Tag Archives: United States

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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ILN Today Post

FAQ: Planning for Safe Employee Re-Entry

Employers eagerly await guidance from federal, state and local authorities about how to safely re-open their offices. In the meantime, many are wisely using this time to plan ahead for re-entry. Davis & Gilbert attorneys Jessica Golden Cortes, Gary Kibel and Gabrielle White discuss some key considerations employers should take into account in planning for re-entry, from a(n): Read more…

 

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ILN Today Post

Massachusetts Debt Collection Ban Stricken Down

In a decision with implications for condominium collections in Massachusetts, the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on May 6, 2020 issued an order prohibiting the State Attorney General from enforcing parts of the March 27 emergency regulations restricting consumer debt collections during the COVID-19 state of emergency. As discussed in our April 7, 2020 client alert, those regulations banned debt collectors from calling debtors and initiating “collection lawsuits.”

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Cybersecurity in the Age of the COVID-19 Remote Worker and Beyond

Many more millions of employees have been working remotely as a result of the devastating COVID-19 virus than ever before.  There is likely no going back.  Employers have been relying on a remote workforce by necessity in the short term and are realizing that in the long term they can operate efficiently and productively with their staff largely out of the office.  The public health risks will, for the foreseeable future, be the driver both on employers’ need for a remote workforce to achieve continuity of operations and employees’ demand for a safer work location.  The increased numbers of remote workers will no doubt be lasting.  But with this anticipated restructuring of work must come a comprehensive evaluation of the corresponding cybersecurity risks over the long term and how best to address them.  As employers look forward to the future of securing remote work in their organizations, they should review the following top ten considerations as part of their defense in depth.

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The U.S. DOL Issues COVID-19 Related WARN Act FAQs

The COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts to limit its spread caused a sudden and dramatic shutdown of large sections of the U.S. economy.  Governmental shelter in place orders requiring non-essential businesses to temporarily close forced untold numbers of businesses to furlough or terminate most, and in many cases all, of their employees with little or no warning. For larger employers, mass layoffs and terminations of operations such as these, would normally trigger notification requirements under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act (as well as state WARN-type laws, where applicable).

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ILN Today Post

Congress passes $484B coronavirus relief bill

Congress has passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, increasing the total amount available under the Paycheck Protection Program by $310 billion. Of that sum, $60 billion is set aside for loans to be made through small and very small community banks and credit unions. The bill also includes an increase of $10 billion for EIDL grants, $75 billion to help overwhelmed providers and hospitals, and $25 billion for coronavirus research.
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FDA authorizes first at-home COVID-19 test

On April 21, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of the first at-home COVID-19 test pursuant to its Emergency Use Authorization authority.
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UPDATE: CMS reevaluates Accelerated Payment Program, suspends Advance Payment Program for Part B suppliers and points providers to relief fund

On April 26, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is reevaluating pending and future amounts that it will pay under its Accelerated Payment Program and is suspending its Advance Payment Program for Part B suppliers, effective immediately. CMS noted it has already approved almost 24,000 applications resulting in $40.4 billion of payments for Part B suppliers, including doctors, non-physician practitioners and durable medical equipment suppliers.
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New York Attorney General Files Suit Against U.S. DOL, Alleging Rule Violates Text and Purpose of FFCRA

On April 14, 2020, exactly two weeks after the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA” or “Act”), went into effect and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a temporary rule (“Rule”) interpreting the paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave provisions of the Act, the Attorney General for the State of New York, Letitia James (“AG”), filed a legal challenge to that Rule. [1] In the lawsuit against the DOL, the AG alleges that various provisions of the Rule violate both the statutory language and the intent of the FFCRA.

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New Jersey Further Amends the State’s Family Leave Act to Expand COVID-19-Related Job Protected Leave

On April 14, 2020, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2374) (the “Law”), amending the New Jersey Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”) leave.  Under the Law, which repeals and replaces a March 25, 2020 amendment to the NJFLA about which we wrote here,  eligible employees will be entitled to job protected leave to care for a family member as a result of an epidemic of a communicable disease, or efforts to prevent spread of a communicable disease, which:

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