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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.

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

Critical Compliance Tips from Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Guidance for On-Premise Sales During COVID-19 Crisis

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

As we outlined in our post last week, Governor Wolf issued guidance for retail food and alcohol businesses in green counties (permitted to have 50% of capacity inside and outside dining) and yellow counties (permitted to have 50% of capacity outside dining beginning on June 5). » Read More

House Passes Bill to Relax PPP Forgiveness Conditions

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

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on May 28, 2020, to relax the terms and conditions for forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, just before the eight-week covered periods for early borrowers are coming to an end. The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. » Read More

No Rent Abatement for Small Businesses in New Jersey: Landlord/Tenant Trials Remain Suspended Through June 14, 2020

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

One of the questions frequently asked when the lockdown began over two months ago was from small business owners who wanted to know whether they had the right to suspend their rent payments. In response, the New Jersey Legislature introduced a bill on April 9, 2020, that would authorize Governor Murphy to permit emergency rent suspensions for a small business tenant economically distressed as a result of the pandemic. » Read More

Pennsylvania to Permit Outdoor Dining on June 5 in Yellow Phase Counties and Issues Guidance for Dine-In Service for Green Phase Counties on May 29

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

Yellow Phase – Outdoor Dining

Beginning June 5, restaurants and retail foodservice businesses located in counties designated as being in the yellow phase are permitted to add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits: » Read More

Special Needs Spotlight Series: Taking Control – Harnessing Anxiety & Turning It Into a Plan

By Norris McLaughlin, P.A. (Re: Special Needs Law, Estate Planning, Life Care Plans, Guardianship, Health Care Decision-Making, Caregivers)

The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to present the Special Needs Spotlight Webinar Series. In this introductory session, “Taking Control – Harnessing Anxiety and Turning it Into a Plan,” Shana Siegel, a Member of the firm and Chair of its Elder Care & Special Needs Law Practice Group, spoke with Trish Colucci Barbosa, RN and Care Manager at Peace Aging Care Experts, LLC, and Elizabeth McKenna, CFP and Chartered Special Needs Consultant at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. » Read More

Resumption of Ambulatory Surgery Centers Elective Surgery and Invasive Procedures in New Jersey

By Norris McLaughlin (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Elective Procedures and Surgeries)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order 145, allowing physicians and dentists to resume elective surgeries and invasive procedures as of Tuesday, May 26. This is long-awaited news by both patients and doctors. However, before Ambulatory Surgery Centers (“ASCs”) start scheduling and performing elective procedures and surgeries, the ASC needs to comply with the directives of the New Jersey Department of Health. » Read More

Resumption of In-Office Elective Surgery and Invasive Procedures in New Jersey

By Norris McLaughlin (Re: Health Care Law, Physicians, Dentists, Elective Procedures and Surgeries)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order 145, allowing physicians and dentists to resume elective surgeries and invasive procedures as of Tuesday, May 26. This is long-awaited news by both patients and doctors. However, before practices start scheduling and performing elective procedures and surgeries, they should ensure that the practice complies with the directives of the New Jersey Department of Health or the Division of Consumer Affairs, depending on where the procedure will be performed. » Read More

COVID-19, Cooperatives, and the Collection of Maintenance and Rent

By Dean M. Roberts (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Cooperative Management, Commercial Tenants, Shareholder Maintenance, Rent Collection, New York)

This blog post is a brief summary of the current status of the Housing Court in New York City and how that may affect the ability of cooperatives to collect maintenance from shareholders and rent revenue from commercial tenants for the balance of this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. » Read More

Learning From the Past: Legionnaires’ Disease and Reopening Your Business After COVID-19

By Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Corporate Operations, Public Utilities)

In 1976, as our country was celebrating its Bicentennial, the American Legion was fittingly hosting its convention in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation. Tragically, many Legion convention attendees were sickened and some later died after contracting a mysterious respiratory ailment. » Read More

Rent Guarantee Insurance – A Solution for Landlords?

By John F. Lushis, Jr.  (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Landlords, Commercial Rent, Insurance Coverage)

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on both insurance companies and their insureds with a multitude of claims having already been made and denied. Parties that have been especially hard hit financially by the pandemic are the owners of retail shopping complexes that have multiple tenants, many of which have had to close because they are “non-essential” businesses under government emergency orders. » Read More

Are Your Commercial Loans Immune to COVID-19?

By John F. Lushis, Jr.  (Re: Business Law, Real Estate, Lenders, Borrowers, Commercial Loans)

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact in numerous economic sectors including commercial loans. At this point, there are more questions than answers. Outlined below are key matters that both lenders and borrowers will need to consider. » Read More

Pennsylvania Taproom and Restaurant Guide to Reopening

By Theodore J. Zeller III (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Taprooms, Restaurants, Bars, Pennsylvania)

Finally, there may be a light at the end of the quarantine tunnel for many licensed businesses that have had to close due to Governor Wolf’s shut down of non-essential businesses. On April 22, Governor Tom Wolf expanded on his plans for the reopening of the Pennsylvania economy with a “target date” of May 8.  » Read More

Special Needs Spotlight Webinar Series

By Shana Siegel (Re: Special Needs Law, Estate Planning, Health Care Decision-Making, Life Care Plans)

Every parent of a child with special needs worries about what will happen if (or when) they predecease their child. But a story I read last weekend sent chills up my spine. It was about a mother in Bergen County who died from the coronavirus, leaving her 30-year-old son with Down syndrome. » Read More

PPP Loan Forgiveness and Employees Who Refuse to Come Back to Work

By Patrick T. Collins (Re: Labor and Employment Law, Unemployment, Layoffs, Furlough, Coronavirus Relief)

Many employers have found themselves in the following situation. First, they were required to furlough or layoff employees due to COVID-19. Second, the employers were fortunate enough to obtain a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which in turn allowed the employers to offer jobs back to their laid-off employees. » Read More

Form I-9 Announcements: COVID-19 Temporary Policy for Identification Documents

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

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many states to issue stay-at-home orders, which has called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue a temporary policy regarding the expired List B documents used for the renewal of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. » Read More

New Provider Relief Fund Application Portal Now Open

By F. Peter Lehr (Re: Health Care Law, Hospitals, Physicians, Providers, CARES Act, Coronavirus Relief)

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress set aside $100 billion to reimburse health care providers for lost revenue and increased costs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. These funds are being disbursed by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). » Read More

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the COVID-19 Pandemic to Hide Misconduct

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

Many business owners reading this article are facing a severe COVID-19-related economic downturn and simply struggling for survival. However, this does not describe all businesses. Some have been, and remain, closed completely. Some are better able to adapt to a remote environment than others, and some may even thrive in this environment. » Read More

The Pandemic Effect: Supply Chain and Distribution Channels

By Oren M. Chaplin and Daniel R. Guadalupe (Re: Business Law, State of Emergency, Company Shutdowns, Corporate Operations, Business Continuity, Supply Chain, Distribution Channels)

Time to learn from the past. If COVID-19 taught us anything, it is that businesses need to be ready with alternative sources of supply and distribution. Yes, we can focus on what we discussed in our previous article, “The Pandemic Effect: Sale of a Business,” like force majeure, impossibility of performance, and frustration of purpose, but it is better (and healthier) to prepare your business as though this will happen again, because experts say it will.» Read More

“Governor, Can I Take Your Order?” – Pennsylvania House Votes to Allow Mixed Drinks To-Go but Will Governor Make It Law?

By Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Restaurant Licensees, Hotel Licensees, Delivery, Pennsylvania)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Pennsylvania restaurants and hotel licensees that are permitted to sell mixed drinks and cocktails for on-premises consumption have lost a significant amount of business due to the on-premises sales prohibition. While there have been reports of restaurant licensees in Pennsylvania selling mixed drinks and cocktails to-go, that is not currently legal under the Pennsylvania Liquor Code. » Read More

COVID-19 and New Jersey’s Immigrants: Frontline Undocumented Immigrant Workers, Financial Ruin, and Health Risks Bring Extreme Harm and Anxiety

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigrants, ICE Enforcement, COVID-19 Testing, Coronavirus Relief, New Jersey)

A recent report analyzing “the experiences of low-wage immigrant workers and families in New Jersey during the first month of the COVID-19 crisis,” found that “immigrant communities have experienced extreme harm” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes limited access to health care services, no unemployment compensation, and pervasive employer conduct—all of which have led to increased anxiety, insecurity, and COVID-19 infection spread in immigrant communities. » Read More

Inside the CARES Act: Paycheck II the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

By S. Graham Simmons, III (Re: Business Law, CARES Act, Small Businesses, SBA Loans, Paycheck Protection Program, Coronavirus Relief)

For those who have been following the latest with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, it was a busy end to last week! We’ve previously issued an analysis of the CARES Act of 2020 through our “Inside the CARES Act” series on the Norris McLaughlin Biz Law Blog, but this past week saw the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (Paycheck II), as well as updated FAQs from the Treasury Department and additional guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in another Interim Final Rule issued on Friday, April 24. » Read More

DEADLINES LOOM FOR HHS ALLOCATION OF $100 BILLION CARES ACT RELIEF FUND FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

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

(Updated April 24, 2020, 10:45 AM)  On April 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued guidelines on how the $100 billion that Congress included in the CARES Act for hospitals and other health care providers (“Provider Relief Funds”) would be allocated and the timetable for health care providers to apply for such funds.» Read More

Additional $480 Billion in Coronavirus Relief Package Approved Including $310 Billion for Payroll Protection Program and $75 Billion for Health Care Providers Treating COVID-19 Cases

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

After a two-week impasse with Democrats and Republicans proposing competing COVID-19 pandemic relief bills, the Senate (on April 21, 2020) and the House (on April 23, 2020) approved a total of $480 billion of additional funds for various COVID-19 pandemic relief programs, including additional funding to the Payroll Protection Program, health care providers treating COVID-19 patients, and state and federal agencies for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.» Read More

Be Prepared for an Onslaught of Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits

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 has caused companies to make decisions on an expedited basis with limited opportunity for careful contemplation and forced them to set priorities quickly. » Read More

Your State Store Won’t but Your Local Breweries Will

By Theodore J. Zeller III and Matthew B. Andersen (Re: Liquor Law, Food and Beverage, Breweries, Retail Licensees, Distribution, Shipping, Delivery)

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Pennsylvania state stores have shuttered and buying alcohol is limited, at best. In addition, fans of Pennsylvania craft breweries, like ourselves, have been shut out of visiting our favorite taprooms. Prior to this, there were some breweries that shipped directly to consumers across the state through well-planned and set up third-party shipping services. » Read More

President Trump Bans Certain Immigrant Green Cards for 60 Days

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, U.S. Citizenship, Visa Applicants, Green Card Holders, Skilled Workers, Employers, Travel Restrictions)

As promised, last night, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that limits the ability of certain future immigrant visa applicants to enter the United States as lawful permanent residents, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The President’s Executive Order, the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. » Read More

Do the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Apply to Immigrant Employees?

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigrants, FFCRA, CARES Act, Coronavirus Relief, Labor and Employment, Family Leave, Medical Leave, Sick Time, Employee Benefits, Employer Tax Credits)

The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the eligibility of American employees for employment-related benefits, including medical leave and unemployment compensation. As the Norris McLaughlin employment law blog, Norris in the Workplace, first reported, President Donald Trump, on March 18, 2020, signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), “which provides paid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and paid sick leave for absences resulting from COVID-19.” » Read More

Do Your Due Diligence: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Warns Main Street Investors About COVID-19-Related Fraud

By Oren M. Chaplin (Re: Business Law, Cannabusinesses, Investors, Investment Fraud, Mergers & Acquisitions, Purchase and Sale)

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned Main Street investors about COVID-19-related fraud. The SEC continues in its efforts to ferret out questionable capital raising initiatives as can be shown through an April 21, 2020, litigation release pertaining to an alleged fraud involving investments in marijuana-related companies. » Read More

USCIS Urges COVID-19 Testing and Treatment With ICE Updating Enforcement Policy to Reduce Fear of Arrest and Spread of Coronavirus

By Raymond G. Lahoud (Re: Immigration Law, Health Care, USCIS, Testing, Treatment, Coronavirus Relief)

With testing for the COVID-19 pandemic expected to increase across the United States and a determination to test the entire U.S. population to determine COVID-19 immunity before a true reopening of the economy, the nearly 44.7 million immigrants lawfully in the United States and over 16 million undocumented immigrants living under the radar have expressed concerns as to their ability to seek testing and treatment, if at all. » Read More

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