On August 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”) ordered the United States Department of Labor (“USDOL”) to remove several restrictions imposed on employees seeking to utilize paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“ESPLA”‘).
The New Jersey Department of Education (“NJDOE”) released supplementary guidance to the 104-page “Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education,” which now requires all schools to offer all-remote/virtual instruction for students.
Smart business owners are planning for when the regulations of quarantine will be relaxed and business operations will return. Forward-thinking companies should focus on three areas: 1) use of the loan proceeds under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); 2) safe return-to-work practices, and 3) preparing for COVID-19 related lawsuits. The first area requires legal and financial planning and understanding the PPP. The second requires legal and workplace safety planning to meet CDC workplace safe distancing mandates. The last requires implementing corporate best practices and procedures to prepare now for a potential COVID-19 related lawsuit. This article discusses these topics generally, and the authors are happy to discuss your particular circumstances.
Organizations around the country are beginning efforts to re-open offices, retail businesses, educational institutions, manufacturing facilities, and other physical locations. Interpreting requirements from varying levels of local and state governments while navigating the complexities of best practices issues by trade and industry groups is a challenge that most organizations could use help to manage.
On July 6, 2020, a select few schools re-opened their doors for Extended School Year (“ESY”) in-person instruction as Governor Murphy’s restrictions began to lift.
By now, employers are well-informed that employees with underlying health conditions are at greater risk for developing serious medical complications if they contract COVID-19, and that these employees’ medical conditions might warrant accommodations when returning to work under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and state anti-discrimination laws. Employers need to be prepared when their doors re-open to accommodate these employees and implement policy to safeguard their operations from potential lawsuits.
McDonald’s employees in Chicago and Los Angeles have sued over unsafe, COVID-19-related working conditions, claiming the burger giant failed to mandate OSHA/CDC social distancing guidelines and advise employees when their coworkers were diagnosed with the virus.
On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve established the Main Street Lending Program (the “Program”) to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in good financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers first became aware of COVID-19’s ultimately tragic arrival in New Jersey just before the start of Spring. And, as the leaves unfurled from the trees throughout late March and early April 2020, so unfurled a forest of new laws that governs the movements of individuals and the functions of businesses in a way most New Jerseyans have never seen before.
The Department of Education has released guidance1 for schools to conduct summer educational programing, including in-person instruction, which can begin on or after July 6, 2020.