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COVID-19: A Weekly Recap (March 29, 2020)

Jones Walker • March 29, 2020
The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have rapidly and appropriately become a top priority for governments, business, communities, and families worldwide. At Jones Walker, we share your concerns. Our hearts go out to those who have already been negatively impacted by this pandemic and to those who may face difficult choices in the near future.

GC Memo Summarizes NLRB Decisions About Duty To Bargain in Emergency Situations

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
Peter B. Robb, the General Counsel (GC) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a Memorandum setting forth summaries of NLRB decisions about unionized employers’ duty to bargain in emergency situations. The Memorandum was issued in light of the many issues that have arisen about the rights and obligations of employers and labor organizations because of the coronavirus. According to the GC, those issues have arisen “in light of responsive measures taken by employers to contain the virus. Sometimes these measures have been taken out of prudence; other times they have been required by state, local or federal orders.” Memorandum GC 20-04 “Case Summaries Pertaining to the Duty to Bargain in Emergency Situations” (March 27, 2020).

DHS, CDC: New Travel Restrictions for Southern, Northern Borders

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
DHS and CDC have announced a new travel restriction at the Southern and Northern borders due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. According to the announcement, DHS will do what it can (including repatriation flights) to prevent the introduction of “affected individuals” into “congregate settings” at land ports of entries (POEs) or Border Patrol Stations at or near the Mexican and Canadian borders.

CARES Act Attaches Long-Term Strings to Mid-Sized Business Loans

FordHarrison LLP • March 29, 2020
Executive Summary: On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act providing roughly $2 trillion in economic relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In an effort to provide liquidity to businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and to encourage those employers to keep a large portion of their employees on the payroll, the newly enacted legislation creates a lending fund for industries and cities, including assistance to severely distressed sectors of the economy such as airlines. Employers with between 500 and 10,000 employees are potentially eligible for low-interest loans, but these loans establish significant restrictions that apply during the term of the loan or longer, which include:

CARES Act Assistance for Small Businesses

FordHarrison LLP • March 29, 2020
Summary: On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act builds on and, in some respects, clarifies the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law on March 19. Several provisions of the CARES Act will aid small businesses by making it easier to keep their employees while the economy slows during the Coronavirus pandemic.

President Signs Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

FordHarrison LLP • March 29, 2020
The President has signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ (the “CARES Act”), which is a $2 trillion relief package aimed at helping mitigate some of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Alert Digest 2 - FordHarrison

FordHarrison LLP • March 29, 2020
FordHarrison is closely monitoring the spread of Coronavirus and has implemented continuity plans, including the ability to work remotely in a technologically secure environment when necessary, to ensure continuity of our operations and uninterrupted service to our clients. We are following all CDC guidelines and state and local laws as applicable. We are committed to ensuring the health and welfare of our clients, employees, and communities while continuing to provide our clients with the highest quality service.

New Relief for Government Contractors When Certain Employees Cannot Work due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) provides potential reimbursement to federal contractors whose employees (1) cannot perform work on a “site that has been approved by the Federal Government ” during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency due to facility closures or other restrictions, and (2) cannot telework because their job duties cannot be performed remotely.

CDC Offers Guidance for Truckers, Delivery Personnel Traveling To/From Greater New York City Area

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for truck drivers and delivery personnel who make deliveries from outside or live in the Greater New York City area.

President Trump Signs Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
CARES is expected to infuse approximately $2.2 trillion into the U.S. economy. The Act addresses a multitude of ways in which the federal government seeks to support businesses impacted by the pandemic and employees affected by COVID-19. Key areas of interest for employers relate to business loans, unemployment benefits, retirement plans, tax credits and executive compensation. The Act was passed by the House of Representatives in the early afternoon of March 27, 2020 and the President has signed the measure.

Department of Labor’s Latest FAQs Expand “Health Care Providers” and Define “Emergency Responders” Under FFCRA

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
The Department of Labor has been hard at work issuing FAQs to try to explain the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) before it goes into effect on April 1, 2020. The latest FAQs bring the current total to 59 and include a number of helpful provisions for employers, particularly those in the health care field, some of which are different than what had previously been reported.

Key Components of a COVID-19 Screening Program

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
Stopping the spread of coronavirus is critical to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. As testing is ramping up around the country, some states and localities have imposed health screening requirements in an effort to identify persons at risk of being infected and stopping them from infecting others. Whether mandatory or recommended, screening employees and visitors could play an important role in curbing the spread of COVID-19. However, developing and implementing a screening program raises a range of issues organizations need to think through carefully.

Stay on Top of “Stay At Home” – A List of Statewide Orders, as of March 28, 2020

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 29, 2020
Governors and public health officials across the country are implementing stringent measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19. This post, current as of March 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. (CDT), identifies the states where “stay at home” orders are effective or pending. We will update the list regularly but expect it will become outdated quickly as new announcements are made.

COVID-19 Stimulus Law Allots $13.5 Billion to Public Schools

Franczek Radelet P.C • March 29, 2020
Today, the President signed a $2 trillion stimulus package into law to help industries impacted by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The package includes a $30 billion Education Stabilization Fund for K-12 school districts and institutions of higher education. What funds

DOL Issues Further Guidance on FFCRA

Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP • March 29, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the DOL issued additional guidance on many previously unanswered questions related to compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

What Employers Need to Know About The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP • March 29, 2020
On Friday, President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). The CARES Act provides the third wave of federal emergency relief to those suffering the economic fallout of COVID-19. While much attention has been devoted to unemployment benefits and subsidies to individuals, the aid package also offers direct financial relief to small and big businesses alike, as well as tax benefits.

The Los Angeles City Council Passes Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Large Employers

Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 29, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the City Council passed an ordinance mandating employers with 500 or more employees nationally offer Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for various COVID-19 related reasons described below. The ordinance is awaiting Mayor Eric Garcetti’s review and anticipated approval.

Hillsborough County Safer-At-Home Order

FordHarrison LLP • March 29, 2020
On March 26, 2020, Hillsborough County issued an order directing citizens to stay at home as much as possible during the continued COVID-19 crisis. The Safer-At-Home Order will go into effect at 10:00 p.m. on March 27, 2020, and will continue on a daily basis until it expires or is rescinded. Currently, the Order does not state when it expires.

U.S. DOL Issues Additional Questions and Answers on the FFCRA which Directly Impact Puerto Rico Employers

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 29, 2020
On March 26, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued additional questions and answers (Q&As) that further explain employer and employee rights and responsibilities under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL’s guidance directly impacts those private-sector employers in Puerto Rico that have closed their worksites in compliance with Executive Order OE-2020-023 (EO) issued by Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced on March 14, 2020, and had hoped to be able to provide their employees paid leave under the FFCRA. This article addresses certain Q&As that affect most employers and employees in Puerto Rico.

Michigan Issues COVID-19 Guidance for Caregivers of Older Adults

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 29, 2020
The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance further tightening the protocols governing in-home caregivers for older adults to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the vulnerable individuals they serve. Although the recommended steps are not mandatory, the MDHSS “strongly urges” direct care workers to follow the guidance while providing support to their clients for non-emergency medical care, activities of daily living (ADLs), and instrumental ADLs.1 For purposes of the guidance, “older adults” are persons age 60 or older, and “direct care workers” include, but are not limited to, personal care assistants (PCAs), certified nurse aides (CNAs), home health aides, private duty nurses (RNs), direct support professionals, and informal caregivers who do not reside at the client’s home.

New Jersey Expands Employee Leave Benefits Available in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 29, 2020
With the signing of S2304 on March 25, 2020, Governor Murphy expanded New Jersey’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law, Family Leave Act, and the Temporary Disability Benefits Law to protect employees who cannot work due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. The amendments went into effect immediately upon signing.

Oakland County, Michigan Orders Employers of Critical Infrastructure Workers and Essential Employees to Implement Screening and Social Distancing Measures

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 29, 2020
Under Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order effective March 24, 2020, only essential businesses or operations that employ critical infrastructure workers are allowed to continue in-person operations.1 The Order, which remains in effect until April 13, 2020, also allows non-essential businesses to designate employees as essential if their in-person presence is “strictly necessary” to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, to care for animals, to ensure security, to process transactions, or to help other employees work remotely.

LA Passes COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law for Large Employers

Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP • March 29, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the LA City Council passed a new paid sick leave ordinance applicable to large employers (those with more than 500 employees nationally that are not covered by the new federal COVID-19 paid leave law, the FFCRA). The ordinance applies to employers with more than 500 employees nationally. Covered employees are those who have worked for the same employer from February 3 to March 4, 2020, and who perform any work in the City of Los Angeles. It applies to full time, part time, and temporary employees. The only employees who are exempted are health care providers (as defined by California Government Code section 12945.2) and first responders, which the ordinance defines to include peace officers, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, public safety dispatchers or safety telecommunicators, emergency response communication employees, and rescue personnel.
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