Generally, project owners, construction managers and some general contractors have been investigating ways to maintain progress on their project in face of ‘social distancing’ and ‘stay at home’ orders from governmental authorities. Many workers and subcontractors have joined in the clamor to continue working. However, financially stable trade contractors may see this issue differently. Many trade contractors perceive significant risk in working during the pandemic.
On April 10, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued interim guidance to its regional offices to evaluate ongoing cleanup activities while maintaining the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 crisis. The interim guidance “focuses on decision making at emergency response and longer term cleanups sites where EPA is the lead agency or has direct oversight of, or responsibility for, the cleanup work,” including, but not limited to, Superfund cleanups, Resource Conservation Recovery Act corrective actions, Toxic Substances and Control Act PCB cleanups, Oil Pollution Act spill responses, and Underground Storage Tank Program actions.
While many small businesses are researching and applying for relief available under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, know that New Jersey is also moving quickly to implement relief programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the EOs, the Newark Police Department has issued summonses to Newark-based manufacturers and their employees for having too many employees on the floor and at the work place. During one visit, the police told the manufacturer the company could not have over 50 employees on the warehouse floor. At another manufacturer, the manufacturer was told it could not have over 10 employees working at one time. Both times the Newark Police incorrectly interpreted and applied Executive Orders 104, 107, and 108. Other companies and their employees have been fined. These summonses violate the EOs because Governor Murphy has deemed manufacturing companies as essential to the public and supply chain, and stated that they can remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic provided manufacturers reduce staff to the minimum staff required to perform essential functions. Porzio has been working with the manufacturers to address the issues they are facing.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published guidance for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) contained in The CARES Act. The PPP is designed to help small and mid-sized businesses offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning April 3, 2020, small businesses, including nonprofits and sole proprietorships, can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and certain other expenses through existing SBA lenders.
he Small Business Administration (SBA) has published guidance for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) contained in The CARES Act. The PPP is designed to help small and mid-sized businesses offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published guidance for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) contained in The CARES Act. The PPP is designed to help small and mid-sized businesses offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are living in uncertain and unprecedented times, and businesses are not exempt from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Government shutdowns and workforce restrictions have left business owners guessing as to whether their companies are “essential” or “non-essential,” and can remain open under lockdowns imposed by state governments. Recent Executive Orders by state governors Murphy and Cuomo identify the “essential” industries and business that can remain open during the lockdowns provided the businesses follow workplace distancing practices.
We are living in uncertain and unprecedented times, and businesses are not exempt from the impact of COVID-19. Government shutdowns, workforce restrictions, and the stock market’s plunge have unsteadied the economy and affected businesses large and small as they fight to adapt to the “new normal” while trying to maintain a “business as usual” approach. Business owners need to manage today but must look ahead to identify and prepare for risk caused by the COVID-19 virus.
As you evaluate your agreements and consider the above steps for each relevant contract, we can assist in providing a more detailed review of your contracts and insurance policies to determine the best course of action to mitigate risk and possibly recover damages. Early legal evaluation may also result in a less costly outcome down the road.