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Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection

As part of our efforts to provide you with knowledge regarding the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re aggregating a selection of links to related blog posts by our attorneys. Check this page frequently for new content.

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DISCLAIMER: In addition to being subject to our standard Disclaimer and Terms of Use, the information contained in the following blog posts may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor this site for ongoing developments. Readers are also cautioned against taking any action based on information contained herein without first seeking advice from professional legal counsel.

Philly Special Restaurant Reopening Rules

By Brandon J. Lee and Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Dining, Pennsylvania)

Philadelphia restaurants are now able to allow 50% capacity for indoor dining. However, they must meet new ventilation standards set forth by the Philadelphia Department of Health, and many restaurant owners are confused about the application process. According to official guidelines released by the Philadelphia Department of Health, if a restaurant uses an HVAC system or standalone ventilation unit, the following standards are required for reopening to 50% capacity: » Read More

Impacts of COVID-19 Violations on Liquor Licenses in Pennsylvania

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Bars, Breweries. Wineries, Distilleries, Dining, Pennsylvania)

Across our commonwealth, restaurants have faced enforcement efforts from different agencies charged with enforcing orders directed at combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. As infection rates have changed and health and government officials learned more about COVID-19, initial closure orders deemed “mitigation efforts” have morphed into myriad orders, guidance, and advisory notices, all difficult to interpret and sometimes conflicting. » Read More

How Isolation and COVID Make Seniors More Vulnerable to Fraud and Exploitation

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Finances, Exploitation, Financial Abuse, Solo Seniors)

We have long known that seniors are more vulnerable to financial abuse. The COVID pandemic has only amplified this problem due to the increased social isolation and stress it has wrought. Perpetrators look for opportunities when their victims are most vulnerable. » Read More

What Do We Do With the Stimulus Check for a Parent on Medicaid?

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Medicaid, Disability, Finances, Stimulus)

For most of us, the prospect of $600 (or perhaps even $2,000) appearing in our bank account is a welcome gift. However, if our loved one is on Medicaid it can fill us with concern. How can this money be used? » Read More

Online Tools to Decrease Wait Times in Immigration During COVID

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, USCIS, Applications, Citizenship, Petitions)

Owing to the pandemic, federal immigration agencies are facing significant delays in processing various immigration applications. On January 8, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) acknowledged delays in processing as the result of COVID-19 restrictions, increases in filings, and current postal service volume and other factors. » Read More

Impact of the COVID Pandemic on Physician Employment Agreements

By Sandra Jarva Weiss (Re: Health Care Systems, Labor and Employment Law, Physicians)

COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the health care system, causing a re-evaluation of the way physician care is delivered. During the pandemic, in-person office visits have been postponed or changed to telehealth visits, elective procedures have been canceled, and patients, concerned about contracting COVID, have delayed or postponed their regular visits. » Read More

USCIS Announces Delays in Biometric Appointments Due to COVID-19

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, USCIS, Applications, Employers, Student Visas)

Earlier this month, U.S. immigration authorities provided the first-ever update about the situation at Application Support Centers, when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications filed at the USCIS lockbox facility. In a sense, the agency’s issues date back almost to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when in-person services at USCIS offices were canceled from March to June of 2020. » Read More

Study Says 69% of Undocumented Immigrant Workers Hold Essential Jobs to Fight COVID

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented, Essential Workers)

A new study released by the pro-immigrant reform group, FWD.us, shows that more than two-thirds of undocumented immigrant workers have frontline jobs considered essential to the U.S. fight against COVID-19. According to the 2019 American Community Survey by the Census Bureau, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that 69% of undocumented immigrant workers hold jobs that are deemed essential. » Read More

Social Security News: Stimulus and COLA

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Social Security, Medicaid, Disability, Long-Term Care Facilities, Finances, Stimulus)

If you receive Social Security or SSI, you likely have already noticed that your check is slightly larger this year. The Social Security Administration has provided a 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for benefit payments. This brings the federal SSI payment to $794. » Read More

New Jersey MVC Delays Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants, Blames It on COVID

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented, New Jersey)

New Jersey state was to start issuing driver’s licenses for immigrants without legal documents by the beginning of January this year. But the state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) officials announced that there will be a delay due to the COVID pandemic. » Read More

What Guardians Should Know About COVID and the COVID-19 Vaccine

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Health Care, Guardianship, Caregivers, Vaccine)

Should I Consent to My Ward/Loved One Getting Vaccinated?

Remember that you are obligated to consult your ward and apply the substituted judgment standard; that means making the decision based on their previously expressed wishes and values, not what you or their physician thinks is best for them. » Read More

Commercial Construction & Renovation Magazine Features “Industry Perspective” Bylined by Deanna Koestel

By Deanna L. Koestel (Re: Business Law, Construction Industry, Contractors, Developers)

A lot has been said and written about the changing landscape of commercial construction during the COVID-19 global pandemic: everything from the type and size of projects now undertaken, delayed, canceled or reimagined, to the disruption within the workforce (including a dearth of skilled trade/construction workers), to the challenges all these issues pose to contractors and developers as they struggle to achieve some semblance of recovery. » Read More

Mixed-Status Families to Finally Receive Stimulus Checks

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented, DACA, TPS, Coronavirus Relief)

Last week, Congress passed the $900 billion coronavirus relief package that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 27, 2020. In this package, the U.S. government will allow mixed-status households to receive stimulus checks. In mixed-status families, at least one member of the household must have a Social Security number (SSN). » Read More

Will the COVID-19 Vaccine Bring Reform To Long-Term Care Facilities?

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Senior Citizens, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Long-Term Facilities, Caregivers)

In recent days, The New York Times has devoted several articles to the long-term care industry and its failure in the pandemic. (See “This Is Why Nursing Homes Failed So Badly,” “Nursing Home Patients Are Dying of Loneliness,” and “Push for Profits Left Nursing Homes Struggling to Provide Care.”)» Read More

ICE Extends Remote I-9 Verification Policy Through January 31, 2021

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Employers, Form I-9, Employment Verification, Coronavirus Relief)

On December 23, 2020, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension to its remote Form I-9 verification policy through January 31, 2021. The policy had been set to expire on December 31, 2020. This extension helps employers who are working remotely due to the COVID-19 emergency to verify their new hires. » Read More

Cooperatives Now Eligible for New PPP Loans

By Jillian P. Levitt (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Cooperative Management, Commercial Maintenance, Rent Collection)

On December 28, I wrote the blog post, “Housing Cooperatives and PPP Loans: Is It Time To Rejoice?” regarding the significant and retroactive changes to the eligibility and administration of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) and “Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act.” » Read More

Telemedicine and the COVID-19 Vaccination – What’s on the Horizon for 2021?

By David N. Vozza (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Practitioners, Providers, Telehealth, Vaccine)

As we look toward the end of a tumultuous year, it is incumbent on all those who are involved in the fight against COVID-19 to consider what was learned, acknowledge where efforts went wrong, celebrate collective achievements, and transition the provision of medicine to comport with the ever-changing needs of patients. » Read More

Housing Cooperatives and PPP Loans: Is It Time To Rejoice?

By Jillian P. Levitt (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Cooperative Management, Commercial Maintenance, Rent Collection)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“Omnibus Spending Bill”), passed by Congress on December 21, 2020, and just signed by the President, should “spark joy” for housing cooperatives (“co-ops”). The Bill, which is not yet signed into law, would render housing cooperatives eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). » Read More

Taxpaying Immigrants Urge Action on COVID-19 Relief Through Billboard in New Jersey

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Coronavirus Relief, Financial Aid, New Jersey)

On the turnpike near Edison, a newly placed billboard urges the state legislature to pass relief measures to aid working immigrants left out of federal assistance as they struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. The billboards were placed between exits 9 and 10 of Middlesex County by Grassroots Immigrant Rights Organization and Make the Road New Jersey. » Read More

EEOC Updates Its COVID-19 Technical Assistance Publication to Address Vaccinations

By Annmarie Simeone (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Employers, Employees, EEOC, Discrimination, Vaccine)

For several months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has maintained a technical assistance publication examining key questions that arise under federal equal opportunity laws as they relate to COVID-19. The publication, entitled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” has been updated throughout the pandemic responding to developing issues that impact the workplace. » Read More

Pennsylvania’s COVID Christmas Closure 2020

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Bars, Breweries. Wineries, Distilleries, Dining, Pennsylvania)

Beginning tonight, just after midnight, all indoor dining and consumption of alcohol at restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries will be prohibited under new orders issued by Governor Wolf on December 10, 2020. These facilities will still be allowed to serve customers via curbside, take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining and alcohol service through this holiday season. » Read More

New Jersey Revises Travel Restriction Guidelines

By Patrick T. Collins (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Employers, Travel, New Jersey)

On December 4, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Health updated its restriction guidelines on self-quarantining after out-of-state travel. This guidance was published on New Jersey’s COVID-19 information hub on December 7, 2020. The updated guidance follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recently updated recommendations on self-quarantining periods. » Read More

Promising Court Opinions in First Wave of COVID Insurance Loss Claims for Restaurants

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Hospitality Industry, Insurance Coverage, Business Interruption, Claims)

The hospitality industry has suffered significant economic distress as a result of COVID and the related state-mandated shutdowns on business operations. The COVID pandemic has created a unique set of facts that have not been addressed by the insurance industry in the United States, and restaurant owners with business interruption policies have taken insurance company denials to court. » Read More

Treasury Transparency: Enhanced Regulations for Trading in Government Securities

By Peter D. Hutcheon (Re: Business Law, Securities, Municipalities, Government, Corporate Finance)

Alternative Trading Systems

On Monday, September 28, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed to extend the scope of Regulation ATS to trading in government securities. Regulation ATS (“Alternative Trading Systems”) was originally adopted by the SEC in 1998 in response to the then growth of trading of equity securities not registered on a securities exchange. » Read More

Federal Court Litigation Trends and Activity – Lex Machina®’s Torts Litigation Report – Nov. 2020

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, Litigation)

Looking to determine the trends for tort litigation in federal courts? Need to know how many cases are being filed, where the cases are landing, which judges are involved, which law firms and parties are involved, timelines for important court events, case resolutions, and damage awards? » Read More

Next Surge of COVID-19 Impact on New Jersey Long-Term Care Facilities

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Senior Citizens, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Long-Term Facilities, Caregivers)

As COVID cases surge again, many clients have expressed concerns about loved ones requiring long-term care. Families are naturally hesitant to consider facility placement. Facilities are definitely better prepared now than in the spring, and most have so far been able to keep cases under control. » Read More

Avoiding Commercial Texting Trouble Under the Telephone Communication Protection Act (“TCPA”)

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, Litigation)

During this era of COVID-19 lockdowns, entrepreneurs and more established businesses strive to find ways to reach consumers at home. On its face, one of the quickest, least expensive, and most direct ways to reach potential customers is through text messaging. » Read More

International Student Enrollment in U.S. Universities Drastically Drops

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Higher Education, Colleges, Universities, International Students)

America, which has long been considered one of the premier destinations for education, now faces a steep drop in the number of international students enrolling for all education levels. Primary reasons for this are the ongoing pandemic and the recent changes to the U.S. » Read More

CMS Establishes New Rules for Payment of COVID-19 Vaccine

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Providers, Testing, Treatment, Vaccine)

On October 28, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule with a comment period, the fourth such issuance during the COVID-19 public health emergency, in anticipation of vaccine availability in the near future. Effective immediately, these provisions will continue through the duration of the emergency. » Read More

New Jersey Restrictions Return for Bars and Restaurants as COVID-19 Cases Increase

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Bars, Dining, New Jersey)

As case numbers continue to rise during the fall months, New Jersey Governor Murphy has issued new orders on COVID-19 restaurant restrictions. Many bars and restaurants that previously were permitted to re-open their indoor dining areas now face additional restrictions to curb the spread. » Read More

ICE Arrests 88 Inmates Released From New Jersey Prison

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, New Jersey, ICE, Crime, Deportation, Detention)

On November 4, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Newark arrested 88 inmates who had been released from New Jersey prisons. All the inmates detained by ICE had criminal violations and were either offenders or convicted of serious crimes. » Read More

Daily Health Checks Under Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 192

By Patrick T. Collins and Annmarie Simeone (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Employers, Employee Wellness, Workplace Safety, Coronavirus Relief)

At 6:00 a.m. on November 5, 2020, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 192 (“E.O. 192”) takes effect. E.O. 192 imposes mandatory health and safety protocols to help guard against the continuing spread of COVID-19. These mandates apply to all employers who require or permit any employee to be physically present at a worksite. » Read More

Estate Planning Strategies: IRS Applicable Federal and 7520 Interest Rates Lowered

By Christopher R. Gray (Re: Estate Planning, Tax Law, IRS, Interest Rates, Gifts, Beneficiaries)

Every month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes interest rates that taxpayers use to determine the interest to be charged in income tax and estate planning strategies. Those published rates are called the Applicable Federal Rates and depend on the length of the term of a promissory note, the number of times interest is paid each year (i.e., » Read More

HHS Modifies COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund Eligibility and Reporting Requirements

By Sandra Jarva Weiss (Re: Health Care Law, Health Care Providers, Vision, Chiropractors, Residental Treatment Facilities, Coronavirus Relief)

On Thursday, October 22, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the latest Provider Relief Fund (PRF) application period has been expanded to include additional provider applicants such as residential treatment facilities, chiropractors, and vision care providers who have not yet received PRF distributions. » Read More

An “Employment Disaster Recovery Bag” Is a Must!

By David T. Harmon (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Executives, Transitions, Career Moves, Hiring)

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to place heavy burdens on the economy. Therefore, executives at all levels should prepare for a transition in employment. As I wrote in December 2015, regarding a Wall Street Journal piece (December 1, 2015, page C1), and the same holds true today. » Read More

Major Overhaul of H-1B Program Announced

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, USCIS, DHS, DOL, Employers, Visas, H-1B)

Announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced major changes that will make it significantly tougher for employers to sponsor H-1B visas for qualified aliens. The changes require employers to pay significantly higher wages, narrow the types of degrees that can qualify an applicant, and shorten the length of visas for certain workers. » Read More

Taxing Disclosures: Municipal Securities Issuers and COVID-19

By Peter D. Hutcheon (Re: Business Law, Securities, Municipalities, Tax, Investors)

As discussed in my earlier blog, “SEC Focus on Municipal Securities: Disclosure and Enforcement – The Peculiar Structure of the Municipal Securities Disclosure Regime,” since 1994 issuers and, in the case of conduit issuers, obligated parties are required to enter into a Continuing Disclosure Agreement (“CDA”) at the time of issuing municipal securities. » Read More

What to Do When Your Business Partner Keeps Freezing You Out of COVID Zoom Meetings

By David C. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Minority Owners, Shareholder Disputes, Business Divorce Litigation)

As the never-ending COVID-19 pandemic slogs along, many businesses have now re-opened, while some are still closed, and a significant number have many of their employees working remotely, at least wherever possible. This remote, “in-between” existence obviously poses several challenges for companies and employees alike. » Read More

Flexibility in Responding to USCIS Requests Extended

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, USCIS, Applications, Foreign Investors, Naturalization)

On September 11, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended the flexibilities in responding to various requests raised by the agency. The flexibility was originally announced on March 30 in response measure to the coronavirus pandemic. This measure will help applicants, petitioners, and requestors who must respond to the following: » Read More

Coronavirus and the Constitutional Rights of Businesses: Butler v. Wolf

By Nicholas A. Duston (Re: Business Law, Pennsylvania, Corporate Operations)

In Butler v. Wolf, Judge Stickman of the Western District of Pennsylvania issued an important ruling on Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s coronavirus lockdown orders which impacts the Governor’s ability to re-impose some of the more draconian restrictions that he, and governors in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere, put in place between March and June. » Read More

COVID-19 Relief for New Jersey Seniors and Long-Term Care Facilities

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Senior Citizens, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Long-Term Facilities, Caregivers)

The impact of COVID-19 has disproportionately affected New Jersey seniors living in long-term care facilities. Nearly half of the state’s deaths were residents of these facilities, and nursing homes remain under strict lockdown. I have mourned the loss of clients and listened as families shared devastating stories of death, sudden and drastic decline, and isolation. » Read More

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Restaurant Restrictions Remain Fluid

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Breweries, Dining, Retail, Sales, Pennsylvania)

Without any fanfare, the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development (“DCED”) has released two frequently asked questions (FAQ) postings to further explain Governor Wolf’s recent press release and new orders on COVID-19 restaurant restrictions. The FAQs and new orders actually alter some of the items revealed in the press release just last week. » Read More

ICE Arrests Over 2,000 Illegal Immigrants, Many With Criminal Charges or Convictions

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Crime, Detention, Deportation, Undocumented Immigrants)

Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) conducted a series of operations in July and August, arresting over 2,000 illegal immigrants from 20 counties with a majority of those having criminal charges or convictions. The “at-large” arrests took place across the country at residences, worksites, and traffic stops. » Read More

One Step Forward, One Step Back: PA Gov Dances Around COVID Rules for Restaurants

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurants, Breweries, Dining, Retail, Sales, Pennsylvania)

On Tuesday, September 8, Governor Wolf announced new COVID-19 mandates applicable to the state’s retail restaurants that eased some restrictions but imposed new ones and created many open issues. The good news is that beginning September 21, restaurants (which we assume also means breweries) can increase their indoor capacity to 50%. » Read More

When the Tank Is Empty: Auditing in the Time of COVID-19

By Peter D. Hutcheon (Re: Business Law, Operations, Corporate Finance, Audits)

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the shutdowns of much of the economic activity in the United States by mid-March 2020. Although there were and remain some variances among the several states, in general, businesses were shut, buildings were almost empty, and factories and warehouses (except for Amazon, according to media reports) were still. » Read More

SEC Seeks to Increase the Security of the Data on the Consolidated Audit Trail National Market System

By Peter D. Hutcheon (Re: Business Law, Securities, SEC, Audits, Trading)

In 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) established the National Market System (“NMS”), governed by SEC Regulation NMS, “…to modernize and strengthen …[the trading system] for equity securities.” Its aim was to encourage competition both among the several trading markets and among individual orders, SEC Release No. » Read More

Medical Repatriation on the Rise: Guatemalan Immigrant Who Escaped Medical Deportation Moved to Long-Term Care

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Health Care, Medical Repatriation, Deportation, Undocumented Immigrants)

A Guatemalan undocumented immigrant who is identified as A.V. was on the verge of “medical repatriation” by Jefferson Torresdale Hospital to a country that is less able to help him. The repatriation has been averted, and A.V. has been moved to a long-term care facility in the Philadelphia region. » Read More

Financial Advisors: Know Your Post-Employment Restrictions Before Making a Move

By David T. Harmon (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Employers, Employees, Hiring)

The enforcement of post-employment restrictions continues in the financial services industry. Advisor Hub recently reported that Merrill Lynch and its new advisor-employee were sued by Fidelity Brokerage Services. Fidelity sought to enjoin both Merrill Lynch and the advisor from continuing solicitation of customers by the advisor. » Read More

CMS Establishes New COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Providers, Testing, Reporting)

On August 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule with comment period, which establishes new COVID-19 testing and reporting requirements for a variety of health care providers, including nursing facilities, clinical laboratories, and hospitals. » Read More

USCIS Halts Furlough of 70% of Workforce; Still Processing Times Likely To Increase

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, USCIS, Homeland Security, Naturalization)

On August 25, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the anticipated temporary furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin on August 30, has been averted. The agency was able to avoid this due to a steady increase in the day-to-day inflow of revenue and receipts, along with unprecedented spending cuts. » Read More

Flexible I-9 Measures Extended Until September 19

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Employers, Form I-9, Employment Verification, Coronavirus Relief)

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced the flexibility in certain Form I-9 verification procedures have been extended until September 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is applicable only for employers working remotely. » Read More

Are You Ready? Preparing Your Business for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Audit

By Peter D. Hutcheon (Re: Business Law, Small Businesses, CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program, PPP, Loans, Coronavirus Relief)

On March 29, 2020, as part of a massive response to the economic distress inflicted upon businesses and working people in the United States due to the “shutdown” of the economy as part of the efforts to contain the impact of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”), Congress passed and the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). » Read More

Federal District Court in New York State Overturns U.S. Department of Labor Regulations Concerning Sick Leave for Health Care Providers

By David N. Vozza (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Practitioners, Providers, Paid Sick Leave)

In the immediate onset of the COVID-19 crisis, federal, state, and local governments implemented a wide swath of regulations intended to protect the health and financial wellbeing of employees and their loved ones. One such set of regulations, enacted by Congress in March 2020 and known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), generally provides expanded paid sick leave, free COVID-19 testing, and expanded unemployment benefits for workers. » Read More

Virginia First To Adopt COVID-19 Rules for Workplaces

By Timothy P. McKeown (Re: Real Estate Law, Small Business, Commercial Landlord/Tenant, Building Owners, Employers)

I recently posted two articles addressing the obligations of building owners and their tenants to undertake reasonable steps to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 among employees and clients. (See: “Building Owners Must Have a Plan” and “Employer Responsibilities to Provide a Safe Workplace During COVID-19“.) » Read More

COVID-19 Brings Consumer Convenience to Pennsylvania

By Matthew B. AndersenBenjamin R. MacLuckie, and Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Dining, Retail, Sales, Pennsylvania)

Effective tomorrow, August 4, 2020, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) amended sections 407, 415, and 442 of Act 29 of 2020. These revisions allow Pennsylvania Restaurant (“R”) liquor licensees, Eating Place Malt Beverage (“E”) licensees, and Wine Expanded Permit (“WEP”) holders that possess interior connections to another business they operate, such as a grocery store, convenience store, or similarly situated business that cannot have its entire building or business licensed, to have the consumer use the cash registers at their other business to sell malt or brewed beverages and wine for off-premises consumption. » Read More

OIG Work Plan Updates Related to COVID-19

By Sandra Jarva Weiss (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Medicare, Medicaid, Telehealth, COVID-19 Testing and Treatment, Coronavirus Relief)

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Work Plan sets forth various projects including OIG audits and evaluations that are underway or planned to be addressed by the OIG during the fiscal year. The OIG updates its Work Plan monthly. The July 2020 Work Plan updates include six items directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic and includes the following: » Read More

ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility Until August 19, 2020

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Employers, Form I-9, Employment Verification, Coronavirus Relief)

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an extension of flexibility in complying with the Form I-9 requirements. This was originally extended on March 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to extend this policy once again for an additional period of 30 days. » Read More

COVID-19 Testing and HIPAA Compliance

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Providers, HIPAA, Testing)

As COVID-19 swab (PCR) and blood (antibody) testing continue to occur in greater numbers and diverse settings, it is important to recognize that the results of such tests are subject to HIPAA privacy and security compliance rules. There is a common public misconception that the declaration of a public health emergency has created a broad exception for covered entities and business associates to use and share COVID-19 testing results. » Read More

Employer Responsibilities to Provide a Safe Workplace During COVID-19

By Timothy P. McKeown (Re: Real Estate Law, Small Business, Commercial Landlord/Tenant, Building Owners, Employers, New Jersey)

I recently outlined the steps the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends building owners take when preparing their buildings to be re-occupied after the lifting of the COVID-19 pandemic-related government shutdowns (see: “Building Owners Must Have a Plan”). Because OSHA obligates employers to “furnish to each of [their] employees …a place of employment [that is] free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to [their] employees,” employers occupying those buildings too must have a safe workplace plan in place. » Read More

New PLCB Guidance on Governor Wolf’s “Meal” Requirement Leaves Much to the Imagination

By Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Breweries, Restaurants, Dining, Pennsylvania)

On July 16, 2020, Governor Wolf’s new order went into effect further limiting the operating privileges of Pennsylvania’s hospitality businesses. The major changes are: (1) inside occupancy limited to 25% of capacity, (2) no on-premises alcohol sales without a “meal” as part of the transaction, and (3) indoor events are now limited to 25 people maximum including staff. » Read More

U.S. Department of Labor Issues New FMLA Forms and Guidance on Return-To-Work Issues

By Patrick T. Collins (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Family Leave, Medical Leave, Sick Time, Employee Benefits, Coronavirus Relief)

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continues to be very active in providing information to the public. Last week, the DOL issued new optional forms that employers can use for the administration of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). » Read More

“I Thought Groundhog Day Was in February?” Pennsylvania Governor Rewinds Clock Restricting the Operations of Bars and Restaurants to Mitigate the Spread of the Coronavirus

By David C. Berger (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Taverns, Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Pennsylvania)

On July 15, 2020, Governor Wolf announced new statewide mitigation efforts in response to the recent increase in coronavirus cases in the western part of the state. While these mitigation efforts were described as “surgical and targeted,” these new executive regulations affect all bars and restaurants throughout the Commonwealth despite as recent as last week the Governor announced that he would be leaving it up to the local governments to determine any further restrictions. » Read More

Building Owners Must Have a Plan

By Timothy P. McKeown (Re: Real Estate Law, Small Business, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, New Jersey)

Now that office workers are slowly beginning to return to the office – or anticipate doing so in the near future – it is critical for building owners with tenants to have in place a plan to protect the health and safety of workers and employees occupying the building. » Read More

Expanding Telehealth in a Post-COVID World

By David N. Vozza (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Telehealth, Patient Privacy)

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, federal and state governments implemented numerous and expansive regulatory changes to ensure patients were provided access to required testing and treatments. One of the more important (and ultimately successful) regulatory changes was the temporary expansion of telehealth services. » Read More

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the Pandemic as an Excuse to Keep You in the Dark

By David C. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Minority Owners, Shareholder Disputes, Business Divorce Litigation, Minority Owners, New Jersey)

In many places, COVID-19 is making a comeback, or never actually left. But as far as an effective excuse to keep business partners in the dark, the pandemic has been hanging around for far too long. » Read More

Pennsylvania Governor Issues Additional Updated Guidance for Hospitality Businesses Conducting In-Person Service (Second Update)

By Benjamin R. MacLuckie, Matthew B. Andersen, and Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Dining, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Recently, Governor Wolf and the PLCB issued guidance for hospitality businesses beginning to serve customers inside (green) or outside (green and yellow). We covered that guidance in our last blog post, “Pennsylvania Governor Issues Updated Guidance for Hospitality Businesses Conducting In-Person Service.” » Read More

EEOC: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws

By Annmarie Simeone (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Discrimination, EEOC, Individuals with Disabilities)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws, today updated its Technical Assistance Questions and Answers, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” » Read More

Pennsylvania Governor Issues Updated Guidance for Hospitality Businesses Conducting In-Person Service

By Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Restaurants, Dining, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Last week, Governor Wolf and the PLCB issued guidance for hospitality businesses beginning to serve customers inside (green) or outside (green and yellow). We covered that guidance in our last blog post, “Critical Compliance Tips from Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Guidance for On-Premise Sales During COVID-19 Crisis.” » Read More

Co-Op Remote Closings: The Way of the Future

By Pamela H. Muschler (Re: Real Estate, New York, Cooperatives (Co-ops), Apartments, Closings)

Prior to the pandemic and its ensuing shutdown orders, co-op apartment closings would typically occur at the office of the cooperative’s transfer agent, usually the managing agent or more often the cooperative’s legal counsel. All parties would come together in a conference room and the closing would be finalized in a couple of hours or less. » Read More

COVID-19-Related Litigation Explodes Leading into May and June 2020

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, MDL and MCL Aggregated Litigation, Price Gouging)

As a follow-up to our April 23, 2020, blog post, “Be Prepared for an Onslaught of Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits, we are sharing the “COVID-19 Impact Analyzer” report from Lex Machina® on general and COVID-19-related case filing statistics for covered jurisdictions and courts with the permission of Lex Machina®. » Read More

Government Provides Relief in the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

By William L. Brewer, Douglas R. Brown, and S. Graham Simmons, III (Re: Business Law, Small Business, Coronavirus Relief, Loan Forgiveness, Paycheck Protection Program)

Although brief in length, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “Act”) that was signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020, clarifies how borrowers can use Payment Protection Program (“PPP”) loans made pursuant to the CARES Act and grants borrowers much-needed flexibility in the requirements for PPP forgiveness. » Read More

When Can I Visit My Mother in Her Nursing Home Again?

By Shana Siegel (Re: Elder Care Law, Senior Citizens, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes)

For at least the last eleven weeks, nursing home residents have been separated from their families. Some family members have gotten creative – visiting through windows, on ladders, via Zoom, and from parking lots. But many have had no way to reach their loved ones except by relying on staff to give them updates. » Read More

Defending Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits in the U.S. – A U.S. Class Action Perspective

By Steven A. Karg (Re: Class Action Defense, Consumer Fraud, MDL and MCL Aggregated Litigation, Price Gouging)

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that companies must do business to survive. This change occurred over an extremely short period of time, with little notice, and while companies had limited resources. This unusual situation caused companies to make decisions on an expedited basis with limited opportunity for careful contemplation and forced them to set priorities quickly. » Read More

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