May 6, 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-62-20 (EO N-62-20), which creates a rebuttable presumption, for purposes of receiving workers’ compensation benefits, that employees who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 contracted the virus while at work. With this executive order, California becomes the latest state to expand workers’ compensation benefits to employees during the pandemic.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Amber McGraw Walsh
May 11, 2020

State Governors’ “Stay-at-Home” and Prohibition on Elective Procedures Orders
Across the U.S., state governors have issued numerous orders in their efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with the most important falling into two categories: “stay-at-home” (or “shelter-in-place”) directives; and orders prohibiting elective procedures.  On April 19, CMS issued recommendations to reopen healthcare systems for the provision of elective procedures and treatment to non-COVID-19 patients. The updated guidance is part of Phase 1 of the Trump administration’s guidelines for reopening America, a three-phased approach to reopening businesses and travel.

Powering Up: Business Reopening Strategies and Considerations
Join Parsons Behle & Latimer with Idaho, Montana and Utah business leaders for phase two of Powering Up: Business Reopening Strategies and Considerations.  Presenters will cover a diverse range of reopening topics including employer issues including employee health and safety to federal mandates and compliance as well as financial issues including PPP loan forgiveness. Click here to see the webcast schedule.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman 
May 11, 2020

Contracting COVID-19 Through Work is Now Presumed Under California Workers Compensation
On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which provides that any COVID-19 related illness that an employee contracts between March 19, 2020 and July 5, 2020 shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment for workers’ compensation purposes.  

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman
May 11, 2020

Employers Cannot Exclude At-Risk Employees. Says EEOC in New Return-to-Work Guidance
The EEOC recently answered the question whether employers can bar from the workplace employees who, according to the CDC, are at a “higher risk for severe illness” if they get COVID-19.  In the words of the EEOC in its press release: “It is important that employers understand that the ADA does not allow them to act against employees solely because the employee has a CDC-listed underlying medical condition.”

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Diane Flannery
May 11, 2020

Business Beware: Premise Liability in the Age of the COVID-19 Economic Restart
As the initial round of state and local “stay-at-home” and “shelter-in-place” orders expires, and businesses start to reopen, business owners should be aware of the potential liability they face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This potential liability is a major concern for business owners, as evidenced by a proposal by certain members of Congress that, as a part of a new stimulus plan, businesses that reopen should be granted immunity for COVID-19-related claims. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, so too will the law governing COVID-19-related lawsuits. It is likely that a determination of liability will turn largely on the individual facts and circumstances of each case.

Maltese Citizenship: Potential Applicants
Maltese Citizenship can be acquired by birth, descent, marriage, or residence depending on a number of factors and conditions.  The Independence Constitution in 1964 established who was automatically entitled to Maltese citizenship while the Maltese Citizenship Act (Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta) further complemented these provisions. The Malta Citizenship Act has recently also been amended by means of Act XV of 2020.

Consumer Rights: Air Passengers Entitlements Under COVID-19
One of the measures that the Maltese Government took when the coronavirus pandemic hit Malta and the first cases were registered, was to stop commercial flights in order to limit the importation of the virus. As a result, all prospective travellers had their flights cancelled and all the airlines were faced with a difficult situation – on the one hand respecting EU laws on consumer rights which, include the right of the passenger to request a cash refund or a voucher, and on the other hand trying to remain financially afloat considering the huge losses envisaged.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
Steve Joiner
May 8, 2020

Notice 2020-32 (CARES Act)
The Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) was established by the CARES Act (the “Act”). Under the PPP, a recipient of a covered loan may use the proceeds to pay: (i) payroll costs, (ii) certain employee benefits relating to healthcare, (iii) interest on mortgage obligations, (iv) rent, (v) utilities, and (vi) interest on any other existing debt obligations. Subject to certain parameters and limitations, recipients can, under Section 1106 of the Act have covered loans forgiven in an amount equal to the sum of payments made for the following expenses during the 8-week “covered period” beginning on the loan’s origination date: (i) payroll costs, (ii) any payment of interest on any covered mortgage obligation; (iii) any payment on any covered rent obligation and (iv) any covered utility payment.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Anna M. Timmerman
May 8, 2020

CMS Continues to Increase Flexibility in Quality Reporting Requirements
In response to the extraordinary circumstances of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced multiple temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to provide temporary relief from certain requirements. CMS’ goal was to allow providers to focus on providing care to patients affected by COVID-19. On April 30, 2020, CMS issued updated temporary regulatory waivers and another round of regulatory changes in a new interim final rule with comment period (IFC).

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Jim Koutsokostas
May 8, 2020

JobKeeper and Tax: Information to Help Your Business
The JobKeeper Payment is one of the measures released by the Government to support businesses and their employees through the current economic uncertainty.  Over the last month we have seen further developments in JobKeeper, as the scheme is adapted to meet requirements. Hall & Wilcox will be running a webinar to help clients navigate the changes and new processes.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 | 2 p.m. AEST          Register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Amber McGraw Walsh
May 8, 2020

HHS Extends Attestation Deadline and Issues Further Guidance for Provider Relief Fund
After issuing additional guidance regarding the Provider Relief Fund on May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on May 7 that providers would be given 15 additional days (through at least May 24, 2020, for providers who received funds on April 10, 2020) to attest to receipt of such funds.

SEC Urges Municipal Issuers to Voluntarily Expand Disclosures
For many years, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advocated for increased transparency for municipal securities investors. Given the absence of a statutory scheme for municipal securities reporting, the SEC sought to protect investors through the regulation of broker-dealers, municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors; SEC interpretive guidance and industry guidelines; and enforcement of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Disclosure practices in municipal securities offerings, too, have largely developed in this way, with the SEC consistently advocating for greater and timelier disclosures of issuer and conduit borrower financial and operating information in the primary offering and continuing disclosure contexts.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Julie K. Letwat
May 8, 2020

CMS Updates Guidance on Medicare Flexibility Measures for Long-Term Care Facilities
In response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 30, 2020, multiple temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to provide long-term care facilities with short-term relief from certain Medicare requirements. CMS’ goal is to allow providers to focus on providing care to patients affected by COVID-19. On April 30, 2020, CMS issued updated temporary regulatory waivers and another round of regulatory changes in a new interim final rule with comment period (IFC).

Commerce Department Tightens Requirements for Exports to China, Russia, Venezuela and other Countries of Concern
On April 28, 2020, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published two final rules and one proposed rule that aim to prevent efforts by entities in China, Russia, Venezuela, and other countries listed in Country Group D:1 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) from acquiring U.S. products and technology that could be used for military applications.  Specifically, BIS has expanded the military end use/end user controls in Part 744 of the EAR (final rule available here), removed License Exception Civil End Users (CIV) (final rule available here), and made proposed changes to License Exception Additional Permissive Reexports (APR) (proposed rule available here).  These changes—particularly those to Part 744, which imposes additional license requirements on certain ECCNs destined for “military end uses” and/or “military end users” in China, Russia, and Venezuela—are  important for companies selling certain controlled items to these countries as they create additional due diligence expectations for exporters.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Stephen M. Buhr
May 7, 2020

New Updates: CMS Provides Flexibility for Medicare Advantage, Part D Plans Amid COVID-19
In response to the extraordinary circumstances of the novel coronavirus pandemic, on March 30, 2020, CMS announced multiple temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to provide temporary relief from many paperwork, reporting and audit requirements so providers can focus on providing care to patients affected by COVID-19. CMS announced that these temporary changes and regulations will apply, effective immediately, across the entire U.S. healthcare system for the duration of the emergency declaration.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
John Durrant
May 7, 2020

Will COVID-19 Cause Securities Litigation?
As of May 5, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has accompanied a precipitous descent in the domestic securities markets, followed by a surprisingly sharp rebound. Such volatility may well give rise to several different types of potential liability against companies and their officers and directors.

SEC Offers an Elixer for Small Businesses Feeling the Financial Effects of COVID-19
In response to the ill effects the coronavirus pandemic is having on business, the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 4, 2020 adopted a temporary final rule to make it easier for existing businesses to raise up to $250,000 through Regulation Crowdfunding.

Two New Los Angeles Ordinances Create New Worker Recall and Retention Protections… For Select Businesses
On May 4, 2020, Mayor Garcetti signed two new city ordinances creating recall and retention protections for non-supervisory workers in certain industries deemed severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and “Safer at Home” declarations by Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti. The COVID-19 Right of Recall Ordinance and COVID-19 Worker Retention Ordinance become effective June 14, 2020, but cover workers laid off on or after March 4, 2020.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Timothy J. Fry
May 6, 2020

HHS Targets $22 Billion for hard-Hit COVID-19 Hospitals and Rural Providers
On May 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of $22 billion of the $100 billion public health and social services emergency fund (Provider Relief Fund) appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Provider Relief Fund was created to reimburse providers for healthcare-related expenses and lost revenue attributable to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Julie K. Letwat
May 6, 2020

CMS Issues Updated Guidance on Medicare Flexibility Measures for Laboratories
In response to the extraordinary circumstances of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced multiple temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to provide temporary relief from certain requirements. CMS’ goal was to allow providers to focus on providing care to patients affected by COVID-19. On April 30, 2020, CMS issued updated temporary regulatory waivers and another round of regulatory changes in a new interim final rule with comment period (IFC).

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
Henry P. Bubel
May 6, 2020

Cross-Border Tax-Related COVID-19 Relief
On April 21, 2020, the IRS released a much-awaited package of guidance in the cross-border tax space that provides relief to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance relates to (1) day-counting for both tax residency purposes and certain treaty positions, (2) the ability of taxpayers to claim the foreign-earned income exclusion, and (3) carrying on a U.S. trade or business. The summary below provides an overview of this guidance, which has been issued in a combination of IRS Revenue Procedures and a “Q&A” available on the IRS website.

Governor Ducey’s “Good Samaritan” Order and Its Impact on Nursing Home and Assisted
Living Liability
Join us as we discuss Governor Ducey’s “Good Samaritan” order and its impact on nursing home and assisted living liability.
          – Scope and limitations
          – Rationale for implementation
          – Other states’ approaches
          – Best practices for keeping residents and staff safe and to protect against liability
Friday, May 15, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. PT          Register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Rakesh Gopalan
May 6, 2020

SEC Compliance and Disclosure Update
The COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the economy, and public reporting companies are no exception. As public reporting companies struggle with macro-economic shocks and work to keep their employees, customers and other stakeholders healthy, they must not neglect recent guidance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, their disclosure obligations and other reporting requirements.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 12:30 p.m. EDT         Register

Limitations to Assisted Living and Nursing Home Liability in the Wake of COVID-19 and Best Practices to Avoid and Defend Against Claims
COVID-19 poses numerous challenges when it comes to protecting vulnerable nursing home and assisted living populations. Regulations are continually changing. Access to testing and PPE is limited, even for the most diligent and well-connected healthcare professionals. Not to mention, elderly populations are already at a heightened risk of catching and having serious complications associated with COVID-19.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Brian Walsh
May 6, 2020

Coronavirus Impact on Grantees
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has greatly impacted federal grant recipients performing for government agencies nationwide and around the world. It has also created new opportunities for grantees to assist in the battle against the coronavirus.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 12:00 p.m.          Register

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Alison Choy Flannigan

May 6, 2020

COVIDSafe App: Exposure Draft of Privacy Legislation Released
The Federal Government launched the COVIDSafe app in a bid to manage and control the spread of COVID-19 as state and territory governments begin to ease lockdown restrictions. The main purpose of the app is to assist with contact tracing.  As with other COVID-19 initiatives, the issue is balancing protecting the vulnerable of our community and the privacy rights of individuals.

What Utah Employers Need to Know About Governor Herbert’s Order Moving the COVID-19 Public Health Risk Status from Red to Orange
On April 29, 2020, the Governor of Utah issued an order moving the state COVID-19 public health risk status from “Red” (high risk) to “Orange” (moderate risk). That same day, the Utah Department of Health simultaneously released version 4 of its Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation (Phased Guidelines). The Governor’s Order is effective from 12:01a.m., Friday, May 1, 2020, through 11:59 p.m., Friday, May 15, 2020, “unless otherwise lawfully modified, amended, rescinded or superseded.

Patent Infringement for the Public Good
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government may find it necessary to direct companies to use a patented technology owned by others in order to serve the public good. The essence behind patent rights is to exclude others from making, using, or selling a patented invention, except by authorization of the patent holder in negotiated license agreements to ensure compensation for the efforts and costs invested in developing the patented invention. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1498(a), however, the U.S. government can forcibly license a patented invention during times of need, in particular when there is a threat to public safety. In addition, § 1498 provides immunity to a private company from infringement claims where that company is working on behalf, expressly or implicitly, of the U.S. government.

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
David M. Glaser
May 5, 2020

COVID-19 Update: IRS and DOL Extend COBRA and Other Benefit Plan Deadlines During the Pandemic Outbreak Period
On April 28, 2020, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of the Treasury (the “Agencies”) signed a joint notification of relief, which was published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2020 (the “Notice”). The Notice provides extension of deadlines with respect to certain medical plan enrollments, election periods under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”), COBRA premium payments, COBRA qualifying event notification periods, and certain plan claims, appeals and review periods. The Notice is anticipated to have a significant impact on the administration of health plans. The dramatically liberalized deadlines will provide much appreciated flexibility for participants, but could result in an increase in adverse selection and resulting increase in costs, as well as administrative issues for plan administrators.

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
May 5, 2020

Guidance for the Safe Reopening of Business and Risk Management in a COVID-19 World
Learn ways to manage risk and minimize the risk of claims now that Arizona’s stay-at-home order is beginning to phase out. As customers return to your business, there are ample possibilities for contract and tort disputes that could be highly disruptive to a newly-reopened business.
Thursday, May 14, 2020 | 1:00 p.m.          Register

District of Columbia
Wiley
May 5, 2020

Sections 232 and 301 Investigations, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)
In this webinar, attorneys from our International Trade group will discuss certain provisions of the trade laws that have received increased attention during the current Administration, including Section 232, Section 301, and IEEPA, as well as the effects on tariffs due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 12:00 p.m.          Register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
May 5, 2020

Remote Mediations: Settling Commercial Disputes in the Age of Social Distancing
As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been forced to alter the ways in which we do business. Join our panel of experts as they discuss mediation in the time of social distancing.  Our panelists will discuss the use of social media platforms when access to the courts has been limited, including the different platforms available and the pros and cons of each. We also will discuss a number of related ethics issues. 
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 12:00 p.m.          Register

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
May 5, 2020

Distressed Company Investing in the COVID-19 Environment
Investing in distressed entities or their debt or equity can represent attractive opportunities, but not without certain unique challenges, particularly in the post-COVID-19 era. Often these transactions occur out of court as that can be less costly and time consuming than traditional bankruptcy or other in-court processes. Our panel will review various ways to acquire a distressed company and the unique issues to consider in such transactions.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 1:00 p.m.          Register

Paycheck Protection Loan Amnesty Program Ends Soon – May 7 – Should You Return Your Loan?
The CARES Act created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lending program under Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act with a direct incentive (forgiveness) for participating businesses to keep their workers on their payroll. Businesses rushed to submit loan applications and be first in line, with many applications submitted to lenders before the SBA first began issuing guidance on the PPP program. That rush resulted in over 1.6 million loans being made with some of those loans being made to several well-known public companies including Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Amber McGraw Walsh
May 4, 2020

State Governors’ “Stay-at-Home” and Prohibition on Elective Procedures Orders 
Across the U.S., state governors have issued numerous orders in their efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with the most important falling into two categories: “stay-at-home” (or “shelter-in-place”) directives; and orders prohibiting elective procedures.

Patient Advocate Designations During COVID-19 
It’s a good time to look at your Patient Advocate Designation and be sure its terms are consistent with your current wishes. If not, it’s easy to update the document. However, if updating right now is not possible, you can instruct your patient advocate, orally, with your current instructions.

Client Alert: FSAs. HRAs, and HSAs Can Reimburse Over-the-Counter Medicines
One of the many changes brought forth under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) includes allowing pre-tax reimbursement of over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications effective January 1, 2020.  Specifically, the CARES Act amended Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) sections 223(d) and 106(f) to remove the restriction that reimbursable medications are limited to prescribed drugs and insulin. Additionally, the CARES Act provides that expenses incurred for menstrual care products (as defined in Code section 223(d)(2)(D)) shall be treated as incurred for medical care. Affected reimbursement accounts include health flexible spending accounts (“health FSAs”), health savings accounts (“HSAs”), and health reimbursement accounts (“HRAs”).

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Maria P. Rasmussen
May 4, 2020

COVID-19 and Employee Benefits #3: Considerations for Compensation Committees
Even as senior management rapidly shifts priorities in the face of layoffs, volatile stock prices and sharp declines in cash flow, compensation committees must come to terms with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on executive compensation. All of this occurs in the midst of annual compensation reviews and approval cycles, when companies determine annual and long-term incentive plan performance targets and prepare proxy disclosures. The COVID-19 pandemic creates unprecedented challenges in how to proceed with 2019 and 2020 compensation planning, given the uncertain depth and length of the current economic and business disruption. Discussed below are some items for compensation committees to consider.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Patrick W. Begos
May 1, 2020

COVID-19: EBSA Notice and Final Rule Regarding Extension of Certain Timeframes for
Employee Benefits Plans
On April 28, 2020, the Employee Benefits Security Administration issued Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01: Guidance and Relief for Employee Benefit Plans Due to the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Outbreak (EBSA Notice). On the same day, EBSA and the Internal Revenue Service issued a Final Rule regarding Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak (Final Rule). The Final Rule has been submitted for publication in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Ryan Curtis
April 30, 2020

DOL and IRS Issue New Coronavirus-Related Guidance and Relief for Employee Benefit Plans
The Department of Labor and IRS issued new guidance and relief for employee benefit plans on April 29, 2020, related to issues arising due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance came in the form of a joint notice by the two agencies related to extending certain timeframes and deadlines for employee benefits plans and their participants and beneficiaries, and DOL Notice 2020-21 providing additional guidance and relief for employee benefit plans. The DOL also issued Frequently Asked Question guidance for participants and beneficiaries.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
James F. Neale
April 30, 2020

Executive Order Requires Continued Operation of Meat and Poultry Industries
On April 28, 2020, President Trump invoked powers under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.), finding that COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the food supply chain with regard to the meat and poultry industry. President Trump specifically determined that the beef, pork and poultry industries manufacture critical materials and need to remain operational during the COVID-19 emergency. In an executive order, the president vested authority with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to take any appropriate action under his authority to ensure that the meat and poultry industries remain operational.

CMS Issues Explanatory Guidance on Stark Law Blanket Waivers During COVID-19 Pandemic
On April 21, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance on the scope and application of the blanket waivers to the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law) issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on March 30, 2020, for use during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. As discussed in an April 3, 2020, McGuireWoods client alert, the blanket waivers temporarily protect those financial relationships and referrals (and the claims submitted as a result thereof) specifically enumerated by HHS as pertaining to at least one outlined COVID-19 purpose. These blanket waivers were given a retroactive effective date of March 1, 2020, and thus protect those referrals and financial relationships from that date until the public health emergency ends.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Amber McGraw Walsh
April 29, 2020

HHS Provides Additional Guidance on COVID-19 Uninsured Program and Opens Portal
On April 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provided additional guidance for healthcare providers seeking to participate in the HRSA COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing and Treatment of the Uninsured Program (HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program). It also opened the COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Melissa O. Martinez
April 29, 2020

Uptick in Payroll Protection Program Litigation Continues as Congress Increases Funding
After the initial $349 billion in the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was exhausted in only 12 days, lawmakers enacted the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (also known as “Phase 3.5”) to inject an additional $310 billion funds into the program. The Small Business Association (SBA) began accepting new applications again on a first-come-first-serve basis beginning April 27, 2020. Many industry analysts expect this new round of funding to disburse just as quickly, leaving many small businesses still without aid.

Reopening the Workplace: Navigating the Legal and Practical Challenges for Employers
As state and local governments contemplate reopening businesses, employers should consider and prepare for the risks and obligations associated with reopening the workplace. The following provides an overview of the most common issues employers will face when employees return to work.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Stephanie A. Kennan
April 29, 2020

CARES Act Refines Medicaid Changes From the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The CARES Act, which provides more than $2 trillion in stimulus benefit for the economy, includes specific provisions to support the healthcare industry, including revisions to Medicaid support. These include clarifications and revisions to Medicaid enhancements made by the earlier Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to support state Medicaid programs in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Julie K. Letwat
April 29, 2020

SAMHSA Guidance on Substance Abuse and Outpatient Treatment Centers During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have profound impacts on people with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other drug use disorders. Generally, opioid agonist therapies such as methadone and buprenorphine require patients to gather in large groups and attend frequent in-person visits with prescribers. Public health interventions designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 can severely impact the ability of patients with OUD to access opioid agonist therapy and to use drugs safely.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Matthew J. Weinstein
April 28, 2020

Virginia General Assembly Permits Local Governments to Meet Electronically
The Virginia General Assembly recently authorized public bodies — including local boards and commissions — to meet electronically during the state of emergency declared by Gov. Ralph Northam in response to COVID-19. This clarifies and expands the previous authority for boards, authorities, planning commissions and other public bodies to meet and take action even when they cannot otherwise meet in person due to social distancing requirements.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Cheryl L. Haas
April 28, 2020

Update No. 6: Financial Regulators, SROs Continue Providing COVID-19 Related Relief
As reported in prior McGuireWoods alerts (see April 21April 15April 6March 26 and March 17 updates), financial services regulators have been issuing guidance and relief to assist the industry as financial services firms and public companies continue to deal with the impact COVID-19 is having on day-to-day business operations.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Megan S. Haines
April 28, 2020

Additional EPA Guidance and Developments During the COVID-19 Era
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published various guidance documents after it issued its March 26, 2020, policy memorandum announcing that it may ease environmental obligations and forgo enforcement in certain situations during the COVID-19 national emergency (the Enforcement Discretion Policy).

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Holly Buckley
April 28, 2020

CMS Suspends Advance Payments and Re-evaluates Accelerated Payments
On April 26, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it was immediately suspending its advance payment program to Part B suppliers, and re-evaluating the amounts that will be paid to providers under the accelerated payment program, including hospitals. CMS’ announcement comes in light of the provider relief fund created by the $100 billion appropriated to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and the additional $75 billion in funding in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Fay Calderone
April 28, 2020

Flexible Work as the New Normal
Making flexible work ‘the new normal’ is important now more than ever. In our recent webinar with the Diversity Council Australia and Page Group, Employment Partner Fay Calderone discussed how embracing flexible working means employers not only reap the benefits of business continuity during times of crisis but create the foundation of a more engaged and inclusive future workforce.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman
April 28, 2020

California Issues Model Notice of Food Sector Worker Paid Sick Leave That Eligible Employers Must Post
On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the ”Order”), which requires “hiring entities” with at least 500 employees in the United States to provide “food sector workers” who are unable to work for COVID-19-related reasons with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave.  We previously reported on the Order, which is one of several recent California laws providing paid sick leave to workers who are not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross
April 28, 2020

PPE Exports: Ready to Go?
In CSMS 42506108 issued on April 27, 2020, CBP updated its Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Protective Equipment exports. In it, CBP makes clear the Document Imaging System (DIS) sends a confirmation of receipt, as does AES. If the shipment is held for any reason and/or further action is needed, notice of that is most likely going to come through the carrier. In short, absent negative information, the export is ready to go.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross
April 28, 2020

CDC Updates List of COVID-19 Symptoms
The CDC has expanded the list of symptoms which may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the COVID-19 virus and may cause mild symptoms to severe illness. As companies plan their eventual return to work, or plan to terminate or decrease telecommuting (pending when their local jurisdictions’ shelter-in-place orders change or cease), they will want to consider this most recent information from the CDC to determine and account for the safety and well-being of their employees.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Todd A. Bromberg
April 28, 2020

Clarification in the Time of COVID-19: Updates on the CARES Act and FFCRA
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) were quickly signed into law in late March to help abate the massive economic disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since then, federal agencies have issued clarifications on these sweeping emergency stimulus packages that will assist businesses in making difficult decisions about their workforce as the nation comes to a standstill. This webinar will cover the clarifications issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for businesses with fewer than 50 employees that may qualify for an exemption from the FFCRA leave requirements.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 1:00 p.m.          Register          Meeting Materials

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Courtney Beller
April 28, 2020

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Statutes of Limitations for Legal Claims 
COVID-19 has caused upheaval in virtually every aspect of American life – and the legal system is not immune to this pandemic. In an effort to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak, a number of states and individual courts have recently issued orders suspending the statute of limitations for filing legal actions. Understanding the current state of play in each jurisdiction where you may need to file legal claims is critical to protecting your rights.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
April 28, 2020

SEC Compliance and Disclosure Update
The COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the economy, and public reporting companies are no exception. As public reporting companies struggle with macro-economic shocks and work to keep their employees, customers and other stakeholders healthy, they must not neglect recent guidance from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, their disclosure obligations and other reporting requirements.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 12:30 p.m. EDT          Register

Malta
IURIS
Simon Galea Testaferrata
April 28, 2020

Directive 18 Moratoria on Credit Facilities in Exceptional Circumstances – Central Bank of Malta
Faced with the exceptional circumstances the commercial and social sectors are being challenged with as a result of COVID 19 and the now household name Corona Virus, in the middle of April, the Central Bank of Malta intervened on local banks and issued a Directive aimed at giving breathing space to Maltese commercial entities and families alike from their credit facilities obligations.

Wisconsin
DeWitt
Jordan K. Lamb
April 27, 2020

Governor Issues Three-Phase “Badger Bounce Back” Plan for Opening Wisconsin
On April 20, 2020, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #31, the Badger Bounce Back plan, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers. Order #31 describes a three-phase plan for opening society. Nothing in Order #31 supersedes, alters or modifies Safer at Home Emergency Order #12 or Safer at Home Emergency Order #28, which are still in full force and effect. Rather, Order #31 is a guideline for reopening the state once measurable progress is made on specific criteria.

Wisconsin
DeWitt
Raluca Vais-Ottosen
April 27, 2020

Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Immigration to the U.S
On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the U.S. of certain categories of immigrants.  The order is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high level of unemployment caused by the social distancing mitigation strategies implemented throughout the country.  The executive order takes effect on April 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET and suspends entry into the U.S. of individuals who are outside of the U.S. as of the effective date and who:
          – do not already have an immigrant visa valid on the effective date of the order; and
          – do not already have another transportation document other than a visa (such as advance parole,   transportation letter or boarding foil) allowing travel and admission to the U.S.

Wisconsin
DeWitt
John C. Gardner
April 27, 2020

The Wisconsin Work Share Program: Another Personnel Option for Employers to Consider During the Coronavirus Pandemic
In 2013, Wisconsin passed legislation pursuant to which an employer contemplating the need to lay off a portion of its workforce could submit a “Work-Share Program” to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (“DWD”) to avoid those layoffs.  Under such a program, the employer would reduce the work hours (and pay) of a certain number of its employees, and the employees would, in turn, receive unemployment benefits in an amount pro-rated in connection to their reduction in hours.  For various reasons, including the fact that the economy was in relatively good shape from the time the legislation passed until early 2020, relatively few Wisconsin employers have actually taken advantage of the law. 

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Amber McGraw Walsh
April 27, 2020

HHS Opens $20 Billion General Distribution CARES Act Application: Key Points for Providers
On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of the remaining $70 billion of the $100 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (Provider Relief Fund) appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Provider Relief Fund was created to reimburse providers for healthcare-related expenses and lost revenues attributable to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As discussed in a previous McGuireWoods legal alert, $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund was allocated for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19 (General Distribution). The initial $30 billion of the General Distribution was automatically distributed between April 10 and April 17 in proportion to providers’ Medicare fee-for-service payments in 2019 ($30 Billion Distribution).

Virginia
McGuireWoods
April 27, 2020

Bridging the COVID-19 Gap: How to Preserve Incentives When the Future Is Unclear
The economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in furloughs, layoffs, downsizing and closures likely to harm many companies’ ability to comply with provisions of previously negotiated incentives packages. Without changes, these agreements could slip into default, triggering significant financial liability and reputational risk.
Monday, May 4, 2020 | 12:30 EDT          Register

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Kate W. Hardey
April 27, 2020

Pharmacy Developments Related to COVID-19 Testing and Compounding of Critical Drugs
COVID-19 has forced the healthcare system to adapt to a unique set of circumstances. As reported in prior McGuireWoods updates, a number of state and federal developments have affected the practice of pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued guidance allowing pharmacists to perform COVID-19 tests to expand the availability of testing. More recently, to address the shortage of certain crucial drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) loosened restrictions to allow outsourcing facilities and compounding pharmacies to compound FDA-approved drugs.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
Lauren M. Ramos
April 27, 2020

Recent Changes for Medicare and Commercial Insurers to Improve Access to COVID-19 Testing
As part of the ongoing effort to improve access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance outlining the requirement that private health insurers and employer group health plans cover testing and related services without cost to their respective beneficiaries. In addition, CMS announced that it increased the reimbursement rate for certain COVID-19 lab tests.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
David D. Leishman
April 27, 2020

Reopening a Business Without Opening Liability
Join McGuireWoods’ labor and employment team for a look ahead at reopening businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a discussion of best practices as employees return to the workplace. We welcome you to attend and invite others on your team to join as well.  
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. EDT          Register

The Impact Of the COVID-19 Pandemic On the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria
The oil and gas industry in Nigeria is extremely important to the country in terms of what it contributes to the economy and the necessity of energy for day to day living. This write-up will highlight the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the Nigerian oil and gas industry currently and in the long term. A good place to begin this discussion is the current state of collapsing oil prices. Due to a combination of reasons such as the expiration of production cuts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the disagreement between OPEC+ on extending production cuts, Saudi Arabia increasing production, the trade war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and the economic effects of COVID-19, there have been negative supply and demand shocks which have in turn resulted in significantly low oil prices.

Economic Policy Measures Taken By the Nigerian Government In the Wake of the COVID-19 Crisis
In Nigeria as in most developing economies, the COVID 19 outbreak puts enormous strain on the economy, even as it is still recovering from the 2016 economic recession which was as a result of a fall out of the global oil price crash and insufficient foreign exchange earnings to meet import costs. COVID 19’s effect on the Nigerian economy is double-barreled- Nigeria is an oil dependent country and it not only facing the effects of COVID 19 on supply chains, it is also battling a devastating fall in global oil prices.

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On The Operations fo the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and Related Agencies
The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) are important agencies at the border and entry points in the country and have no doubt experienced a downturn in the dispensation of their regulatory functions with the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria. Flowing from the increasing spread of the pandemic in the country and in a bid to curb its spread, various government agencies have released guidelines and policies to help control and manage the current situation.

Maryland Governor Hogan Announces Roadmap to Recovery – A Phased Approach to Reopen Maryland’s Economy
Today, Governor Larry Hogan announced, “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery”. This plan articulates the Administration’s guidance for a phased reopening of Maryland’s economy.  The earliest date for easing the Governor’s current stay-at-home order is early to mid-May.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Richard C. Sofield
April 24, 2020

FCC Continues National Security Efforts Targeting Certain Chinese Companies
On April 24, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued Orders to Show Cause demanding that four Chinese government-owned telecommunications companies explain why their section 214 authorizations to operate in the United States should not be revoked on cyber and national security grounds. These Show Cause Orders are the latest in a series of actions targeting the national security risks posed by certain Chinese companies.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Kevin J. Maynard
April 24, 2020

Government Contractor’s “Coronavirus Checklist”
Over the past several weeks, federal, state and local governments have taken unprecedented actions to try to address both the public health and economic impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These unprecedented actions include the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes financial relief aimed at easing some of the financial hardships inflicted on various industries, including government contractors. In addition, government contractors have played a key role in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, with contractors being called upon to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other badly needed medical supplies.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Endicott Peabody
April 24, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act
The Enhancement Act provides for a $484 billion economic relief package, including an additional $310 billion in funding for the PPP. Funding for the PPP was initially capped at $349 billion; it has now been increased to $659 billion. Of this additional funding, $60 billion has been reserved for loans made by smaller financial institutions – specifically, community financial institutions, insured depository institutions, and credit unions.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman
April 24, 2020

Employers May Test Employees for COVID-19 Before Allowing Their Return to Workplace, EEOC Says
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) said in guidance released Thursday that employers may administer COVID-19 testing to employees in order to determine if they have the virus, prior to permitting them to return to the workplace.  The agency stated that this latest expansion of practical coronavirus pandemic guidance is consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.”  The EEOC has previously instructed employers to maintain COVID-19 employee health screening information and data (which includes temperature readings) confidential, as required under the ADA.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Anne-Tyler Morgan
April 24, 2020

Healthcare Providers: It’s Time to Resume Non-Emergency Services
Governor Beshear has announced that as of April 27, providers may resume non-urgent/emergent healthcare services and diagnostic radiology and lab services in: hospital outpatient settings, healthcare clinics and medical offices, physical therapy settings and chiropractic offices, optometrists, and dental offices (with enhanced aerosol protections). 

District of Columbia
Wiley
Daniel B. Pickard
April 23, 2020

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers U.S. economic sanctions on several countries, including Iran and Syria, as well as restrictions targeting terrorists, narcotics traffickers, cyber criminals, and other persons and areas of concern to U.S. businesses.
Thursday, May 14, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. EDT          Register

Kentucky
McBrayer
Stephen G. Amato
April 23, 2020

Legislative Session Ends With Passage of Alcohol Regulation CHanges – Senate Bill 99
On April 15th, the day the Kentucky legislative session ended, the Kentucky Senate approved and forwarded Senate Bill 99 to Governor Beshear for his expected signature. While the bill has been overshadowed by House Bill 415 and the COVID-19 emergency, the bill’s impact on the Commonwealth’s alcohol industry is fairly substantial.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Stephen G. Amato
April 23, 2020

Relief for Wholesalers and Distributors
After a flurry of executive orders and legislative action by Kentucky’s Governor and General Assembly to provide relief for hard hit alcohol retailers, at the request of our firm on behalf of distributor and wholesaler clients, the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a new Order, effective April 8th, extending the hours that malt beverage distributors and wine and spirits wholesalers may deliver product to the retailers to “any time of the day that the retailer is ready, able and voluntarily willing to accept deliveries of product.” This Order will allow distributors and wholesalers to deliver product to retailers outside the existing restricted hours mandated by state statute and local ordinances, which will hopefully minimize the spread of Coronavirus and allow these middle tier industry members to more efficiently and safely manage their workforce.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Stephen G. Amato
April 23, 2020

Provisions of New Kentucky Law, SB 150, Allow for Sales By the Drink Deliveries and Take-Out
On Thursday, March 26, 2020, Kentucky’s response to the coronavirus crisis took an odd turn in the Kentucky legislature with the passage of a bill that will now allow patrons to purchase, for carryout or delivery, alcohol by the drink. UPDATE – Gov. Beshear signed the bill on March 30th.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Thomas W. Antonucci
April 23, 2020

Hot to Prepare for Replenishment of Paycheck Protection Program Funds and EIDL Expected this Week
On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Senate approved new funding for two Small Business Administration (SBA) programs that were implemented as part of the CARES Act to help support small businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The initial funding for these programs was exhausted on April 16, and businesses were not able to apply for these relief funds while Congress negotiated the terms of the new bill. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to approve the bill on April 23, and President Trump has indicated that he will sign it as soon as it hits his desk. If all goes as planned, the SBA could begin accepting and approving new applications for these two important programs this week.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
David S. Rugendorf
April 23, 2020

Immigration Proclamation Sets Limited Curbs
On Wednesday evening, April 22, 2020, President Trump issued his highly anticipated immigration proclamation, temporarily suspending some types of immigration to the United States due to COVID-19 and its resultant damage to the domestic labor market. While the language of the order suggested that future actions may be necessary, the current order is very limited in its scope and application. Very few individuals are now prevented from entering the United States who had not previously been barred from entry.

Hungary
Szecskay
Orsolya Gorgenyi
April 23, 2020

Summary of the Introduction of the 24-Month Working Time Frame for Employers in Hungary During the COVID-19 Period
On the 10th of April, 2020, the Government of Hungary as part of its long-awaited Economic Protection Action Plan (the “Plan”) introduced by Government Decree 104/2020 the possibility for employers to introduce a 24-month working time frame. Our Employment Law team summarizes what employers should know. 

Hungary
Szecskay
Orsolya Gorgenyi
April 23, 2020

Summary of Governmental R+D Employee Subsidy in Connection with COVID-19 in Hungary
On the 10th of April, 2020, the Government of Hungary as part of its long-awaited Economic Protection Action Plan (the “Plan”) introduced a subsidy scheme for the employment of research and development (R+D) employees by Government Decree 103/2020. Our Employment Law team summarizes the most important facts.

Malta
IURIS
Simon Galea Testaferrata
April 23, 2020

Cross-Border Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The European Union aims to provide the highest level of protection to consumers, as established by Article 169(1) and point (a) of Article 169(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It is with this aim in mind that the EU enacts Regulations and Directives to ensure a functioning market without internal frontiers as it constantly strives to simplify cross-border disputes, also with the creation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Malta
IURIS
Simon Galea Testaferrata
April 23, 2020

Suspension of Legal and Judicial Times: An Overview of the Regulations Following COVID-19
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta in order to sustain the spread of the virus, the Maltese Government has introduced a number of measures affecting legal and judicial timeframes as well as the operations of the Maltese courts.

Czech Republic
Briza & Trubac
Petr Briza
April 22, 2020

Coronavirus As a Reason for Waiver or Rent Reduction for Business Premises?
One of the authors considered the influence of coronavirus on contractual relations only few days after the first cases of infection in the Czech Republic were confirmed. Eventually, some possible quarantine measures envisaged at the time did not take place (e.g. mandatory closure of large-scale production enterprises), while the extent and duration of other measures exceeded many expectations. On a daily basis, we deal with inquiries of entrepreneurs whose establishments must be closed due to the crisis measures. This concerns, in particular, retail, hospitality and other services. These entrepreneurs found themselves overnight completely helpless without any sales and are obliged to continue to pay rent (among other costs). According to the information available, some of lessors, for example, shopping centers, still demand full rent from lessees whose premises had to be closed completely, even though our experience shows that many lessors prefer to reach a compromise solution with their lessees.

Ontario, Canada
Weirfoulds
April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Resource Portal
This is an unprecedented time for every person and business in Canada and around the world. We understand the challenges and are here to help you.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
April 22, 2020

What May Your Business Be Eligible For? 
Hall & Wilcox recently launched its COVID-19 Stimulus Assistance app to help you determine your business’s eligibility for the government measures in response to the impacts of COVID-19.  This webinar provides further detail on these packages and answering your questions on how you access these measures and the implications for your business. This session will provide thought leadership to assist you in making informed business decisions now.
Thursday, April 30, 2020 | 11:30 a.m. AEST          Register

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
April 22, 2020

Are You Eligible for Government Assistance? Our App Can Help 
Hall & Wilcox has launched the COVID-19 Stimulus Assistance app, designed to help you determine what COVID-19 stimulus packages may be available to your business. Businesses of any size can use our app to gain information and clarity on the application processes, delivery timelines and tax consequences of the various federal and state government measures available. The COVID-19 Stimulus Assistance app takes minutes to complete and you will receive a personalized report. Our national team of tax experts is available to assist you further.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman
April 22, 2020

EEOC Issues New Guidance on COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation and Return-to-Work Issues 
On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance for employers, providing further technical assistance about complying with workplace issues during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman
April 22, 2020

California Provides Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers 
On April 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-51-20 (the ”Order”), which requires “hiring entities” with at least 500 employees in the United States to provide “food sector workers” with up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave related to COVID-19.  The Order, effective April 16, 2020, is the second recent law in California providing paid sick leave to workers not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)(which requires employers with fewer than  500 employees provide paid sick leave).  We previously reported on the Los Angeles emergency ordinance providing similar paid sick leave provisions for employees of larger employers not covered by the FFCRA.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross
April 22, 2020

Contact Tracing: COVID-19 
As the individual states struggle to define how best to reopen in a manner that minimizes the renewed spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19, the subject of contact tracing has become a major focus. To aid in this effort, Apple and Google announced late last week a joint contact tracing project that would leverage Bluetooth technology to identify and selectively alert individuals who have been in close proximity to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Once alerted, that user could self-isolate or seek testing. Individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 can self-report their diagnosis, and any users who have been in recent contact with that individual will receive a notification. Public health agencies would be responsible for checking and verifying test results provided by users in order to prevent spoofing or fabrication.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Frida P. Glucoft
April 22, 2020

Employer Expectations on COVID Conditions 
Employers should beware: even during the COVID-19 pandemic, certain employer compliance and obligations continue and others are created.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Jeremy Johnson
April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Insolvency Reforms – A Job Part Done? 
The Government has announced that it will be introducing temporary changes to the Companies Act in an effort to see as many businesses survive the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19 as possible.  Two of the most significant changes being made are the introduction of a “safe harbour” for directors against trading insolvently for a period of six months and the introduction of a mechanism to enable companies to place debts into “Business Debt Hibernation” for a period of up to seven months (on the basis at least 50% of creditors agree).

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Matthew J. Lawlor
April 21, 2020

Massachusetts Enacts H. 4647 – Establishing Broad Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium During
COVID-19 State of Emergency
On April 20, 2020, Massachusetts enacted a statewide moratorium on a broad swath of evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 state of emergency. A copy of the new law, adopted through House Bill No. 4647, is available here. The moratorium takes effect immediately and expires 120 days from April 20, 2020, or 45 days after the Governor rescinds the COVID-19 emergency declaration, whichever occurs first. However, language in H. 4647 permits the Governor to postpone the expiration date in increments of 90 days if the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
James M. Lawrence
April 21, 2020

The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program 
On April 16—only two weeks after applications first opened for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”)—the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the PPP’s allotted funds were depleted. While Congress is currently negotiating a plan to replenish the money, an agreement has yet to materialize. Banks have warned that even if Congress reaches a deal this week, any additional funding could be depleted in as little as 48 hours1. For businesses left without access to funds after the sudden halt to the PPP, one possible alternative is the Main Street Lending Program (the “Main Street Program”).

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Courtney Beller
April 21, 2020

Recent Actions That Impact the Nursing and Assisted Living Industry 
On April 8, 2020, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey entered Executive Order 2020-22 (“EO 2020-22). A link to download this order, as well as all others referenced in this alert, can be found here. EO 2020-22 aims to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Nursing Care Institutions and other residential settings such as medical group homes and Assisted Living Facilities.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Todd A. Bromberg
April 21, 2020

Wiley Boot Camp: Clarification in the Time of COVID-19: Updates on the CARES Act and FFCRA 
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) were quickly signed into law in late March to help abate the massive economic disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since then, federal agencies have issued clarifications on these sweeping emergency stimulus packages that will assist businesses in making difficult decisions about their workforce as the nation comes to a standstill. This webinar will cover the clarifications issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for businesses with fewer than 50 employees that may qualify for an exemption from the FFCRA leave requirements.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. EDT          Register

District of Columbia
Wiley
Mark Renaud
April 21, 2020

Wiley Webinar: Entering Federally-Funded Government Contracts Because of COVID-19? Look Out for Byrd Amendment and Lobbying Restrictions Pitfalls
If your company has become a government contractor as a result of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or as a result of the various economic bills responding to the pandemic, you should know that certain government contractors must comply with the lobbying restrictions and disclosures found in the Byrd Amendment and in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). In fact, to sign many government contracts, the signatory must certify compliance with the Byrd Amendment.  In this short webinar, Mark Renaud will give an overview of these rules and suggestions on how to comply.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. EDT          Register

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Eric M. Kogan
April 21, 2020

Poison Pills, NOL Poison Pills and the COVID-19 Pandemic
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant volatility in stock prices, resulting in
severe disparities between stock prices and many corporations’ view of the intrinsic value of their business.
This has, in turn, caused concern about the possibility of well-capitalized investors rapidly building a
position in a corporation without paying a fair price and without making public disclosures.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Amanda Douglas
April 21, 2020

COVID-19: Health and Safety Requirements for Returning to the Workplace Under Level 3
With the announcement that New Zealand moves to Alert Level 3 on 28 April 2020, many businesses are asking what they need to do to prepare for a return to the workplace. Health and safety planning will be needed to ensure that effective COVID-19 controls are in place and that the health and safety of workers, and other people, is not put at risk.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Amanda Douglas
April 21, 2020

COVID-19: Employment Considerations Moving to Level 3
The government has announced that New Zealand will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from 28 April 2020 for two weeks, at which time it will be reviewed. Under Level 3, people are required to work at home unless that is not possible. Workplaces can only open if:
          – Workers cannot work from home; and
          – Workplaces are operating safely; and
          – Customers are not allowed on premises; and
          – Businesses can trade without physical contact (eg online orders and delivery)

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Andrew Watkins
April 21, 2020

COVID-19: Bubble Trouble
New Zealanders are having to quickly adjust to a new normal as we face the COVID-19 crisis and the introduction of “alert levels” which greatly restrict the way we live.  “Bubble” is a term coined by our Prime Minister to describe the group of people who make up a household.  For the four weeks (at least), we are all under strict orders to stay in our bubble and stay home.  This drastic change to our way of living is guaranteed to bring about new challenges.  

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
Lisa E. Cleary
April 20, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Additional Guidance and Developments for Employers
As the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing widespread shutdown of workplaces around the country continues (and for New Yorkers is expected to continue through at least May 15), government agencies have been busy issuing guidance relating to the many new laws that have been passed.  To read our prior alerts relating to those new laws (including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), please see our COVID-19 Resource Center (available here).  Below, we kick off the week ahead by providing an update on several recent regulatory and other developments related to those laws that may be relevant for employers.

District of Columbia
Wiley
John R. Prairie
April 20, 2020

OMB Releases Guidance on Implementing CARES Act Provision Permitting Reimbursement of Paid Leave for Government Contractors Related to COVID-19
In a recent client alert, we discussed guidance issued by several agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), on Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Section 3610 authorizes agencies to reimburse contractors for the costs of paid leave incurred to keep contractor or subcontractor personnel in a “ready state” if those personnel are (i) unable to access a government-approved facility, and (ii) unable to telework because their jobs cannot be performed remotely. On Friday, April 17, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum to Executive agencies addressing Section 3610. Unlike the more detailed instructions issued by DOD, OMB’s memorandum provides only high-level guidance to agencies and leaves it up to the discretion of individual contracting officers to decide whether to reimburse contractors for covered paid leave costs.

Minnesota
Larkin Hoffman
Phyllis Karasov
April 20, 2020

Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine Discuss Difficult Questions Facing Employers Under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act
Larkin Hoffman employment law specialists Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine answer some of the tough questions employers face under the new Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”) in our latest COVID-19 Briefing series podcast. Under the FFCRA, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide paid leave to employees who cannot work due to pandemic-related issues such as sickness and care of children whose schools have closed. Congress passed the FFCRA quickly in the face of the pandemic, leaving many questions relating to implementation of the law unanswered. Aided by the Department of Labor’s recently-issued temporary rule under the FFCRA, Karasov and Ballintine provide general guidance on some of the difficult questions their clients, and likely many other employers, face under this new law.

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Ryan Curtis
April 20, 2020

The CARES Act: Implications for Health and Wellness Benefits
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Retirement, and Economic Security (CARES) Act contains a variety of provisions impacting employer-sponsored group health plans. The Act, as a part of the ongoing effort to help individuals impacted by the devastating COVID-19 epidemic, includes health and welfare measures largely designed to provide temporary relief from some of the restrictions that make it difficult for patients to gain access to virus testing and care. A brief summary of some of those measures is included below.

District of Columbia
Wiley
April 20, 2020

Telemedicine Priorities & Funding Opportunities In a COVID-19 World
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has rattled communities and economies worldwide. In particular, the foundation of the health care system has been challenged and disrupted with a two-fold challenge, caring for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, and virtually managing the care of patients with chronic and other conditions.
Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. EDT          Register

COVID-19 and the Nigerian Justice Sector: A Case for Virtual Dispute Resolution
The novel event of the very recent has indubitably shown that when we are confronted with a grave existential crisis, all other things hitherto considered essential pales into insignificance.  In the wake of the outbreak of the neoteric Coronavirus Disease (code-named COVID-19), several institutions’ services were suspended and/or banned by the government.  The Courts, established for the administration of justice, have not been spared.

Nigeria
Kusamotu & Kusamotu
Toyin Eyitayo

April 20, 2020

Economic Palliative Measures By the Central Bank of Nigeria On the Coronavirus Pandemic
The world has been taken by storm due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which has affected every facet of life. Due to the pandemic, many economies of the world, including Nigeria, are either slowing down or crumbling based on the effect on people and businesses, both large and small. This has led to many countries putting in place measure to ameliorate the effect of the pandemic on their respective economies. Nigeria has also not been left out in these palliative measures.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross

April 20, 2020

CBP Authorizes Duty Payment Deferral
Despite statements discounting the possibility, saner heads have prevailed and published late yesterday was an Executive Order issued permitting the Secretary of the Treasury to adjust the deadlines related to payment of duty. Executive Order re Duty Payment Deferral.  On that basis, CBP announced a 90 day postponement of duty payment is possible. First, in CSMS 42423171, CBP made clear the option to postpone duty payment for 90 days exists for many entries filed in March and April 2020. However, if the entry involves antidumping duty, countervailing duty, and/or Section 201, 232 or 301 duties, duty payment deferral is not available. While not obvious from the publications available to date, if your goods are subject to a 301 tariff but you have an exclusion, CBP has verbally advised you are not eligible for duty payment deferral. Many more questions are likely and CBP is holding a second briefing with the trade community this morning. The first such briefing took place yesterday evening. During that briefing, CBP indicated the duty deferral decision had to be made before 11:59 p.m. tonight. This is understood to refer to duty payments due today, April 20, 2020. Make sure to consult with your customs broker, but do not be surprised if many are unsure about the application of this newly announced program, due to the timing of its rollout.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Alan H. Price

April 20, 2020

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Announces 90-Day Deferral of Certain Customs Duty Payment
In late March, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) signaled that it was open to permitting importers to delay duty payments on incoming shipments, given cash flow difficulties presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Less than a week later, however, the agency retreated from this position, announcing that duty payments would be required as usual.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Brian Walsh

April 20, 2020

GAO Reaffirms Ignorance Can Be Bliss When It Comes to Key Personel
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest alleging that an awardee was unacceptable where it failed to notify the agency of the unavailability of a key person because the record lacked evidence that the awardee had “actual knowledge” of the unavailability.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jereny Mittman

April 17, 2020

LA Takeaways
On April 11, 2020, the City of Los Angeles published Rules and Regulations interpreting the City’s Emergency Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), which mandates employers of either (a) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (b) 2,000 or more employees within the United States, to offer supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Robert Lowe

April 17, 2020

ERC vs. PPP
If you didn’t get a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan before the SBA ran out of funds, there are still other benefits available under the CARES Act that was recently passed by Congress.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeffrey Davine

April 17, 2020

COVID-19 Tax Relief
As has been widely publicized, the federal government has enacted legislation that is  designed to provide tax and other relief to employers as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.  The tax relief is principally in the form of tax credits for payroll taxes that an employer is required to remit to the IRS when paying wages to its employees.

District of Columbia
Wiley

April 17, 2020

Wiley Webinar: Entering Federally-Funded Government Contracts Because of COVID-19? Look Out for Byrd Amendment and Lobbying Restrictions Pitfalls
If your company has become a government contractor as a result of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or as a result of the various economic bills responding to the pandemic, you should know that certain government contractors must comply with the lobbying restrictions and disclosures found in the Byrd Amendment and in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). In fact, to sign many government contracts, the signatory must certify compliance with the Byrd Amendment.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. EDT          Register

District of Columbia
Wiley
George A. Kerchner

April 17, 2020

U.S. DOT and Transport Canada Provide Relief from Sanitizer and Disinfectant Transportation Regulations
Companies shipping alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfectants in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency should be aware that such shipments are subject to regulation as hazardous materials, but steps have been taken to ease these regulatory burdens.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Thomas W. Antonucci

April 17, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funding Lapses and No New EIDL Applications
On Thursday, April 16, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that they are currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding. In addition, the SBA announced they are unable to accept new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Samantha S. Lee

April 17, 2020

Pedal to the Metal: GSA Accelerates Accelerated Payments for Small Busiess Prime Contractors
The General Services Administration (GSA) issued a class deviation to allow GSA to provide accelerated payments to small business contractors, with a goal of 15 days after receipt of a proper invoice. With this class deviation, GSA accelerated its own implementation of Section 873 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (2020 NDAA), which expands the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s (FAR) provisions for accelerated payments to prime contractors subcontracting with small business concerns to also include prime contractors that are small businesses.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Anna M. Gomez

April 17, 2020

Commission Grants Waiver for Certain Wireless License Construction Requirements in Light of
COVID-19 Disruptions
On April 15, 2020, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB, and collectively, the Bureaus) issued an order granting a 60-day extension for all site-based and mobile-only wireless licensees with construction deadlines from March 15, 2020, through and including May 15, 2020. The Bureau granted the waiver to provide temporary relief for licensees experiencing delays to the supply chain and other construction equipment deliveries that are expected to occur as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the March 13 National Emergency Declaration.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm

April 16, 2020

Business Interruption Insurance
As businesses, states, and lawmakers attempt to navigate through the health and economic repercussions of COVID-19, many are looking to their insurance policies, namely business interruption insurance policies, in a hope to mitigate losses.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Karen Tereposky

April 16, 2020

The Nuts + Bolts of the CEWS for Employers
As the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) was made official on April 14, 2020, employers potentially eligible for this subsidy should now be considering what proactive steps they can take to support the intent of the new legislation, specifically – getting employees back on payroll or keeping them there. By keeping employees connected during this crisis, the return to employers’ normal operations should be more smoothly facilitated as the economy recovers.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Ayla Akgungor

April 16, 2020

Roadmap for Employers Navigating COVID-19
Has your company experienced a decrease in work due to COVID-19? Download our comprehensive roadmap to explore the options you have for assistance as well as other frequently asked questions.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Erin Berney

April 16, 2020

Suspended: Condo Time Frames and Rights of Entry
Condominium corporations face particularly unique challenges due to the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, among other things. In response to these public health restrictions, the Minister of Service Alberta, the Honourable Nate Glubish, issued a Ministerial Order on April 9, 2020 that temporarily suspends a host of time frames and other requirements under various statutes, from the Business Corporations Act to the Vital Statistics Act

Alberta, Canada
Field Law

April 16, 2020

Lay-offs vs. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: Pros + Cons
The response to COVID-19 has resulted in a shut-down of the economy. While the operating costs for organizations have remained, revenues have dropped dramatically and for most organizations, payroll is their largest operational expense. Faced with an uncertain future, what are the options for reducing payroll expenses? How does an organization know what employment strategy is best to survive the present and emerge ready to thrive post-pandemic? Presented by Cameron Hughes and Jason Harley, this webinar will provide employers with information on lay-offs, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and possible creative means of combining these options to maximize the benefits for employers and their employees.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. MDT          Register

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Ryan Curtis

April 16, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions About Unemployment and Employee Retention Provisions in the
CARES Act  
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or Act) became law on March 27, 2020, as record numbers of Americans filed for unemployment benefits due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

The Act includes provisions that significantly enlarge the unemployment relief available to workers across the United States, in addition to unemployment benefits already available at the state level. The Act also includes “shared work” provisions intended to incentivize employers to retain employees, at reduced hours if necessary, rather than laying off or furloughing them. Because unemployment benefits are funded through a joint federal/state program, states must enter into agreements with the federal government to access these funds, and states are at various stages of working through that process.

Connecticut
Robinson + Cole
Frank W. Eucalitto

April 15, 2020

How Will COVID-19 Impact M&A?   
It is readily apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on transactional activity—at least in
the short term—for both buyers and sellers across a range of industries. Whether parties are still moving
forward with their transactions, placing them on hold until markets stabilize, or initiating them during the
continuing COVID-19 crisis, both buyers and sellers may want to carefully review deal terms and consider
what might need to be updated to properly account both for this pandemic and for similar events in the
future. There are many provisions commonly found in M&A transactions that stand out as requiring careful
consideration going forward, in light of market conditions. Below is a short summary of some key areas that
buyers and sellers may want to consider addressing.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Kevin J. Maynard

April 15, 2020

Presidential Memorandum Grants VA Authority to Indemnify COVID-19 Contractors  
On April 10, 2020, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum authorizing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to exercise authority under Public Law 85-804 in connection with contracts awarded by the VA to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). Public Law 85-804, as amended by 50 U.S.C. §§ 1431 et seq. and Executive Order 10789, provides federal agencies with the authority to grant “extraordinary contractual relief,” including the authority to indemnify contractors against claims resulting from performing work that involves “unusually hazardous” risks. This latest action is one of several protections against liability that may be available to contractors who support the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Peter S. Hyun

April 15, 2020

Government FISA Authorities Sunset – With No Clear Path for Reauthorization 
Lost amid the flurry of coronavirus (COVID-19) related legislative activity by Congress, was the sunset – or expiration — of several Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provisions that trace back to the USA Patriot Act enacted after 9/11.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Kevin G. Rupy

April 15, 2020

Congress and Regulators Focusing on COVID-19 Robocall Scams
The unprecedented global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic creates a challenging environment for individuals seeking access to timely and accurate information regarding the virus. Government stakeholders are concerned that unscrupulous scammers may exploit confusion surrounding the COVID-19 virus for malicious gain, including through the transmission of illegal robocalls and texts. Fraudulent COVID-19 robocalls and texts have gained the attention of Congress and various federal agencies, with each taking steps to try to protect consumers. In this turbulent environment, the private sector – including calling parties and service providers – is addressing regulatory limits and practical questions. The government is eager to find solutions that protect consumers and facilitate the transmission of accurate information.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Joshua S. Turner

April 15, 2020

Track, Trace and Quarantine: The Role of Mobile Data in Managing the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the shock wears off in the West over the initial lock downs and stay-at-home orders used to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people are starting to focus on the next question: How does this end? With a vaccine 12-18 months away, at the earliest, it is not feasible to hold the economy in stasis until one is ready for public use. But simply removing the restrictions on movement and lifting requirements for “social distancing” is likely not workable, either.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Megan L. Brown

April 15, 2020

Ten Stopgap Tips for Privacy and Security Risk Management in a Pandemic
As businesses adjust to the “new normal” in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to quickly take stock of where your organization stands on privacy and security risk. Even in these unusual circumstances, organizations of all sizes and sophistication continue to be expected to act with reasonable care and comply with their public commitments and regulatory obligations.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Duane C. Pozza

April 15, 2020

Congress Is Closely Examining Privacy During COVID-19 Pandemic
While Congress has been unable to come to agreement on comprehensive privacy legislation in the past few years, it has a new set of privacy topics on the horizon: how to handle a range of privacy issues arising in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Last week, on April 9, the Senate held its first hearing on COVID-19 and privacy – a “paper hearing” – to explore the use of aggregated geolocation data in tracking the spread of the disease. The hearing consisted of opening statements by the Chairman and ranking member, witness statements, and questions for the witnesses. The hearing announcement and questions provide important information on where Congress is headed, as it will likely continue to remain engaged on this topic.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Fay Calderone

April 15, 2020

Fliexible Work as the New Normal
Employees have been increasingly ‘connected’ and the four walls of the workplace have been eroding for some time. The take up of flexible work arrangements with recognised benefits for employee retention, engagement, organisational performance and inclusiveness has increasingly been recognised. Now, as we face a global pandemic of an unprecedented scale, we have seen businesses who embraced flexible and agile working as their normal, reap the benefits of business continuity and workforce stability to weather the crisis.  
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 1:30 a.m. AEST          Register

District of Columbia
Wiley

April 14, 2020

REMINDER: COVID-19 Lobbying by CEOs and Executives and Registration/Reporting Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA)
During this time of intense advocacy related to COVID-19, do your executives need to be registered as federal lobbyists? The pandemic and subsequent response by Congress and the Administration have been unprecedented, with a vast amount of legislative and regulatory activity. This is prompting private entities to make frequent contact with members of Congress, congressional staff, and Administration officials in an effort to influence the path and content of the rapidly developing bills, policies, and rules. As a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns, much of this contact is occurring by phone, email, and other virtual means, and, given the importance and urgency of these actions, many CEOs and other top executives have been heavily involved. It has been an “all hands on deck” effort that involves departments beyond GR, such as tax and finance and legal.

Regardless of whether the company or association otherwise has federal lobbyists, the main question right now is whether these new in-house advocates have become, or are becoming, federal lobbyists as a result of their outreach activities. If so, do they need to be registered by the 1Q LDA deadline of April 20, or can registration wait until July 20?
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. EDT          Register

Maryland Insurance Administration Issues Bulletin Regarding Direction and Recommendations
in Wake of COVID-19 Crisis
Yesterday, April 13, 2020, the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) issued a Bulletin to all Property and Casualty insurance companies and producers setting forth direction and recommendations for how to treat certain policyholders in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. See below and attached for additional information.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole

Jessica D. Bardi
April 13, 2020

An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19
On April 3, 2020, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law “An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19” as Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020 (the Act). A copy of the Act is available here. Of most interest to the real estate industry is Section 17, which addresses how developers and municipal permit-granting authorities must handle mandatory deadlines in light of the current state of emergency. The Act suspends the timeframes for local bodies such as Planning Boards, Zoning Boards of Appeals, Conservation Commissions, Boards of Health, Select Boards and City Councils, to act on permits during the state of emergency. More importantly, the Act provides relief for developers who have received permits by suspending any timelines to act under those permits until the state of emergency is over. 

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole

Eric M. Kogan
April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Relief: Understanding the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program
COVID-19 has rendered companies of all sizes in need of liquidity. However, the federal relief programs previously enacted have focused on small businesses or large companies, with mid-size companies often excluded from federal relief. To help narrow this gap, the Federal Reserve, with the approval of the Treasury Secretary, announced on April 9, 2020, via a press release, the details of the Main Street Lending Program (the Program). The Program will utilize $75 billion of capital made available from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the Treasury), using funds appropriated for the Exchange Stabilization Fund under section 4027 of the coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). When leveraged by the Federal Reserve, this capital provides up to $600 billion in liquidity to participating lenders. Furthermore, the press release recognizes that the Program is still being finalized and that the design is open to comment through the Federal Reserve website until April 16, 2020. The Federal Reserve has not yet announced when the Program will be operational. Set forth below is an overview of the Program. Robinson+Cole will continue to monitor regulations and guidance from the Treasury and the Federal Reserve on this topic as both become available.

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
T.J. Aldous

April 13, 2020

Arizona Tax Relief vs. Federal Tax Relief
The Arizona Department of Revenue provided tax relief to Arizona taxpayers on March 20, 2020 (revised April 1, 2020). Since that time, the IRS has provided additional tax relief. As of April 10, 2020, Arizona has not made corresponding changes to its state tax relief. 

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Heather Macre

April 13, 2020

Watch Out for COVID-19 Scams!
While COVID-19 is bringing out the best in many people, it is also bringing out new types of fraud. Most take the form of telephone calls made via “spoofing” apps or “phishing emails” designed to make it look like the call or email is from the CDC or some other authority. 

District of Columbia
Wiley
John R. Prairie

April 13, 2020

Agencies Issue Guidance on CARES Act Section 3610 Authorizing Reimbursement of Paid Leave for Government Contractors Related to COVID-19
Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes agencies to reimburse contractors for the cost of paid leave incurred to keep contractor or subcontractor personnel in a “ready state” to the extent that the personnel were (i) unable to access a government-approved facility, and (ii) unable to telework because their jobs could not be performed remotely.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Thomas W. Antonucci

April 13, 2020

Tax Filing Extensions Affecting Tax-Exempt Organizations
On April 9, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced tax filing extensions for additional businesses, individuals, and other organizations (including tax-exempt organizations) as part of its effort to relieve the filing burden of taxpayers during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Previously, the IRS had extended the deadline for filing and paying individual and business income taxes (including Form 990-T and Form 1120-POL for tax-exempt organizations that have taxes due on unrelated business income or political activities, respectively) – to July 15, 2020. In Notice 2020-23, the IRS has now postponed the filing due dates until July 15, 2020, for other tax returns which previously had a due date between April 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020. Included in this latest deadline extension are the Form 990 series for tax-exempt organizations (Form 990, 990-PF, etc.). Thus, for a calendar year tax-exempt organization, its annual information return – which normally would have been due on May 15, 2020 – instead will be due on July 15, 2020. As stated in the notice, an organization can obtain an additional extension by filing the requisite form (e.g., Form 8868 for the 990 return) by July 15, 2020, but “the extension date may not go beyond the original statutory or regulatory extension date” – i.e., to November 16, 2020 for the Form 990 for calendar year organizations. 

Malta
IURIS
Simon Galea Testaferrata
April 13, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Creative Arts
One of the very first industries that was hit by the COVID-19 partial lockdown measure was surely that of the arts and the creative sector.  All performances, exhibitions, related courses and projects came to an abrupt halt and had to be cancelled with all the emotional and economic repercussions that brings with it both for the artists and the art lovers.

Malta
IURIS
Simon Galea Testaferrata
April 13, 2020

Understanding the Legal Implications fo COVID-19: Taking Your Business Online
COVID 19 has forced many businesses who were otherwise content to ply their merchandise through more traditional forms of retail, to jump on the online retail bandwagon in order to offer their products online, thereby ensuring business continuity and meeting customer demand.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
Heide Harrell

April 13, 2020

DOL Issues Temporary Rule on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a temporary rulemaking, effective through December 31, 2020, implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The Rule provides direction regarding how workers and employers use the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), both part of the FFCRA.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross

April 10, 2020

Public Spaces = Covered Faces Part 2
City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an order stating that all workers who are deemed exempt by virtue of their services must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths. These face coverings are to be just that, not medical grade, but rather scarves, bandanas and similar coverings. Any which are reusable are to be washed frequently, at least once a day. If single use, they must be properly discarded.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Seth Krasilovsky

April 10, 2020

Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19
Preparing and properly executing estate planning documents requires much care and consideration under “normal” circumstances.  The COVID-19 pandemic, with its attendant shelter-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, has made the estate planning process a logistically complicated necessity.  Under the California Probate Code, the execution of estate planning documents requires a combination of notarization and witnessing.  How can this be accomplished when non?essential businesses are closed or working off?site, and people are increasingly cautious of interactions outside of their homes?  The Trusts & Estates department at MSK is prepared to assist you through the preparation and execution of your estate planning documents, allowing you peace of mind in these uncertain and difficult times.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
David Wheeler Newman

April 10, 2020

CARES Act Tax Benefits for Charitable Contributions
The CAREs Act – the recently enacted gigantic economic stimulus bill – contains two provisions designed to boost charitable giving with enhanced tax benefits.  One provision will provide tax savings to donors making more modest gifts, while the other will benefit donors writing big checks.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman

April 10, 2020

Los Angeles Enacts New Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance For Large Employers
On April 7, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti approved the City Council’s Emergency Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) mandating employers of either (a) 500 or more employees within the City of Los Angeles; or (b) 2,000 or more employees within the United States, to offer Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 related reasons.  The Ordinance is effective April 7, 2020.  The Ordinance is in response to the enactment of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which does not cover employers with more than 500 employees from its paid leave provisions.  While the Ordinance is designed to supplement the FFCRA and provide paid sick leave for Los Angeles employees of larger employers (with some exceptions), it differs from the FFCRA in several respects, set forth below.

Guatemala
Carrillo & Asociados
Rodrigo Callejas

April 10, 2020

COVID-19 Legal Guide
On March 29, 2020, the President of the Republic decreed “Presidential Provisions for the Public Calamity Case,” which are in force and among which he ordered to suspend work and activities in the different State agencies, as well as in the privcate sector until April 12, 2020. 

Maryland Governor Hogan Order State Spending and Hiring Freeze – State Revenue Drop of $2.8 Billion Expected
Today, Governor Larry Hogan instituted a spending and hiring freeze on all State government agencies, except for COVID-19 related expenditures and payroll. The Governor stated that the entire rainy-day fund (projected to contain $1.3 billion) may be expended on expenditures and efforts related to COVID-19 and to cover the revenue shortfall.

District of Columbia
Wiley

April 10, 2020

COVID-19 Lobbying by CEOs and Executives and Registration/Reporting Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA)
During this time of intense advocacy related to COVID-19, do your executives need to be registered as federal lobbyists? The pandemic and subsequent response by Congress and the Administration have been unprecedented, with a vast amount of legislative and regulatory activity. This is prompting private entities to make frequent contact with members of Congress, congressional staff, and Administration officials in an effort to influence the path and content of the rapidly developing bills, policies, and rules. As a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns, much of this contact is occurring by phone, email, and other virtual means, and, given the importance and urgency of these actions, many CEOs and other top executives have been heavily involved. It has been an “all hands on deck” effort that involves departments beyond GR, such as tax and finance and legal.

Regardless of whether the company or association otherwise has federal lobbyists, the main question right now is whether these new in-house advocates have become, or are becoming, federal lobbyists as a result of their outreach activities. If so, do they need to be registered by the 1Q LDA deadline of April 20, or can registration wait until July 20?
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. EDT          Register

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
T.J. Aldous

April 10, 2020

The IRS Expands tax Relief – Again!
On April 9, 2020, the IRS expanded its list of taxpayers who can delay filing tax returns and paying tax until July 15, 2020. Revenue Procedure 2020-23 affects individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, and tax exempt and charitable organizations. It also affects transfer taxes (estate, gift, and GST taxes and returns), quarterly estimated taxes, and deferred estate tax payments.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Tiana A. Bey

April 10, 2020

Hague Service Convention Out of Reach for Foreign Parties Who Select California Arbitration Forum and Agree to Informal Notice of Suit Methods
Last week, in Rockefeller Technology Investments (Asia) VII v. Changzhou Sinotype Technology Co., Case No. S249923 (Cal. April 2, 2020), the California Supreme Court held that the Hague Service Convention does not apply to the state’s arbitration enforcement proceedings where transnational parties agree to informal notice of suit methods.  The Court concluded that when these parties agree to submit to California arbitration, the California Arbitration Act ultimately governs service of process.  And because the Act allows parties to enter into informal service arrangements, formal service of process procedures – including the Convention’s service mechanisms – are waived.  This result should prompt foreign parties to re-evaluate the pros and cons of submitting to arbitration in California and agreeing to include informal notice of suit provisions in their underlying contracts.

Regulators Provide No Meaningful Relief or Guidance to Financial Institutions Struggling with Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
While many disclosure and reporting requirements imposed on regulated entities are being relaxed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has taken a different approach with respect to financial institutions’ duties to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”).  In an April 3, 2020, release – one of just two issued by the agency in response to COVID-19 – FinCEN recognized that “financial institutions face challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” but confirmed that it “expects financial institutions to continue following a risk-based approach” to combat money laundering and related crimes and “to diligently adhere to their BSA obligations.”

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Christin Elawny

April 9, 2020

Eligibility Requirements for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
We provided our most recent update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy on April 1, 2020. On April 8, 2020, the Government of Canada announced changes which relax the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (the “Subsidy”). Those changes are discussed further below. 

Employers will now only have to show a 15% reduction in gross revenues in March 2020, instead of a 30% reduction. Additionally, the reduction in revenue may be calculated based on an alternative approach of comparison of revenue in March 2020 to an average of revenue earned in January and February 2020, instead of to the same month in 2019 (the “year-over-year approach”). This should allow more employers to qualify for the Subsidy particularly those who may not have been in business in March, April or May last year. Employers will have to select the general year-over-year approach or the alternative approach when first applying for the Subsidy and must use the same approach for the entire duration of the program. 

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Taylor Woolsey

April 9, 2020

Suspended or Not? Limitation Periods in Employment Law
On March 30, 2020, Ministerial Order 27/2020 from the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General suspended limitation periods and periods of time within which any step must be taken in any proceeding or intended proceeding, from March 17 to June 1, 2020, due to COVID-19. However, this Ministerial Order and the associated suspension of relevant timelines does not apply equally to all labour and employment matters.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Erin Berney
April 9, 2020

No Contractors Allowed: Court Calls Condo Matter “Urgent”
The Ontario Superior Court has just ruled that unit owners allowing third party contractors access to a condominium property to perform non-urgent work in their unit constitutes a matter of urgency. Last week, in York Condominium Corporation No. 419 v Black, 2020 ONSC 2066, a condominium corporation in Ontario sought an emergency court injunction against two unit owners when it discovered they were allowing painters into their unit to complete renovations while the COVID-19 restrictions were in force. The condominium property in question is primarily occupied by senior citizens, and this appeared to be a significant factor for the Court in arriving at its decision.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Kevin G. Rupy
April 9, 2020

VoIP Providers Facing “Coordinated Effort” on Illegal Robocalls by Federal Agencies: To Avoid Enforcement Scrutiny, VoIP Providers Should Assess Current Practices and Procedures
Federal enforcement authorities are increasingly targeting certain voice providers that allegedly facilitate illegal robocalls, and these enforcement efforts are poised to pick up in connection with concerns about coronavirus-related (COVID-19) robocall scams. Since late last year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) have each pursued separate enforcement and regulatory initiatives designed to address so-called gateway providers transiting illegal robocalls. These agencies are also working together in what the FCC has called a “coordinated effort.”

Ontario, Canada
WeirFoulds
Tammy Nestoruk
April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Resources
This is an unprecedented time for every person and business in Canada and around the world. We understand the challenges and are here to help you.

Our COVID-19 Resources page includes the latest articles from our lawyers to help people and businesses navigate the situation. They include information on changes to legislation and the impacts on various industries. We will continue to monitor these developments and publish timely updates.

Governor Hogan Issues COVID-19 A-to_Z Resource Guide and FAQs
In RWL’s continuing efforts to provide our clients, colleagues and the greater community with real-time information, we are providing here the COVID-19 A-to-Z Resource Guide and FAQs issued by Governor Hogan last evening.  The Guide and FAQs can also be accessed at https://governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/.

Needless to say, the RWL COVID-19 Subgroup would be pleased to provide you with guidance, without any initial consultation fee, if we can be of help.  As we have said before, we are part of the same community.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Erin Berney
April 9, 2020

Tackling COVID-19 and Minimizing Risk: Considerations for Alberta Condominium Corporations
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down and has changed the way that we go about our daily lives. Current public health recommendations include requirements for self-isolation, restrictions on gatherings, and physical distancing. In apartment-style condominium buildings, these recommendations are creating unique challenges and raising several issues that condominium corporations and boards of directors should be considering.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Miranda Sinclair
April 9, 2020

Top 10 Immigration Questions Answered
In the current state of the world where travel is essentially non-existent, employers who rely on any foreign workers are lost in a sea of unanswered questions.  Field Law’s Immigration lawyers have many of the same queries and in an effort to help their own understanding and that of their clients, have gone right to the sources:  Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) and Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”).

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
Christin Elawny
April 9, 2020

Employer Alert: Temporary Changes to Alberta Employment Standards Legislation
On April 6, 2020, the Alberta Government announced temporary changes to the Employment Standards Code and Employment Standards Regulation to assist employers and employees in this difficult time.  What we know about the changes so far, and their potential impact on employers, is set out below.  The Government has stated the changes will be in place for as long as it determines they are needed and the Public Health Emergency Order remains in place.

Alberta, Canada
Field Law
April 9, 2020

Navigating Business Interruption Claims Due to COVID-19
COVID-19 will result in a big surge in business interruption claims. Get ahead of the curve by getting up to speed on the key issues you will need to know to deal with those claims. Presented by Mike Doerksen and Angela Beierbach, this webinar will provide businesses and insurers with information with respect to what could be covered and what could be excluded.
          – Do any insured perils arise from COVID-19?
          – Is the presence of the virus on surfaces covered as property damage?
          – Are there any relevant industry standard exclusions?
          – What is the scope of application for Civil Authority coverage extensions in business interruption policies.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 12:15 p.m. MDT           Register

Kentucky
McBrayer
Anne-Tyler Morgan

April 9, 2020

The CARES Act: What You Need to Know About Relief Now Available for Businesses
With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, businesses received a dose of much-needed relief in the form of tax payment deferrals and loan programs. In this post, we’ll take a look at both the previously established EIDL Program and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Claire M. Vujanovic

April 9, 2020

What Should I Be Doing Now?
The last couple of weeks have felt akin to drinking from a fire hose. The laws and regulations have been coming fast and furious. Sometimes, it is overwhelming. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) issued on March 18, 2020. Since that time, the government has issued hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of fact sheets, regulations, posters and bulletins about the Act – some of it completely contradictory. In the most recent regulations, the government estimated the “total rule familiarization cost” to all affected employers will be $295,072,691. Wow!

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Heather Gray

April 9, 2020

Can My SMSF Grant Rent Relief During the COVID-19 Crisis
COVID-19 has placed significant economic stress on businesses and individuals. Naturally, the government is encouraging landlords and tenants to come together to reach an agreement on how rent is to be paid during this time, including the possibility of short-term rent reductions. However, if the rented property is owned via your self managed superannuation fund (SMSF), granting such rent relief may put your fund at risk of incurring significant penalties under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act) and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth) (SIS Regulations), particularly where the tenant and SMSF trustee (which is the landlord) are considered related parties.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Anthony Bradica

April 9, 2020

JobKeeper Payment: The Devil is in the Detail
Legislation to implement a framework for the JobKeeper Payment measures has received Royal Assent.  Broadly, a business that has suffered a requisite decline in turnover may be entitled to a JobKeeper payment of $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible employee. However, the devil is in the detail; or in this case, Treasurer’s rules which will be administered by the Commissioner of Taxation. An Exposure Draft of the Treasurer’s rules has been released, which will be subject to the full process of Parliamentary scrutiny.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman

April 8, 2020

Georgia: Employers Must File Partial Unemployment Insurance Claims for Their Employees
On March 16, 2020, Georgia’s Department of Labor (the “Georgia DOL”) became the first state to adopt a rule that requires employers to file partial unemployment claims for any week during which an employee (full-time or part-time) has his or her hours reduced or eliminated due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under Georgia law, partial unemployment claims apply to employees who will experience a reduction in hours or a temporary layoff.  Employers must file partial unemployment claims online by visiting the Employer Portal, and must file partial claims for each weekly pay period during the temporary reduction/layoff.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Jeremy Mittman

April 8, 2020

DOL Issues Guidance on New CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Provisions
Last week, the DOL issued two guidance letters (available here and here) to state workforce agencies (such as the California EDD) on the unemployment insurance provisions of the recently enacted CARES Act. The CARES Act, which has been discussed in prior blog posts at length (see, e.g. herehere and here), provides emergency assistance for certain individuals, families, and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Most notably, the DOL guidance instructs state agencies on how to implement and operate two programs that were included as part of the CARES Act involving unemployment insurance benefits: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Additionally, the federal government will provide 100% reimbursement to states that provide compensation to individuals beginning on their first week of unemployment (i.e., states which do not require a waiting week) and enter into an agreement with the DOL.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Emily Walton

April 8, 2020

Protecting Your Business from Cyber Risks During COVID-19
COVID-19 has created unprecedented working situations for businesses.  Many are rapidly trying to grapple with their employees working from home.

Cybercriminals are using these unprecedented times as an opportunity for online scams and attacks.  Businesses need to be hypervigilant.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Emily Walton

April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Working Remotely and Maintaining Privacy Obligations
For most businesses, flexible working includes working remotely.  Working remotely or working from home requires a plan to ensure privacy obligations continue to be met.

COVID-19 has created unprecedented working situations, with many employees being required to work from home at short notice.  This article sets out some simple practices that you and your employees can implement at home, to ensure privacy standards are maintained.

South Carolina
Turner Padget
Mark B. Goddard

April 8, 2020

SBA Loans Approved for South Carolina
South Carolina small businesses just received a little bit of good news at a time when good news seems few and far between. The United States Small Business Association (“SBA”) has now approved Governor McMaster’s request for South Carolina small businesses to be eligible for the SBA’s Economic Disaster Loans. These Economic Disaster Loans are aimed to provide direct economic support to small businesses to overcome the temporary loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 virus.

South Carolina
Turner Padget
Mark B. Goddard

April 8, 2020

COVID-19: Response Tips for Small Businesses
The past month has seen uncharted waters for small businesses across South Carolina and the United States. With the ever-evolving COVID-19 virus, small businesses are being forced to adjust their planning almost hour-by-hour. In the past week, businesses have had to adjust from “business as usual” to remote work environments, government mandated shutdowns, and the now very familiar term “social distancing.”

Arizona
Fennemore Craig
Louis Lopez
April 8, 2020

Arizona Gov Prohibits Small Business Eviction Actions
To all Arizona commercial property owners, property managers, and tenants, please be advised that pursuant to Executive Order 2020-21, effective March 11, 2020 through May 31, 2020, Gov. Ducey has ordered that commercial eviction actions including lock out, notice to vacate, or any other attempt to inhibit small business operations “shall be temporarily suspended for tenants unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Instead of taking any enforcement action during this period, commercial landlords are encouraged to defer or adjust rent payment obligations, and waive late fees, penalties, and interest that are otherwise provided for under the lease.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
David Cantanese
April 8, 2020

COVID-19: JobKeeper Update – Critical Information and Employer Powers
We provide an overview of the details behind the Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme, after Bills were introduced into Parliament today.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Kitty Vo
April 8, 2020

The Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies
Following the National Cabinet’s release of a mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies, we outline suggestions for both landlords and tenants when it comes to current and pending lease negotiations.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Katherine Payne
April 8, 2020

Are Holding DOCA’s the Answer to COVID-19?
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses will undoubtedly require directors to consider formal restructuring and insolvency options, including the appointment of administrators. We look at the scope and limitation of both options being discussed.

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
Mark Inston
April 8, 2020

Webinar Recording: Cybersecurity and COVID-19
In today’s webinar, Matthew Curll, John Gray and Sumith Perera provided an update on how businesses can protect themselves from cybersecurity risks. You can play back the recording here. Watch Now

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Temporary Rule and Issues Regulations Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to the FFCRA, effective immediately. These regulations clarify and expand upon the FFCRA, and were issued by the WHD within two-weeks of President Trump signing the FFCRA, which, among other things, amended the Family and Medical Leave Act and enacted a separate Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The FFCRA was passed to address the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on the U.S. workforce.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
Eric M. Kogan
April 7, 2020

U.S. Small Business Administration Affiliation Rules and Their Application to the Payroll Protection Program
Robinson+Cole has been tracking government relief programs being offered to help alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the United States. On April 2, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published an interim final rule, Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program (the Initial Rule), providing guidance and clarification on the implementation of the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). On April 3, 2020, the SBA published an interim final rule, Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program (the SBA Rule), to supplement the Initial Rule with additional guidance regarding the application of certain affiliate rules applicable to the PPP. On April 4, 2020, the SBA’s Office of General Counsel issued a formal memo titled “Size Eligibility and Affiliation Under the CARES Act” in response to questions the SBA has received regarding the affiliation rules applicable to the CARES Act, with a focus on the PPP. The information below provides an overview of the affiliation rules applicable to the SBA’s PPP.  Robinson+Cole will continue to monitor SBA regulations and guidance on this topic as both become available.

Parsons Behle & Latimer Creates COVID-19 Site to Give Small Business Owners and Employers Legal Insight and Summarized Overviews of New COVID-19 Legislation
Parsons Behle & Latimer, a preeminent law firm in the Intermountain West has created an online COVID-19 Response Resource Center for businesses, employers and in-house counsel who need immediate and understandable summaries of the most recent COVID-19 related legislation and how it could potentially affect them, their businesses and their employees. 

COVID-19 and Teleworking: A Permanent Solution?
With social distancing becoming key in our country’s and indeed the world’s battle to control the spread of COVID19, many organisations have turned to remote working, in order to strike a balance between ensuring work continuity while safeguarding the health of their employees and the public at large. 

The Maltese Government, through Malta Enterprise, has introduced a scheme to support employers and self-employed individuals to invest in technology that enables teleworking and to partially cover the cost of teleworking solutions.  This call has been extended to the 8th May 2020 and applies to all undertakings irrespective of size and sector.

Melbourne, Australia
Hall & Wilcox
Mark Dunphy

April 7, 2020

New Visa to Assist with COVID-19 Pandemic: Subclass 408
The Australian Government introduced a new visa to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic on 4 April 2020. Known as Subclass 408, this visa allows foreign nationals who have temporary residence status to continue remaining in Australia because of the Covid-19 situation. The main requirements are:
                    – the person is physically in Australia;
                    – will assist with addressing workforce shortages in areas such as agriculture, aged care and public health; and
                    – unable to depart because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hungary
Szecskay
Zoltán Balázs Kovács

April 7, 2020

Data Protection, Employment Law and Economic Measures During Corona Crisis
Zoltán Balázs Kovács prepared a summary of the opinion paper of the Hungarian Data Protection Authority (DPA) issued on 10 March 2020 on some of the data protection implications of the situation caused by the pandemic, in the context of employment. Also, you will find below some thoughts about working from home (“home office”) and a brief summary of the Governmental Decrees aiming at mitigating the consequences of the pandemic, including the amendment of the Labour Code.

Hungary
Szecskay
Zoltán Balázs Kovács

April 7, 2020

Summary of the Statement of the European Data Protection Board on Data Processing During the Pandemic
With respect to the situation caused by the pandemic and its possible data protection impacts, please find below a summary of the statement of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) on the processing of personal data in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, issued on 19 March 2020.

Melbourne, Australia
Hall & Wilcox

April 7, 2020

Cybersecurity and COVID-19
Remote access technology has enabled many businesses to allow employees to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. While this is a great example of technology helping us adapt, the downside is that remote workers are completely dependant on reliable and secure systems, and sensitive data may be vulnerable to hacking. 
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. AEST          Register

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross
April 6, 2020

Privacy Takes Many Forms
Amazon’s Alexa, Google devices such as Google Assistant and Google Home, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are now commonplace in many homes. These devices and other lesser-known counterparts allow users to control nearly everything in their homes with only their voice. That convenience, however, comes at the cost of some degree of privacy. While seldom viewed as presenting a live microphone inside one’s home or office, these otherwise passive listening devices begin recording upon initiation of a verbal cue. While the use (or even presence) of such voice assistants may present privacy concerns when used in consumers’ homes, with millions of people working remotely across the world due to COVID-19, these potential privacy concerns can quickly escalate to a much broader concern, especially for attorneys, who, as we discussed earlier, are bound to maintain confidentiality regarding information concerning the representation of their clients. But this concern extends far beyond “just” attorneys, because so many business dealings involve the exchange of confidential information. What one thinks of as a private or confidential discussion with a business partner is now taking place at home, perhaps with others around, but all too frequently in close proximity to these devices.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Eleanor M. Lackman
April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Relief for Music Industry Workers
Music industry associations and trade groups, working alongside organizations spanning the creative industries, scored a major victory in securing financial help under the CARES Act (the “Act”) for musicians, music producers, and other music industry workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief falls into two categories: (1) unemployment compensationexpanded from traditional employees to include benefits previously unavailable to independent contractors, “gig” workers, and the self-employed, and (2) newly-available loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), including loan advances of up to $10,000, which are now also available to sole proprietors, independent contractors, and the self-employed.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Susan Kohn Ross
April 6, 2020

Public Spaces = Covered Faces
On Friday, April 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came out with a recommendation that anyone who goes out in public should wear a face covering.  The CDC took action based on recent studies which are said to show that “a significant portion” of individuals have the COVID-19 virus but are displaying no symptoms, and so are unknowingly infecting others. Speaking is cited as one of the situations by which asymptomatic individuals are spreading the virus. Therefore, CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, where social distancing may be difficult to maintain.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
April 6, 2020

All the Shelter-In-Place Orders Issued, So Far
Many states have implemented a Shelter-In-Place Order to slow down the spread of coronavirus. Here is a quick reference list of each state’s Shelter-in-Place Order and related documents. Please check back frequently for updates as we provide them.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
Allan B. Cutrow

April 6, 2020

COVID Conversion
Unfortunately, the current health and economic crises have significantly and negatively affected asset values. However, these depressed asset values create significant planning opportunities to consider. One is the conversion of a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA.

Melbourne, Australia
Hall & Wilcox
Kathryn Howard

April 6, 2020

Execution of Documents in Isolation
We all know that best practice execution is wet-ink signatures, on the same page, with all the pages initialled and witnessed in the presence of an appropriately qualified person.

But that is not the reality we face today during the COVID-19 pandemic. What practical steps can businesses take to help ensure the enforceability of arrangements being entered?

Melbourne, Australia
Hall & Wilcox
Deborah Chew

April 6, 2020

COVID-19: ASX Regulatory Relief for Listed Companies
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impacts on the financial position of listed companies, ASX has released a Compliance Update announcing a number of relief measures, and clarifying various continuous disclosure and other obligations during this unprecedented period. These emergency provisions are to be implemented by way of class order waivers under ASX Listing Rule 18.1, and will expire on 31 July 2020 unless otherwise terminated or extended.

Summary of Construction Activities that Qualify as “Essential Business Services” Under Washington’s Stay Home-Stay Safe Order
Last night, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25, the Stay Home-Stay Healthy emergency order (“Stay Home Order”) for the state of Washington, which goes into effect at Midnight on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 for companies doing business in Washington.

Pursuant to the Stay Home Order, “all people in Washington State are immediately prohibited from leaving their home or place of residence except to conduct or participate in (1) essential activities, and/or (2) employment in providing essential business services[.]” The Stay Home Order further provides that “employment in essential business services means an essential employee performing work for an essential business as identified in the ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’ list, or carrying out minimum basic operations (as defined in Section 3(d) of this Order) for a non-essential business.” For construction industry companies, this raises three critical questions: (1) who is an essential employee; (2) what is an essential business; and (3) what are minimum basic operations? According to the Seattle Times, the Governor’s office has indicated “a range of activities will be shut down, such as construction on buildings not considered essential. That includes Key Arena, which is undergoing a renovation for professional hockey, and commercial office towers going up around Amazon’s campus in South Lake Union.”[1] This should be kept in mind when reviewing this analysis.

COVID-19: A Force Majeure Event
It’s an “act of God,” a “superior force,” an extraordinary event that is beyond your control, so it has to be a force majeure event – – doesn’t it?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Seattle area and across the State of Washington, Carney Badley Spellman has – understandably – received an increasing number of inquiries from construction industry clients regarding the legal ramifications of what is now a growing pandemic. The most common question is whether COVID-19 is a force majeure or “act of god” that excuses contractual performance, or otherwise protects against liability for construction delays and costs caused by COVID-19. The short answer, is of course the one you would expect from a lawyer  . . . “it depends,” but it depends isn’t very helpful.   So instead, this article provides an overview of the applicable law, common contractual terms, and other legal and practical considerations that construction industry companies, whether owners, contractors, suppliers or architects, should consider in evaluating their risk and course of action in light of COVID-19. And, is hopefully helpful to you in evaluating your situation.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Duane C. Pozza

April 6, 2020

Federal Trade Commission Imposes Fines for Unsubstantiated “Made in USA” Claims
In a sign that it may be adopting a more aggressive enforcement stance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Williams-Sonoma $1 million as part of a settlement relating to false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims that certain Williams-Sonoma products were “Made in the USA.”

In the past, the FTC has tended to settle similar kinds of claims without seeking monetary relief. However, consumer groups have lately advocated for the FTC to issue formal rules regarding the enforcement of “Made in USA” claims, and to take a more forceful stance regarding violations of existing standards. Additionally, two FTC Commissioners have publicly pushed for the Commission to seek monetary relief in other recent “Made in the USA” settlements.

Czech Republic
Bríza & Trubac
Petr Bríza
April 6, 2020

Coronavirus As a Reason For Non-Performance of Contractual Obligations in Domestic and Cross-Border Trade: Can Late Delivery Be Justified By a Virus
Coronavirus, respectively its form referred to as COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”), has become a major media topic, and its influence (or panic-induced influence) extends to many areas of human activity. Undoubtedly, it will not avoid law either, not only in the field of hygiene regulations and administrative law in general but also in private law.

In this article, I would like to address the possible impacts of Coronavirus in the area of ??trade, not only domestic but also international. I have no ambition to examine this topic in every detail, instead I would like to make a few general remarks applicable across contract law considering business relations.

Wisconsin
DeWitt
Christopher M. Scherer
April 6, 2020

US Patent Office and the Patent Offices of the IP5 are Open for Business – COVID-19 Update
The Intellectual Property (IP) team at DeWitt is committed to supporting our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like DeWitt, the world’s five largest intellectual property offices (IP5) are open for business. Set forth below is how each of the IP5 is handling deadlines in patent matters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IP5, which includes the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the National Intellectual Property Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNIPA), have implemented policies to assist applicants in meeting filing and fee deadlines due to issues related to COVID-19.

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
Stephen P. Younger
April 6, 2020

How COVID-19 Will Affect Litigation In NY and Beyond
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is among the most devastating and disruptive forces in recent history, with, as of the writing of this article, hundreds of thousands of cases confirmed worldwide.

In an effort to curb the outbreak, state and federal governments have introduced various emergency measures, including travel restrictions, curfews, bans on public gatherings and mandatory quarantines. In addition, many businesses have cancelled events, are requiring employees to work from home and are taking other steps to limit the spread of the virus.

It is unclear how long the pandemic will last or how long the measures currently being undertaken will remain in effect. It is certain, however, that the global response to COVID-19 will have substantial effects on pending litigation.

New York, NY
Patterson Belknap
Stephen P. Younger
April 6, 2020

COVID-19’s Impact on Commercial Transactions and Disputes
The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is among the most devastating and disruptive forces in recent history. As a result of the emergency measures imposed by various governments, it has or will become impracticable or impossible for many parties to perform their contractual obligations – or at least some will claim as such. A common question in the wake of the pandemic will thus be whether a party should be excused for its non-performance.
Tuesday, April 17, 2020 | 1:00 p.m.     Live One-Hour Briefing          Register

District of Columbia
Wiley
Peter S. Hyun
April 6, 2020

COVID-19: Impact on Congressional Oversight & Investigations
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has unleashed an extraordinary amount of government activity, from the legislative branch to the executive branch, to state and local authorities. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress has remained active in seriously undertaking its pre-existing oversight responsibilities, ranging from oversight of the government’s initial response to the pandemic to oversight of industry practices regarding price-gouging for certain goods/services. What is more, Congress has now passed the largest stimulus packages in history, totaling well over $2 trillion, where federal dollars will now be spent to help mitigate the outbreak and provide relief to workers and businesses across the country. The injection of this massive amount of federal funds, however, requires oversight to protect taxpayer dollars and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.
Tuesday, April7, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT          RSVP

District of Columbia
Wiley
Megan L. Brown
April 6, 2020

President Creates Regime for Federal Review of Foreign Telecom Transactions
On April 4, 2020, President Trump issued the Executive Order on Establishing the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector. The Executive Order (EO) formalizes, through the establishment of a Committee, the ad hoc working group known as “Team Telecom” which has been reviewing certain telecommunications transactions that fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For years, the FCC has referred transactions to Team Telecom, to consider national security and law enforcement issues that may be raised by applications for FCC licenses and other grants of authority involving foreign ownership. This long-expected EO formalizes responsibilities and process for that review. FCC Chairman Pai issued a statement applauding “the President for formalizing Team Telecom review,” “welcom[ing] beneficial investment in our networks,” and noting that the FCC would “move forward to conclude our own pending rulemaking on reform of the foreign ownership review process.”

COVID-19 New Presidential Provisions
On Sunday, march 29, 2020 the New Presidential Provision durein the State of Public Calamity were published in the Official Gazette, which will come into effect on Monday, March 3-, 2020. These provisions contain the following restrictive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Shawn H. Chang
April 6, 2020

FCC Launches $200 Million COVID-19 Telehealth Program; $100 Million Connected Care Program
Approximately one week after the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order adopting a $200 million telehealth program (Telehealth Program) to support health care providers responding to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Congress appropriated the funds as part of the CARES Act, and the FCC’s Telehealth Program will enable health care providers to purchase telecommunications services, broadband connectivity, and devices necessary for providing telehealth services. 

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Tom Corkill
April 6, 2020

COVID-19 The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme
On 1 April the New Zealand Government, together with retail banks and the Reserve Bank announced the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme package for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Katrina Hammon
April 6, 2020

COVID-19: Safe Harbour from Insolvent Trading – What Does This Mean for Directors?
As COVID-19 has dramatically changed the business landscape in New Zealand, many directors have been left wondering whether their efforts to save their businesses could expose them to personal liability for trading whilst insolvent.  Recognising the pressures businesses are facing, the Government has announced it will seek temporary reforms to insolvency provisions under the Companies Act 1993 by introducing a safe harbour from insolvent trading.  If passed, the safe harbour will provide welcome relief to directors who are facing significant liquidity issues.

Los Angeles, California
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
April 3, 2020

COVID-19 Client Communication
As we wrap up another week in our dramatically altered world, please find our latest update on the latest breaking news related to COVID-19. Have a healthy, safe, and kind weekend. 
New FFCRA Regulations Provide Clarity
Bay Area Narrows SIP Orders
Copyright Office Accepting Electronic Applications
Paycheck Protection for Non-Profits
Furthering the Fight Against COVID-19
Pardon The Interruption, Yet Again
USPTO Extensions

Kentucky
McBrayer
Lisa Hinkle
April 3, 2020

Kentucky Healthcare Providers: SB 150 Gives Some Liability Buffer and More
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, there is still good news to be found for healthcare providers. Tucked into SB 150, signed into law this week, is a provision that limits the liability of healthcare providers who treat COVID-19 patients in good faith.The law also allows for relaxed regulatory requirements and more telehealth.

RWL Files Class Action Against Bank of America for Discriminatory Denial of Qualified Small Businesses’ Access to the PPP Loan Program
Today, RWL filed a class action against Bank of America for prioritizing access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to its lending clients and denying access to its depository clients and other small businesses at large.  A copy of the lawsuit as filed is attached.  In these critical times, there is no justification for excluding any small business from accessing an application that otherwise qualifies for the PPP loan program.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Scott A. Felder
April 3, 2020

Intellectual Property Lessons from the Government Contracting Industry May Take Center Stage During the COVID-19 Emergency
When it comes to building products for the federal government, Intellectual Property (IP) enforcement is different than it is in the commercial world. With the right terms and assurances in place, a government contractor can even willfully infringe another’s IP while still avoiding injunctions, treble damages, and sometimes even lawsuits altogether. These protections might be useful for those companies on the receiving end of a call from the President asking for their help to build ventilators, masks, or anything else that could incorporate another’s IP.

Anguilla
WEBSTER
Sarah Barrington
April 3, 2020

COVID-19 Employer Advice
During the COVID 19 pandemic there will be an increasing number of employers who will need to take certain measures in relation to their businesses. There will also be employees who will need to know their rights when such measures are taken. For this reason, we have put together the article below to guide employers and employees on the current situation. If you have any questions or require further advice, please do not hesitate to contact me at sbarrington@websterlawbwi.com. I look forward to hearing from you. 

District of Columbia
Wiley
Thomas W. Antonucci
April 3, 2020

SBA Regulations Issued for Paycheck Protection Program Effective Immediately
Late yesterday, April 2, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued regulations that provided additional information on how the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – which authorizes lenders to make fully-guaranteed SBA loans to small businesses to cover payroll and overhead costs for the next two months – will be implemented and made it effective immediately. Of note, the regulations confirmed applications for most borrowers can be submitted as early as April 3 (today), the PPP is “first-come, first-served,” and it will be available only “until funds made available for [the program] are exhausted.”

District of Columbia
Wiley
Todd A. Bromberg
April 3, 2020

DOL Issues Temporary Rule on FFCRA Paid Leave Requirements
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule on April 1, 2020 to implement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and clarify some of its provisions. In particular, the rule provides guidance on how businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the FFCRA leave requirements, as well as clarifications on certain terms within the text of the Act.

Arkasas
Rose Law Firm
Scott A. Felder
April 3, 2020

Updated SBA Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program Under the CARES Act
On April 2, 2020, the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) released guidance pertaining to the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) implemented by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act” or “the Act”). This memo addresses some of the information contained within the guidance and highlights some important information contained within the Act. 

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) And Rent Reform – Upheaval of rental market
With the economic turmoil being caused by COVID-19, leases in Europe, Malta included, are currently in a state of disarray. Many businesses have been forced to shut down, employees have been laid off or have had to suffer pay-cuts. The pandemic has overnight caused havoc in commercial as well as in residential leases. Retail outlets, whose revenues have ground to halt overnight, are generally still bound to pay their rents, even though they may not be able to do so much longer. At the same time landlords of such commercial properties now have to deal with tenants defaulting on the rents. The situation is no different in the housing sector; landlords have suddenly found themselves with vacant properties, and others are attempting to evict defaulting tenants.

New Zealand
Wynn Williams
Amanda Douglas
April 3, 2020

COVID-19 Essential Workers Leave Scheme Established
On 2 April 2020, the Government announced an “essential workers leave scheme” in relation to essential workers who are unable to work from home and become sick or are vulnerable, or who have sick or vulnerable members of their household. The scheme will ensure that workers in that category will continue to receive income, and will plug a gap left when the Government rolled the leave subsidy into the wage subsidy last week. The scheme will allow essential businesses to pay employees who need to take leave due to the COVID-19 Public Health guidance at the same rates as the Wage Subsidy Scheme, being $585.80 per week for full-time workers, and $350.00 per week for part-time workers.

SBA Releases Payroll Protection Program Guidance
In RWL’s continuing efforts to provide our clients, colleagues and the greater community with real-time information, the U.S. Small Business Administration just released its guidance for those who are interested in accessing the Payroll Protection Program under the CARES Act.
SBA: Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program

Kentucky
McBrayer
Anne-Tyler Morgan
April 2, 2020

The CARES Act: What You Need to Know About Relief Now Available for Businesses
With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, businesses received a dose of much-needed relief in the form of tax payment deferrals and loan programs. In this post, we’ll take a look at both the previously established EIDL Program and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Claire M. Vujanovic
April 2, 2020

Temporary Leave, Layoff or Pay Cuts: How to Handle Your Workforce Now That Your Business is Closed
Many states have instituted a mandatory “Stay Home” Order closing all but essential life-sustaining business. If your doors are closed, you may be making some tough decisions, and we’re here to help. Some options are outlined…

Kentucky
McBrayer
Anne-Tyler Morgan
April 2, 2020

CMS Expands Accelerated and Advance Payment Program for COVID-19 Emergency
As part of the CARES Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to a larger group of Part A providers and Part B suppliers. The full fact sheet on the expansion is available from CMS here, but we’ve summarized the significant points…

Kentucky
McBrayer
Cynthia L. Effinger
April 2, 2020

UPDATE: COVID-19 Update for Employers: New Notice, and NOW is the Time to Review Your Policies
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, H.R. 6201, is now law, and requires many employers to provide paid leave in one form or another during the COVID-19 crisis. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act portion of the new law also requires employers to conspicuously post a notice, where such notices to employees are generally posted, prepared by the Secretary of Labor. This notice is now available from the DOL at this link.  An FAQ from the DOL on this notice is also available on their website. One of the important takeaways from the FAQ is that employers with a largely working-from-home workforce may satisfy the conspicuous posting requirement by emailing or direct mailing the notice to their employees or posting it to an internal employee website. 

Kentucky
McBrayer
Kathryn A. Eckert
April 2, 2020

Department of Agriculture Issues COVID-19 Guidance for the Equine Industry
Gov. Beshear’s order of March 25, 2020, closing all non-essential businesses, allows businesses related to food, beverage, and agriculture to remain open, including “farming, livestock…and businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals…” The Department of Agriculture’s Office of State Veterinarian clarified some best practices for those in the equine industry who remain open at this time.

Kentucky
McBrayer
Anne-Tyler Morgan
April 2, 2020

UPDATE: Businesses: Loans and Tax Relief for the COVID-19 Crisis Are Available
After the passage of the CARES Act stimulus package, there are more than a few current items of relief available to businesses impacted by the crisis…

District of Columbia
Wiley
Alan Price
April 2, 2020

USTR Identifies Barriers to U.S. Exports in the 2020 National Trade Estimate Report
On March 31, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the 2020 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report). USTR highlights an array of trade barriers in more than 60 countries, including China, the European Union (EU), India, Russia, and Turkey, and flags particular barriers affecting steel, wood products, and digital trade in its comprehensive report.

Fake Medicine and Coronavirus Outbreak
It was not a long time ago when the World Health Organization (WHO) first declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as a public health emergency and proceeded to characterise COVID-19 as a pandemic only a few weeks later.

Currently, there are no clinical studies related to treatments to prevent or cure the novel coronavirus disease and, on this point, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) and other regulators in the EU and worldwide are putting all their efforts towards developing new vaccines. In this emergency situation, some medicines already known and used for the treatment of other diseases can be used for patients with COVID-19, but such treatments (which are still based on incomplete knowledge and justifiable only in case of a lack of alternatives) can only take place based on medical prescription. 

Malta Business Registry
Regrettably, it is predicted that there will be a rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is an unintended consequence of families being kept home, stressed and potentially out of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an unintended consequence for people living in already abusive homes, as they are having to spend more time with their abuser – and thus be at a heightened risk of further abuse.

New Zealand
Wynn WIlliams
Joshua Shaw
April 2, 2020

Domestic Violence During the Lockdown – Help is Still Available
Regrettably, it is predicted that there will be a rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is an unintended consequence of families being kept home, stressed and potentially out of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also an unintended consequence for people living in already abusive homes, as they are having to spend more time with their abuser – and thus be at a heightened risk of further abuse.

New Zealand
Wynn WIlliams
Michelle Mehlhopt
April 2, 2020

COVID-19: Consultation Timeframes Extended for Government Policy Documents
We have been providing updates on the various national regulations and policy documents that are currently open for consultation. However, things are changing each day and many priorities have shifted as we deal with the impacts of COVID-19. As a result, your teams may be necessarily more focused on response and recovery than on business as usual at this time.

New Zealand
Wynn WIlliams
Andrew Watkins
April 2, 2020

Valuations and COVID-19: The Effect of a Global Pandemic on Relationship Property Divisions
Separation and the division of relationship property is a stressful and uncertain process under normal circumstances. This will only be exacerbated during a global pandemic.

We are only beginning to see the impacts of Covid-19 and the lockdown. The wider impact on assets such as businesses, investments, superannuation, Kiwisaver, and company shares remains to be seen. However, we are likely to see a significant reduction in valuations for many assets (excluding those companies producing hand sanitiser or manufacturing face masks…). In turn, this could impact on relationship property negotiations, proceedings before the Court, and recently concluded s21A agreements which concern shareholdings in affected companies.

New Zealand
Wynn WIlliams
Michelle Mehlhopt
April 2, 2020

Local Government: Urgent Amendments to Legislation to Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic
In its last sitting before adjourning prior to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, Parliament introduced the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill (Bill). The Bill gained royal assent on 25 March 2020, and amends the Education Act 1989, the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006, the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA), the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA), and the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
April 1, 2020

COVID-19 Relief: Understanding SBA Loan Opportunities Under the CARES Act
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act is designed to distribute capital quickly and broadly to help alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19, including relief opportunities for small businesses through programs administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Among other things, the CARES Act (a) appropriates $349 billion to small businesses as part of an expansion of the SBA’s Section 7(a) loan program under the “Payroll Protection Program” (PPP), and (b) appropriates $10 billion to small businesses as part of an expansion of the SBA’s Section 7(b) economic injury disaster loan program (EIDL Program). Set forth below is an overview of the eligibility requirements and key loan terms for COVID-19 relief loans issued under the PPP and the EIDL Program under the CARES Act.

New Zealand
Wynn WIlliams
Katrina Hammon
April 1, 2020

COVID-19: Commercial Leases and Pandemics – Understand Your Obligations and If Rent Will Be Payable During the Lockdown?
As at 11:59pm on Wednesday 25 March, New Zealand entered “lockdown” due to Alert Level 4 commencing. Many businesses are non-essential business and will not be able to access or operate from the commercial premises they lease during lockdown.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Thomas W. Antonucci
April 1, 2020

Treasury Releases Application and Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program
As discussed in prior Wiley alerts, the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – a critical part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was signed into law on March 27, 2020 – authorizes lenders to make fully-guaranteed (and potentially completely forgivable) loans to small businesses to cover payroll and overhead costs for the next two months.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Attison L. Barnes, III
April 1, 2020

Court Jearomgs om a Time of Social Distancing: Considerations for Video- or Teleconference Hearings
It should come as no surprise that courts across the country have begun to explore and use video- and teleconferencing as a way to keep pending cases moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is particularly true for federal courts with busy trial dockets and pressing criminal matters. While recent legislation has focused on authorizing federal courts to use such technology in criminal cases, this will likely provide a roadmap for civil cases as well. The authors of this Alert have already received a court order in a civil case requiring a remote, technology-assisted hearing.

CARES Act Sample PPP Application and Guidance and Additional Information on State Programs
In our continuing effort to keep you informed on a real-time basis below please find a link to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s webpage which includes the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program (PPP) sample application and overview of the program.  We are also including additional links from Maryland with respect to a number of other programs.

District of Columbia
Wiley
Alan H. Price
April 1, 2020

Chinese Authorities to Require Quality Certificates from Companies
Seeking to Export COVID-19 Supplies
On March 31, 2020, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and General Administration of Customs issued an announcement that will require additional quality assurances from any Chinese company seeking to export certain supplies related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

 Effective April 1, 2020, the Announcement Regarding Orderly Undertaking of Medical Supply Exports requires certification that the exported goods (i) have obtained medical device products registration from Chinese authorities, and (ii) comply with the quality standards of the importing country. The announcement applies to COVID-19 tests, masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and infrared thermometers. It appears to have been issued in response to recent reports of faulty PPE being exported from China to affected countries in Europe. The announcement includes an excel file identifying the products and companies that have been registered with Chinese authorities. For companies intending to source COVID-19 supplies from China, confirming that the supplier is on this list could be a useful first step in ensuring the reliability of the product. 

District of Columbia
Wiley
Tracye Winfrey Howard
April 1, 2020

DOD Issues Guidance on Managing Defense Contracts During COVID-19
On the heels of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) guidance encouraging agencies to consider requests for equitable adjustment (REAs) for increased costs related to COVID-9, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) issued a similar memorandum for defense agencies. The memo outlines three ways defense agencies can work with contractors during this challenging time:

  1. The memo reminds the defense community that delays related to COVID-19 are likely excusable under standard clauses included in DOD contracts, and contractors that are unable to perform due to events beyond their control will not be in default and should not receive negative performance ratings.  
  2. The memo recognizes that COVID-19 impacts on performance may also increase the cost of performance, and reiterates that contracting officers should consider REAs on a case-by-case basis. 
  3. The memo highlights Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which, as we previously noted, authorizes agencies to reimburse contractors for the cost of paid leave incurred to keep contractor or subcontractor personnel in a “ready state” to the extent the contractor or subcontractor personnel were (i) unable to access a government facility or site and (ii) were unable to telework because their job duties could not be performed remotely. The memo states that DOD will provide implementing guidance for Section 3610 as soon as practicable.  

Texas
McGinnis Lochridge
April 1, 2020

Navigating the CARES Act for Employers
Following on the heels of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which, among other things, provided paid sick and family leave to workers affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act on March 27, 2020. 

The CARES Act was designed, in part, to provide economic relief to businesses and workers impacted by the closure or disruption of businesses due to COVID-19. Specifically, the CARES Act creates a new lending program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides businesses access to a loan for which the proceeds are required to be used to cover payroll costs, rent, interest and utilities. Additionally, the CARES Act implemented the Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act, which creates an employee retention tax credit for employers and extends the unemployment benefits an individual may be entitled to receive.

RWL Here to Help You Navigate the CARES Act
As part of our continuing effort to provide timely information regarding state and federal programs to assist businesses during these difficult times, RWL has established a COVID-19 Business Subgroup.  Please feel free to contact Alan Rifkin (arifkin@rwllaw.com); Celeste Bruce (cbruce@rwllaw.com); JR Reith (jreith@rwllaw.com); Jamie Katz (jeisenberg@rwllaw.com) or Barry Gogel (bgogel@rwllaw.com).  Who, in conjunction with our colleagues Linda Thatcher (lht@thatcherlaw.com) (employment law) and Richard Friedlander (richardf@rsfchart.com) (tax consulting), are here to provide realtime assistance and advice.  There is no initial consultation fee.  We are all part of the same community. 
Interpretive Guidance COVID-19-08
NFIB COVID-19 Webinar Part III: Financial Resources & Updates for Small Businesses
Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Information Sheet: Borrowers
Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Business

District of Columbia
Wiley
March 31, 2020

No COVID-19 Relief for Lobbying Disclosure, Filing Your April Lobbying Reports
This webinar will help identify registration and reporting triggers in the states, as well as best practices for keeping track of deadlines and dates. We will also walk you through best practices for collecting and reporting information required by the Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act. April reports are now around the corner. Get a head start now.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT          RSVP

Newfoundland, Canada
Benson Buffett
March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Client Support Information  
The lawyers at Benson Buffett PLC are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our clients. We understand that these are trying times, fraught with uncertainty. In addition to carrying on in our usual practice areas, we wish to take this opportunity to reassure our clients that we are able to guide you through the many issues you and your business is facing. In particular, we offer up-to-date legal advice on the following pressing topics.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
March 30, 2020

CARES Act: Retirement Provisions
On March 25, 2020, the Senate passed H.R. 748, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act.” The $2 trillion economic relief package has a number of provisions to help individuals, small businesses and other entities in this economic and health crisis. This memo focuses on the provisions that affect retirement withdrawals. Specifically, the CARES Act allows for the waiver of the early withdrawal penalty on distributions from eligible retirement plans and temporarily waive certain required minimum distribution rules.
Temporary Waiver

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
March 30, 2020

Handling Evictions During COVID-19 Pandemic
In the midst of this health and economic crisis, many tenants are likely to either fail to make or get behind in making rent payments. While a number of states have suspended evictions statewide, and HUD has suspended evictions and foreclosures nationwide, Arkansas has not taken action at the statewide level to suspend evictions of tenants at this time. Governor Hutchinson has not indicated a willingness to issue such an order unless it becomes a “serious problem” and instead noted that businesses were being “reasonable.”

Colorado
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe
March 30, 2020

To help make sense of all the COVID-19 information that is unfolding, we’ve curated our resources providing insights and guidance into one location for your easy reference. You can obtain these resources on our COVID-19 Updates page.

Like you, we continue to closely monitor the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, including local Stay At Home orders and other closures. During these unprecedented times, we are doing our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ireland Stapleton’s employees are working remotely, without any interruptions to the services we provide, to ensure we can help you navigate the impact that COVID-19 is having on you, your business, and your community. Our attorneys and professional staff members stand at the ready to assist with your legal needs, as we have for the last 94 years. We look forward to working with you by phone, email, and video conference to provide legal advice with perspective as you navigate these uncertain times in your daily life and in business.

District of Columbia
Wiley
March 30, 2020

DHS Updates Guidance on Essential Critical Operations and Workers During COVID-19 
On March 28, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an updated version of its “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” guidelines, intended to help state, tribal, and other local officials decide what workers may need to continue to operate as usual when COVID-related “lockdown” or “stay at home” orders are in place. 

District of Columbia
Wiley
March 30, 2020

COVID-19: Impact on Congressional Oversight & Investigations
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has unleashed an extraordinary amount of government activity, from the legislative branch to the executive branch, to state and local authorities. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress has remained active in seriously undertaking its pre-existing oversight responsibilities, ranging from oversight of the government’s initial response to the pandemic to oversight of industry practices regarding price-gouging for certain goods/services. What is more, Congress has now passed the largest stimulus packages in history, totaling well over $2 trillion, where federal dollars will now be spent to help mitigate the outbreak and provide relief to workers and businesses across the country. The injection of this massive amount of federal funds, however, requires oversight to protect taxpayer dollars and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

Please join us as we discuss the new Congressional oversight landscape (including the creation of a new inspector general authority) as the government continues to grapple with responding adequately to the pandemic.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EDT)            RSVP

District of Columbia
Wiley
March 30, 2020

Coronavirus Relief Package: What Employers and Industries Need to Know
On Friday, March 27, after days of intense negotiations, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. This sweeping $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package was passed on a bipartisan basis to help abate the massive economic disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Maryland
Rifkin Weiner Livingston
March 30, 2020

Today, Governor Larry Hogan issued a “Stay at Home” Order for all Maryland residents.  The Order goes in effect at 8:00 pm this evening until further notice.  The Executive Order and Office of Legal Counsel’s Interpretive Guidance of the Order are attached.

Non-essential personnel are ordered to stay at home except for certain “Essential Activities” as noted in the Order.  Essential Activities include:  going to the grocery store, pet food store, doctor’s office, veterinary office, traveling to and from educational institution to receive meals or instructional materials for distance learning, travel required by law enforcement or court order, traveling to and from a governmental building for a necessary purpose, and engaging in outdoor activities (walking, hiking, running or biking).  The outdoor activities must be in compliance with the no large gatherings rule and during the press conference it was recommended that people exercise either alone or only with someone living in the same household. 
Signed Gatherings 4th Amended
OLC interpretive Guidance COVID-19

Malta
IURIS
March 30, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Further Financial Aid by Maltese Government to Mitigate Effects of Economic Slowdown Caused by Pandemic
The Covid-19 coronavirus has caused an upheaval not only in the way we live, but more worryingly, in the way we work. The speed with which it has spread in Europe, and across the globe, has caught many by surprise. Little could be done to avoid the impact it has had, grinding economies worldwide to a halt. Malta is no exception. Immediately after the first case was detected businesses started taking their own precautions and measures to take the blow. Companies starting slowing operations; others shut down and laid off workers. As in other countries, the Maltese Government has had to intervene to avoid economic disaster.

Ontario, Canada
WeirFoulds
March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Resource Portal
This is an unprecedented time for every person and business in Canada and around the world. We understand the challenges and are here to help you.

Our COVID-19 Resources Portal includes the latest articles from our lawyers to help people and businesses navigate the situation. They include information on changes to legislation and the impacts on various industries. We will continue to monitor these developments and publish timely updates.

We have also set up a dedicated COVID-19 email address where you can send us questions about your specific challenges. We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible.

Maryland
Rifkin Weiner Livingston
March 28, 2020

U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
Senator Ben Cardin, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship has provided a Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.  The guide is attached to this RWL Report. 

Per Senator Cardin, the programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are intended to assist business owners with their immediate needs. The CARES Act will provide new resources for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers.  The attached guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these pressing needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of the SBA. 

Malta
IURIS
March 27, 2020

Understanding the Legal Implications of COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Can the Outbreak of the Pandemic Be Considered a “Force Majeure” Event?
It is definitely no open secret that Malta, as much as the rest of the world, is presently undergoing an unprecedented crisis affecting individuals coming from every walk of life. The outbreak of the pandemic within our shores has triggered the shutdown of businesses and workplaces which are now being encouraged to mandate employees to work remotely when possible, in line with health department recommendations, with all the ramifications this brings with it. The current financial situation certainly does not allow the Government to maintain a laissez-faire attitude towards office and retail industries, resulting in emergency measures necessary to avert a calamity, which have an inevitable impact on contractual obligations, such as commercial leases. These contractual relationships are being, or are likely to be, severed not only as a consequence of the supervening global circumstances, but also because contractual force majeure clauses, which allow a contracting party to retract from or delay its obligations, either tend to be overlooked throughout the stage of contract drafting or simply put, fail to envisage specific contingencies such as the outbreak of a pandemic.

Michigan
Fraser Trebilcock
March 26, 2020

Attached are summaries of the recent COVID-19 legislation as well as links to employment/employee benefits information prepared by our firm. 
Final Help Coronavirus Section by Section
CARES Act Summary
Client Alert: COVID-19 Related Guidance and Effect on Group Health Plans
FFCRA: Required Employer Actions By April 1, 2020

Grenada
Wilkinson Wilkinson & Wilkinson
March 26, 2020

To Our Valued Colleagues, Clients and Service Providers
In  light of this ever-changing situation  known as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we wish to assure everyone that the health and safety of us all is paramount at this time.

Following the Prime Minister’s address to the Nation today 25th  March 2020,  our Chambers will be closed to the public with effect from tomorrow Thursday 26th  March 2020 for a  period of at least twenty-one (21) days or until the Government of Grenada gives further  guidelines.
Statement in Response to Coronavirus
Ministry of Health Grenada – Statutory Rules and Regulations

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Client Communication
As a part of our ongoing series in keeping our clients and friends abreast of various changes to policies and laws resulting from COVID-19, please find the latest updates below.
COVID-19 Causes Coverage
SEC Sets Course on Disclosure
Keeping Employees Posted
America CARES
DOL Provides Guidance
FAQ On FFCRA

Connecticut
Robinson+Cole
March 26, 2020

Robinson+Cole Attorneys Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak
The rapidly evolving impact of the coronavirus outbreak around the world and its characterization as a pandemic risk is overwhelming business leaders, human resource professionals and rank-and-file employees. Robinson+Cole’s dedicated Coronavirus Response Team stands ready to help businesses navigate the complex legal, financial and regulatory impacts caused by this unprecedented challenge.

Greece
Avramopoulos & Partners
March 26, 2020

In light of the rapid and continuous spread of COVID-19 and the Decision of the Greek Government on lockdown starting from last Monday, March 23, in order to prevent further expansion of the coronavirus, we at Avramopoulos & Partners have been taking various precautionary measures and adjusting our operations to ensure the health and safety of our employees, lawyers, clients, families and the greater community. We will continue to do so as the situation develops. We are making every effort to ensure this situation does not impact the quality of service and support that our lawyers and staff are providing.

Virginia
McGuireWoods
March 25, 2020

McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting Offer Business, Legal and Crisis Communications Resources Addressing COVID-19 Concerns Across Industries
McGuireWoods’ COVID-19 Response Team helps clients navigate urgent and evolving legal and business issues arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Lawyers in our 21 offices are ready to assist quickly on questions involving healthcare, labor and employment, education, real estate and more. For assistance, contact a team member listed below or email covid-19@mcguirewoods.com.

Kentucky
McBrayer
March 25, 2020

EMPLOYMENT LAW ALERT: DOL Issues Guidance for Employers –
Paid Leave Provisions Take Effect April 1st
Employers are facing many tough issues with the current coronavirus outbreak. Attorneys from our employment law team have written several pieces of guidance to provide some direction during this stressful time.
Department of Labor Issues Guidance for Employers – Paid Leave Provisions Take Effect April 1st
IRS, DOL, and Treasury Release Notice on How Employers Will Take Tax Credits for Paid Sick Leave
COVID-19 Update for Employers: New Notice, NOW is the Time to Review Your Policies
Enforcement and Retaliation of New Paid Leave Provisions – Crucial Concerns for Employers
Confidentiality and COVID-19 – Guidance for Employers

Maryland
Rifkin Weiner Livingston
March 25, 2020

We’re Here to Help
During this difficult time, we realize that many in our RWL community of clients and friends may be in need of information, legal help or other resources. To help you navigate these uncharted waters, we have arranged with certain of our trusted colleagues in other disciplines to provide you with easy access to real-time information and professional services as needed.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
March 25, 2020

Arkansas Price Gouging Laws
On March 11, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 20-03 declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Arkansas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, that emergency declaration triggered the State’s price gouging laws. These laws make it unlawful for any person, contractor, business, or other entity to sell or offer to sell certain goods or services for more than ten percent (10%) above the price charged for those goods or services immediately prior to the proclamation of emergency. These laws are in effect for thirty (30) days following the Governor’s Declaration but they may be extended for additional thirty (30) day periods.

Pennsylvania
Eckert Seamans
March 25, 2020

Free Resources to Help Navigate State’s Responses to the CoronaVirus
Track and compare every state’s bills in response to the coronavirus. This resource is available to everyone who needs to better understand the bills that will help us manage this outbreak.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
March 24, 2020

Force Majeure
In business arrangements, uncontrollable events, often referred to as force majeure events, may arise and prevent or delay fulfillment of a party’s obligations. If the arrangement has been reduced to a contract, a force majeure clause in the contract may excuse a party’s failure to perform if such an event arises. Depending on the language of the contract, COVID-19 may excuse performance under a force majeure clause.

Arkansas
Rose Law Firm
March 24, 2020

Summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), recently passed by Congress and signed by the President, includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).

California
Boutin Jones
March 24, 2020

Because California has been declared a major disaster area, Boutin Jones is working on Internal Revenue Code section 139 plans and developing expertise in advising clients in California and are able to assist other SCG members in Washington and New York, if needed.  We would like to work together with our federal income tax colleagues in those states as a workgroup on Internal Revenue Code section 139.

The benefits of this provision is to allow employers to make tax exempt payments to employees, free of federal employment taxes as a way to alleviate the stress of having to pay personal expenses such as rents and mortgages after the employee has had hours reduced.  The recipient still needs to be an employee for the plan to benefit the participant.   We anticipate many workers will have schedules reduced as we  are seeing in California.
Bob Rubin and Jim Leet are working on this project.

Louisiana
Adams & Reese
March 24, 2020

Many states have revised and expanded unemployment-benefits coverage for employees affected by coronavirus-related layoffs, shutdowns, and work-hour reductions. Some states are also requiring employers to file claims on behalf of affected employees, creating incentives for employers to do so, and streamlining the process for employer-filed claims. Here is a summary of changes to unemployment-benefits coverage in the eight states and the District of Columbia within Adams and Reese’s footprint that also includes links to additional resources and information for employers.

Minnesota
Larkin Hoffman
March 24, 2020

Below, please find links to the Larkin Hoffman COVID-19 Resource Center where we are collecting all materials and links to our blogs.
Larkin Hoffman COVID-19 Resource Center
Real Estate and Construction Blog
Employment and Labor Blog

Bulgaria
Penev LLP
March 24, 2020

PENEV LLP takes all preventive measures to keep its team safe. Hence, our daily operations and work on clients’ assignments are not interrupted. In order to provide effective quality services and keep our offices safe, our team members continue to work with an option of remote work from their home. This option is aimed for efficient work, which will deal with unnecessary delays, but in case of any interruption, notifications would be immediately sent.

In addition, we would like to mention possible prolongations in matters of administrative procedures and public agencies’ involvement. We will keep you updated regarding probable limitations set by administrative bodies. Having said that, there is a special law – The State of Emergency Measures Act (SEMA) finally passed by Bulgarian Parliament on 23rd of March 2020, which provides extraordinary ad hoc rules for both businesses and employees during this time of crisis. Kindly find attached our brief executive summary (SEMA at-a-GLANCE) of the key-provisions applicable to businesses in Bulgaria.

Texas
McGinnis Lochridge
March 24, 2020

Impacts on US Trade Policy Arising from the Virus Outbreak
Within just a few weeks of its introduction into the United States, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus have had a dramatic impact on every individual and business in the United States, and, indeed, throughout most of the world. 

It is far too early to predict the lasting impacts on the US economy, US trade policies, and, indeed, our way of life. Nevertheless, businesses must be aware of near-term measures that are currently being considered by decision makers and possible measures that some have proposed for implementation over the longer term.  

Texas
McGinnis Lochridge
March 24, 2020

Staying Up to Date with COVID-19
With much uncertainty and ever-changing information surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, staying up to date can be an insurmountable task. The National Governor’s Association has put together a succinct overview and charting of current information on the status of COVID-19 in the United States and abroad, including such topics as: the states and countries worldwide affected by the virus with running totals; state, federal, and territorial response efforts; and numerous resources for testing, preparedness, prevention, and workforce and labor relief. We hope you find this to be an informative and helpful tool as we all work together to navigate this evolving and uncharted territory.

Texas
McGinnis Lochridge
March 24, 2020

COVID-19: Emergency Paid Leave Update
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which among other things, amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and enacts a separate Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The FFCRA was passed to address the unprecedented impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the U.S. workforce. In particular, with each passing day, more and more municipalities and states are ordering the closure of schools, prohibiting mass gatherings, recommending self-quarantines, and implementing other “social distancing” measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Likewise, businesses and employers are reducing their operations or closing—prompting many employees to remain at home. Because of these measures, employers and employees were left wondering whether employees, who cannot appear for work due to the coronavirus, including for reasons due to school closures, would be compensated. The FFCRA attempts to address this concern, and we have summarized the relevant portions.

Kentucky
McBrayer
March 23, 2020

Healthcare providers are facing many tough issues with the current coronavirus outbreak. Attorneys from our healthcare team have written several pieces of guidance to provide some direction during this stressful time.
KBML Reminds Physicians of Exceptions to Prescribing Rules for Controlled Substances During Declaration of Emergency
Providing Medically Assisted Therapy During the National COVID-19 Crisis
Healthcare Providers and First Responders: How New Paid Leave Laws Affect Your Workforce
UPDATE – New Telehealth Expansion May Benefit Healthcare Entities

Malta
IURIS
March 21, 2020

Understanding the Legal Implications of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) from a Socio-Economic Perspective: The First Steps Towards Weathering the Crisis
The recent outbreak of the Novel Covid-19 (Corona Virus) pandemic in Malta has propelled the Government to introduce measures principally aimed at containing the virus from a public sanitary and security aspect, and at adjusting the socio-economic as well as the legal and judicial modus vivendi, such as the closure of schools and the Law courts. These measures, not least the quarantine measures impinging on employment matters and the financial aid package unveiled by Government, have been vehemently criticized as ‘insufficient’ by the main Maltese trade unions and bodies representing small start-up businesses as well as established enterprises. The string of Legal Notices published in the last few days purport to make provision for the current national situation which is in an ongoing state of flux. While it remains to be seen whether these measures will serve their purpose, one has to understand the multifaceted implications of the times Malta is presently living and take stock of the questions which are being raised by the key stakeholders.
IURIS Important Notice on COVID-19

Australia, Melbourne
Hall & Wilcox
March 20, 2020

In Australia, much like the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving and escalating situation. To support our clients through these uncertain times, we have engaged a dedicated team of experts to help businesses navigate legal and business uncertainty. Our team of specialists are working through business impact issues and we have created an online COVID-19 resource center where you can read their latest articles and watch our client webinars.

Hall & Wilcox remains open for business and although the majority of our people are working remotely, this will not impact how we service our clients. As one of Australia’s leading independent, full service law firms we are able to provide expert advice on a broad range of legal and business issues affecting industries, organisations and individuals including corporate and commercial, employment, tax, powers of attorney, banking and financial considerations and workers compensation for those based both locally and abroad.

Kentucky
McBrayer
March 19, 2020

Hospitality Alert: Governor Beshear’s Directives Regarding the Hospitality Industry
Do you know what restrictions and mandates that have been made by Governor Andy Beshear regarding the spread of the coronavirus? If you own a restaurant or a bar, you will want to read what’s happening. Gov. Beshear Executive Order Restricts Onsite Consumption of Food and Alcohol and Gov. Beshear Orders All Public-Facing Businesses to Close

Kentucky
McBrayer
March 19, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Becomes Law: What Employers Need to Know
On Wednesday, March 18, President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” into law. It becomes effective on April 2nd, which is a short period for taking compliance steps and budgeting for the changes. Among the provisions of the coronavirus relief bill are items relating to paid sick time and family leave, which we have summarized below, as they will have an enormous impact on employers.

Utah
Parsons Behle & Latimer
March 19, 2020

COVID-19 Response Resources
As an employer, business or individual, you, like the rest of our community, may be scrambling to respond to the rapidly-changing consequences of COVID-19. Parsons Behle & Latimer has created a multi-disciplinary team to provide legal information and best practices in areas where your business may be affected.

Oregon
Harrang Long
March 19, 2020

Like many of our clients, Harrang Long has had to take action in response to COVID-19.  Earlier this week, to protect the health of our employees and to contribute to our community’s effort to slow the spread of the virus, our attorneys and staff began working from home.  We were ready for this.  All of our professionals have remote access to the resources they need to serve our clients.  We are not holding in-person meetings unless necessary, but you can reach us in all the other ways you could before.  We can file and serve court papers from our home offices.  In short, we remain hard at work on our clients’ matters and stand ready to help on new ones.

For the last few weeks, we have worked with many of our clients to address the numerous ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their operations.  We have developed considerable know-how in the process.  If you need advice – particularly on matters relating to your employees – please call Sharon Rudnick or Randy Geller at (541) 485-0220.

England
Mills & Reeve
March 19, 2020

The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus is creating uncertainty for everyone and the impact is being felt across the world. Mills & Reeve is doing everything it can to ensure it is business as usual. We have a dedicated COVID-19 Hub where our clients, contacts and members of SCG Legal can keep up to date with insights and practical guidance to give support through the complex and difficult decisions in this current situation.

Michigan
Fraser Trebilcock
March 19, 2020

Fraser Trebilcock COVID-19 Response Team
The COVID-19 pandemic is already causing federal, state and local governmental action, which is probably unprecedented in the lifetime of many people. This is already causing displacement of how our world is living, and doing business, which means that immediate compliance and legal consequences will continue to emerge – sometimes overnight – that may require advocacy to protect your interests. We remain at your service in our State Capitol, Detroit and Grand Rapids if you have immediate need to deal with government action.

Wisconsin
DeWitt
March 19, 2020

President Signs The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Are The New Time Off Obligations That Covered Employers Must Address?
In the early morning hours of March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) with overwhelming bipartisan support. As we previously explained in our March 15, 2020, post, the FFCRA, as originally passed, would have imposed a number of significant obligations on covered employers with respect to employee leave due to the coronavirus. On Monday, March 16, 2020, the House of Representatives passed a “Corrections” resolution by unanimous consent that dramatically lessens these potential obligations. On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the revised version of the FFCRA from Monday (i.e., the version that contains the lessened employer obligations) by a vote of 90-8. The President signed the bill, hours after the Senate passage and it will go into effect in 15 days.

Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Benson Buffett
March 19, 2020

Response to COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Benson Buffett has been taking precautions aimed at keeping our clients, personnel, and community safe while at the same time ensuring that our clients’ needs are served. Our office remains open however personal contact is being kept to a minimum and persons wishing contact with our lawyers and staff need to be aware that in many cases steps can be taken to afford them remote access.

China, Beijing
Beijing DHH Law Firm
March 19, 2020

Being the SCG firm in Beijing, China, we would be happy to assist our members with their needs and questions. Including best practices from businesses in Beijing. Also, we have developed a network of manufacturers for face masks. If any of our members are facing a shortage in their localities, we would be happy to make that connection for them.

Colorado
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe
March 18, 2020

Newly Required Colorado HELP Rule
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“CDLE”) issued the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rule (“Colorado HELP”) that requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave for employees with flu-like symptoms and who are undergoing testing for COVID-19. The industries impacted are those employers engaged in the following fields: leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education; home health care (working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals); operating a nursing home or operating a community living facility.

Texas
McGinnis Lochridge
March 18, 2020

COVID-19 and the Workplace
The severity and lasting impacts and effects of the spread of COVID-19 remain unknown. Each day federal, state, and local governments deploy new measures in an effort to curtail the spread of the virus, and such measures will impact the workforce and implicate legal obligations of employers. For example, some jurisdictions have closed, or are considering closing, schools, which may require parents without access to childcare to remain home. Additionally, individuals who tested positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive to COVID-19 may be required or advised to quarantine for several weeks.

Kentucky
McBrayer
March 18, 2020

Force Majeure, Contracts and Coronavirus
This week our team at McBrayer have received a number of calls about business contracts that have been impacted by the Coronavirus precautionary measures. Here, we provide some guidance on force majeure and navigating contract issues for our readers.

Thailand
Bangkok International Association
March 18, 2020

COVID-19 and Thailand
All Bangkok bars, pubs, gyms, boxing stadiums, horse racing venues, and cinemas, closed for two weeks from today. Pattaya likely to follow. Requirements outside Bangkok and Pattaya are in the discretion of the local provincial governor. Prisons closed to visitors for two weeks. Shops and shopping malls remain open but must comply with hygiene rules by disinfecting their premises etc.

Italy
Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati
March 17, 2020

COVID-19 Update by Priola Pennuto Zei & Associati
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting people and economies all around the world at a speed that requires immediate steps to been taken to mitigate its impact.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
March 17, 2020

Three New Coronavirus Updates for Employers
There are several new developments at the federal and state level regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact on California employers and workers.  The United States House of Representatives passed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (H.R. 6201), tentatively creating new paid leave obligations related to the coronavirus for many employers.  Moreover, two California government agencies have issued important new guidance on coronavirus and its impact on employers and workers:  The California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued an FAQ Memo and the California Employment Development Department (EDD) also issued relevant guidance.

COVID-19 Update
Due to the international spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Philippi, Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria (PPU) has assumed the commitment to guarantee the health, safety, and integrity of the members of our law firm and their families and also of our clients, and to safeguard the continuity of our operation.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
March 16, 2020

COVID-19 and the Trade Community
There are a bunch of other things going on when it comes to international trade, but the most concerning topic right now is the coronavirus or COVID-19. From a purely business continuity perspective, we are receiving lots of inquiries around the following question: “Can we get out of our contracts by invoking the force majeure clauses?” Such a clause allows parties to cancel contracts when events occur which are both beyond their control but also totally unexpected. A typical illustration would be an “Act of God.” First, make sure your contract includes a force majeure clause, because if not, that could present a significant uphill and costly battle. Given the widespread losses which are likely to result, it is reasonable to anticipate companies of any size will, so to speak, “stick to their guns” in trying to “spread the pain.”

Colorado
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe
March 15, 2020

Helping Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Like you, we here at Ireland Stapleton are closely monitoring the rapidly developing situation with COVID-19. It goes without saying that our priority during this uncharted time is the health, safety, and well-being of our team and their families, our clients, our colleagues, and our communities.  

While we remain open for business, the majority of our attorneys and support staff will be working remotely, and we will have reduced staff in the office to manage essential business functions. Considering the disruptions COVID-19 is causing, we are advising against in-person meetings. However, if you will be visiting our offices, please take a moment to review these guidelines. During this period of uncertainty, we will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and alter our plans when appropriate.  

While we may not be seeing you in person, rest assured, we stand at the ready to assist with your legal needs, as we have for the last 94 years. We look forward to working with you by phone, email, and video conference to provide legal advice with perspective as you navigate these uncertain times in your daily life and in your business.

Kentucky
McBrayer
March 13, 2020

Coronavirus and Employers: Critical Compliance Information
The team at McBrayer has combined their employment law insight with guidance from EEOC and other government agencies to give employers some answers in how to effectively administer their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario, Canada
WeirFoulds
March 13, 2020

Response to COVID-19
In light of the continued spread of COVID-19 and more recently, the ‘global pandemic’ declaration by the World Health Organization, we at WeirFoulds have been taking various precautionary measures and adjusting our operations to ensure the health and safety of our employees, clients, families and the greater community. We will continue to do so as the situation changes. We are making every effort to ensure this situation does not impact the quality of service and support that our lawyers and staff are providing to our clients.

Louisiana
Adams Reese
March 12, 2020

Update: “Pandemic” Label for COVID-19 by WHO Triggers New ADA Rules for Employers
Greg Rouchell, a New Orleans-based lawyer with Adams and Reese who heads the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Team, has published an update to his earlier piece on labor and employment law issues surrounding coronavirus. The alert below focuses on how the World Health Organization’s labeling of the spread of coronavirus as a “pandemic” triggers different rules for employers under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Greg has answered 11 common questions about the pandemic and what employers can’t and cannot do under this shift.

Los Angeles, CA
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp
March 12, 2020

Novel Coronavirus European Travel Ban
On March 11, 2020, the White House issued Proclamation 9984 “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” which suspends entry to the United States for immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present in the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their arrival to the United States. The Schengen Area includes the following 26 countries…

Louisiana
Adams Reese
March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Expected to Bring Serious Delays and Complications to Construction Projects
Susan Eccles, a Baton Rouge-based lawyer who represents clients in the construction industry, has authored an alert focusing on potential impacts the construction industry faces thanks to coronavirus. Susan is available to speak to these issues and provide background information for stories focusing on construction projects and the construction industry.

Louisiana
Adams Reese
March 10, 2020

Navigating Coronavirus Through the Myriad of Employment Laws:
Legal Issues Employers Need to Consider

Greg Rouchell, a New Orleans-based lawyer who heads our Labor and Employment Law Team, has authored an alert with practical guidance on how employers, particularly management and HR, should address workplace issues relating to the coronavirus. Greg is available to speak to these issues and provide background information on what types of labor and employment law issues businesses face as a result of coronavirus.

Louisiana
Adams Reese
March 10, 2020

Coronavirus Poses Threats to Organizational Cybersecurity and IT Systems
David Katz, an Atlanta-based lawyer in our Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Management Team, has authored an alert on how coronavirus threatens organizational cybersecurity and IT systems. David is available to speak to these issues and provide background information on what types of cybersecurity issues businesses face as a result of coronavirus.