On May 15, 2020, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy signed P.L. 2020, c. 34 into law, which allows public bodies (e.g., municipalities, boards of education, etc.) to conduct public meetings remotely during a state of emergency, and permits the Director of Local Government Services to enact emergency regulations clarifying the new law. In late September, the Director enacted emergency regulations that establish “minimum procedures to be followed” by all public bodies, and currently are in effect.
Employers have known for some time the necessity of providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. For most employers, since the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in 1990, providing these accommodations has become routine, if not simple. As a result, “accommodations” and “individuals with disabilities” have come to fit together like the proverbial “lock” and “key.”
On August 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor released new guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in a question and answer format. The guidance was released to address various questions regarding teleworking, remote learning, and other issues that are sure to surface as schools open throughout the country.
The fits and starts of the COVID-19 pandemic have unleashed a number of challenges on businesses and our economy. One such challenge facing the multitude of companies who were forced to furlough some or all of their staff when the pandemic hit is how to recall those furloughed workers as activity picks up in a manner that is fair, sound, makes business sense and mitigates risk. This article will briefly identify and address some of the most critical questions those employers face.
On August 13th, the DOH released “COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools,” which provides baseline recommendations for schools and local health departments to implement for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) in consultation with the Department of Treasury has issued guidance to address borrower and lender questions regarding forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
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.