North America

Ghost Kitchens: Are they here to stay?

Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens or digital kitchens are restaurants without dining space that focus solely on fulfilling online orders for delivery. With a global pandemic limiting indoor dining in 2020 and 2021, a great deal of our restaurant meals will be delivered to homes by in-home food delivery. Research indicates that 31% of us use third party delivery serves at least once per week.   Read more…

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Disclosing financial performance representations in franchise disclosure documents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many franchisors, as required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Franchise Rule and applicable state franchise laws, updated their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) in the spring of 2020. Those FDDs included information from the franchisor’s previous fiscal year, which, in most cases, ended on Dec. 31, 2019. Many franchisors included financial performance representations (FPRs) in Item 19 of their FDD based on revenue data for franchisee and/or company-owned units from fiscal year 2019, which predated the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…

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Value-Based Payments: A Comprehensive State Survey

Epstein Becker Green (“EBG”) has released Value-Based Payments: A Comprehensive State Survey.

EBG has researched, compiled, and analyzed state-specific content about the regulatory requirements involved in providers moving away from fee for service reimbursement (such as discounted fees and per diems) and towards value-based payment arrangements involving “downside” risk or insurance risk-sharing with insurers, HMOs, and other types of state-regulated health plans. Some types of risk-sharing arrangements include capitation, shared savings and losses, and percentage of premium reimbursement.

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CDC’s Revised Guidance Allows for Shorter Quarantine Periods for Close Contacts

In advance of the December holiday season, the CDC has issued a revised guidance on recommended quarantine periods.

The revised guidance provides shortened quarantine periods for individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. While the CDC maintains that the 14-day quarantine period provides greater protection for reducing transmission of the coronavirus, the agency has now provided two shorter options, which it says are designed to help alleviate the personal economic hardship associated with the extended quarantine period.

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Modified CDC guidance offers employers options for quarantining

Under revised guidance issued on Dec. 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided new options for shorter quarantine periods due to COVID-19 exposure. These new quarantine alternatives will provide some relief to employers dealing with staffing shortages due to quarantining employees.  Read more…

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In the latest expansion of California’s family and medical leave law, effective January 1, 2021, employers with five or more employees will be required to provide unpaid family and medical leave to qualifying employees. The new law, SB 1383, also allows employees to take protected leave to care for an expanded set of family members under circumstances beyond what the earlier version of the law provided.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the country, this new law will be particularly impactful as California employees may increasingly seek leave to care for themselves and their family members. Read more…

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New CDC guidance states that masks also protect the wearer

In the ever changing world of virus control, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has once again pivoted from its previous guidance indicating that mask wearing protected others from infection. Now recent CDC guidance provides that mask wearing also protects the wearer from COVID-19 infection. The guidance provides in pertinent part: Read more…

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Stay at Home Tonight Order and House Bill 404 aimed at combating virus

During the week of Nov. 16, 2020, the state of Ohio has seen an average of 7,618 COVID-19 cases per day, a 71 percent increase from two weeks earlier. Both Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature have introduced new orders and bills to combat the increased and ongoing effects of the pandemic. Read more…

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Video: NY Travel Advisory Changes, CA’s COVID-19 Exposure Notice, Executive Order Reversals – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: This episode looks at how workplace guidance is changing as COVID-19 surges and the executive orders most likely to be reversed by the new administration.

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Maryland Update: Governor Hogan Announces Additional COVID-19 Restrictions

Just one week after ordering new business restrictions to combat the recent surge of COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan announced further mitigation measures in Maryland that will dial back business operations.

On November 17, 2020, Governor Hogan issued Executive Order 20-11-17-01, which amends and restates Executive Order 20-11-10-01 (which we previously summarized here).  The amended order goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020.

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