A Mix of States Eye Re-Openings

Opinions of whether, how and when individual states should re-open for business in light of the coronavirus crisis are as diverse as one can imagine. That said, there are no fewer than a dozen states across the nation committed to opening their economies as soon as today. Four states (Alaska, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee)…

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Bookend Cities Flex Their Muscle

Notwithstanding the unprecedented challenges that small businesses across the country have faced and will continue to confront as we (hopefully) come out of the coronavirus crisis over the next few months, municipal officials from the east coast to the west continue to dictate to businesses how they should be run, who they should employ and…

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OSHA & EEOC Issue Reopening Guidance

With COVID-19 still dominating national news and many states considering reopening processes and timeline options, the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have both issued updated guidance on COVID-19 and its impact on the workplace after re-openings. In its guidance, OSHA underscores that its guidance neither creates new…

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New I-9 Form Effective Today

Beginning today, May 1, 2020 employers must use the newer Employment Eligibility Verification Form (with the revised date of 10/21/19-found in the bottom left-hand corner). Form I-9 is published by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and changed periodically to address current issues. For the past three months, notwithstanding the coronavirus crisis, employers have…

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IRS Calls Some Workers Back In

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which for over a month now has had its Call Centers, Taxpayer Assistance Centers and refund processing centers closed due to COVID-19, has begun bringing employees back into the office. Initially, according to the National Treasury Employees Union which represents IRS workers, the agency is asking for volunteers and offering…

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Congress Replenishes PPP Fund

The US House gave final legislative approval to a bill refunding of the Paycheck Protection Program yesterday with an additional $310 billion and sent the bill to the President Trump, who has already signed it into law. The law immediately provides additional funding to the PPP for forgivable loans to small businesses and with that…

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SBA Clarifies PPP Eligibility

In response to some of the larger well capitalized “small businesses” (such as Shake Shack, Ruths Chris and others) having received PPP loans in the first round, the Small Business Administration (SBA) yesterday updated its FAQ on the loan program to make it clear that the funds are meant for small businesses and not for…

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EEOC Further Clarifies Testing Employees

Yesterday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released an updated federal guidance for all US employers. With several states across the country seemingly preparing to reopen much of their economy, the EEOC has clarified and expanded upon its prior guidance. With the stipulation that testing must be “job-related and consistent with business necessity,” as…

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OSHA Publishes COVID-19 Interim Enforcement Plan

The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) last week published an Interim Enforcement Response Plan that provides guidance to OSHA personnel on handling complaints, referrals and severe illness reports related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides insight for employers on OSHA’s intent to prioritize complaint investigations relating higher risk of COVID-19 exposure with the hope…

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Business Interruption Insurance Moves to Forefront

With economic relief funding having been passed and signed by the President, a good deal of the focus in Congress is now shifting to questions surrounding insurance coverage and the exclusions found in many – if not most – policies relative to viruses, epidemics, pandemics and the like. Currently, there are no fewer than 4…

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