Tag Archives: Davis Malm & D’Agostine

ILN Today Post

Massachusetts Businesses Given the Green Light to Reopen

On May 18, 2020, Governor Baker and his administration unveiled the findings of the Reopening Advisory Board and the details of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan (the Plan). The Plan contains four phases, each of which will last a minimum of three weeks and possibly longer depending on where the public health data stands at each point. Each phase focuses on different sectors and industries, with the goal being that by Phase 4, the Commonwealth will establish a “New Normal,” with a full resumption of activity.

In addition to the Reopening Advisory Board’s Report, the administration has released Social Guidance, Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards, and various Sector-Specific Protocols and Best Practices. Regardless of which phase a business finds itself in, that business must demonstrate compliance with all three before reopening. Businesses that perform essential services, however, will have until May 25, 2020 to demonstrate compliance. Read more…

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EEOC Provides Guidance to Businesses and Individuals as Workplaces Plan to Reopen

As businesses and individuals navigate the challenges of returning to work in the COVID-19 era, the federal agency responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has issued valuable guidance addressing employers’ and employees’ rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA).

This guidance, which the EEOC routinely updates, emphasized that while the ADA still applies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not prevent employers from following guidelines set out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or other public health authorities to keep employees and workplaces safe.

This alert outlines the guidance provided by the EEOC. Read more…

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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Massachusetts Halts Evictions & Forelosures, While Allowing Remote Notarizations

Within the last ten days, Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law two new acts intended to address the significant economic and legal disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic and the Commonwealth’s state of emergency response.

The first, An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency, does just what its title states.

The second, An Act Providing for Virtual Notarization to Address Challenges Related to COVID-19, is more limited and is intended to promote, rather than restrict, legal action.

This alert outlines key provisions of and guidance for complying with these new laws. Read more…

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Additional Funding Approved to Help Assist Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

On April 24, the President signed into law The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which appropriates approximately $484 billion in funding for coronavirus relief. The Enhancement Act amends the CARES Act and includes:

  • $321 billion to fund the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP);
  • $60 billion reserved for the Emergency Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program;
  • $100 billion to fund a Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund; and
  • $2.1 billion for certain Small Business Association (SBA) salaries and expenses.

This alert outlines amendments to the PPP and EIDL programs, and provides guidance for PPP loan forgiveness.

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Relief for Taxpayers: Massachusetts Legislature Gives Option to Defer Property Tax Payments

On Thursday, April 2, 2020, as part of its ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Massachusetts legislature passed a Bill Providing Immediate Relief to Municipalities & Others During COVID-19 Crisis. This new law provides municipalities with the option to extend the property tax payment deadline from May 1 to June 1, 2020. All interest accumulated between May 1 and June 1, 2020 will be waived. There is some disagreement on whether interest accumulated between June 1 and June 30, 2020 can be waived as well.

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Condo Associations Face New Collection Challenges

As if the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic fallout are not enough, the Commonwealth’s efforts to protect consumers and their homes are imposing an additional, unintended burden on condominium associations. To assist residents who are facing severe hardship, the Massachusetts Attorney General on March 27, 2020 issued new regulations restricting consumer debt collections. Unfortunately, the regulations’ broad reach falls too on condominium associations, many of which are struggling with unanticipated costs dealing with the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we turn a new month, and delinquencies increase and age, cash-flow planning requires understanding these restrictions.

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Tax Relief Provisions Under the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which became law on March 27 is an estimated $2 Trillion package aimed to provide economic relief and stimulus for individuals and businesses. The CARES Act contains numerous tax provisions affecting individuals and businesses, including:
  • Retirement Plan and IRA Adjustments
  • Charitable Contributions
  • Automatic 2019 Filing & Payment Extensions
  • Business-Related Tax Benefits
  • Cash Payouts to Individuals
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Congress Passes the CARES Act and the DOL Provides Updated FFCRA Guidance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law by President Trump and became effective on March 27, 2020.  The unprecedented legislation, which experts estimate will inject over $2 Trillion into the U.S. economy, has many pertinent changes to existing law with significant impact for employers, employees and other workers. While the Davis Malm Employment Law Practice Group continues to analyze the CARES Act, this Alert provides a summary of relevant changes, as well as updated guidance from the Department of Labor regarding paid sick and leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Read more…

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Paid Sick Time and Leave Amid COVID-19

As COVID-19 rapidly changes the economic landscape throughout the country, businesses and individuals are facing new and evolving challenges. To address these challenges, federal and state governments are quickly drafting laws and regulations that may affect employers of all sizes.

On March 18, 2020, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), discussed in more detail below, which entitles some employees to paid sick time and leave for issues arising directly from the COVID-19 outbreak. On the same day, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that waives the usual one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits, allowing Massachusetts employees affected by COVID-19 to collect benefits immediately. In addition, the Department of Unemployment Assistance is finalizing emergency regulations to address a sudden increase in unemployment benefits claims because of COVID-19. Read more…

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Tax Traps for Foreign Real Estate Investors

Bill Griffin‘s article, “Tax Traps for Foreign Real Estate Investors,” was published in the September issue of SumNews. The article identifies some of the most common areas where nonresident foreign investors may need specialized tax advice to avoid costly mistakes.

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