Coronavirus/COVID-19

E-LEGAL® NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2020

I. EDITORIAL – AMENDMENT OF THE EXCEPTIONAL AND TEMPORARY MEASURES IN THE CONTEXT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The month of September was characterised, at the legislative level by Decree-Law no. 78-A/2020, of September 29, which brought another amendment of the exceptional and temporary measures relating to the COVID-19 disease pandemic.

It is also worth mentioning, at the legislative level, Law no. 58-A/2020, of September 30, which extended the extraordinary regime of protection for tenants until the end of 2020. Read more…

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OSHA Updates Its COVID-19 Reporting Requirements for All Employers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) regarding employers’ reporting obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As previously reported, effective as of May 26, 2020, OSHA has declared COVID-19 a recordable illness for all employers.  Thus, employers are responsible for recording workplace cases of COVID-19 on a OSHA 300 Log if the case:  (1) is confirmed COVID-19, as defined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”); (2) is work-related, defined as “resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment;” and (3) involves one or more of the general recording criteria, which include death, days away from work, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.  Moreover, employers must report to OSHA any work-related fatalities or hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

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HAS YOUR BUSINESS IMPLEMENTED ONTARIO’S NEW COVID-19 SCREENING MEASURES?

In response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, the Ontario government has decided to implement an additional public health measure to help the fight against COVID-19. As of September 26, 2020, all employers, regardless of the sector they belong to, are now required to pre-screen their workers and any essentials visitors prior to their entry into the workplace. “Workers” include students, contractors or volunteers that conduct business or related activities where applicable and appropriate. “Essential visitors” include individuals providing a service in the establishment who are not employees or patrons o f the establishment (e.g., delivery, maintenance, contract workers).

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IP CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESSES OPERATING ONLINE – AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE

Recent changes in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic mean that few businesses can afford to ignore the internet, and the opportunities for efficiencies and scale that it offers.  Operating a business online presents tremendous opportunities for growth by opening up new geographical markets, however it also creates new challenges for businesses in ensuring that their key intellectual property assets, which are made available online, are adequately protected.

So how can businesses manage their intellectual property, and ensure they are not infringing on the intellectual property rights of others, when trading online?

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COVID-19: Home Renovations in the Red Zone

By Sydney Warshaw and Sara Laraichi, from our Business Law Practice Group

October 6, 2020 — Since October 1, Greater Montreal, Québec City and several parts of Quebec are plunged into the “red zone”. This represents the highest alert level for COVID-19 and came with several accompanying restrictions. Unlike in March, when the provincial lockdown was imposed uniformly across most sectors of society, this lockdown features a series of unique rules depending on economic sector and housing arrangements.

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Ecuador – IMF reached agreement on $6.5 bln facility and funds are being disbursed

Ecuador and The International Monetary Fund reached an agreement for a new $6.5 billion facility to help the South American country address the economic shock caused in part by the  drop in oil prices  and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement approved by the IMF’s executive board, helped for the already executed settlement of a $17.4 billion debt exchange between Ecuador and its creditors.

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PROPERTY AND BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE IN LIGHT OF COVID-19

As countless business interruption claims have been asserted with limited success, companies should consider directing their focus to improving and enhancing their insurance policies to ensure coverage would apply to future pandemic scenarios.

COVID-19 Related Insurance Claims

In Studio 417 Inc. et al v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Missouri denied a motion to dismiss the claim by the defendant against a group of hair salons and restaurants suing their insurer for business interruption losses caused by the pandemic, which they say resulted in a “direct physical loss” to their premises. Read more…

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Notice to Employers: Economic Recovery Benefits and New Protection for Employees in the Event of Absence Related to COVID-19

By Eliab Taïrou, from our Labour and Employment Law Group

October 2, 2020 — On October 1, 2020, An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19 (Bill C-4 — formerly C-2) was passed by the House of Commons of Canada and now awaits Senate support and Royal Assent before coming into force.

This legislation comes following the expiry of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program and includes three financial support measures to assist workers as part of the country’s economic recovery:

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COVID-19: RSS’s Responses (updated October 2)

From day one of the crisis that we are living, RSS has sprung to action to face the situation.

We have explored the legal aspects of the situations arising from the pandemic. The legal system is surely hit by the pandemic; but it also brings solutions. RSS wishes to bring to your attention the results of some of these analyses.

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ILN Releases Paper on Paid Leave in North America

Are employees entitled to paid leave due to COVID-19? See what our lawyers in North America had to say. Read more…

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