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Posted July 31, 2020 with Tags , ,

You Run a Youth Sports Organization. Should you set up a 501(c)(3) or an LLC?

Youth sports organizations are often run by people who are volunteers. Sometimes one volunteer within the group opens a bank account in the name of the sports organization, so fees can be deposited and expenses paid. Many times, a member of the group will suggest that the organization should formalize itself and set up a 501(c)(3) or an LLC to run the programs. What do these terms mean and when would it benefit a youth sports organization to formally organize as a 501(c)(3) or an LLC? Heidi Christianson explains.

Newsroom image for the post COVID-19: The Next Public Nuisance?

Posted June 5, 2020 with Tags , ,

COVID-19: The Next Public Nuisance?

Retail businesses and restaurants have been devastated by stay-at-home orders intended to combat the COVID-19 epidemic. As restrictions begin to loosen, businesses have more freedom to open their doors, but in doing so, face the risk of lawsuits brought by employees or customers who allege that they were exposed to COVID-19.

Posted May 13, 2020 with Tags ,

Returning to Work: Health Checks & Compensable Time

After sheltering-in-place, remote working, and business closures, employers across the country have started planning to bring employees back to work. The first item of business is how to ensure the workplace is safe for employees and the general public. For this, many employers are turning to employee health checks.

Newsroom image for the post Avoiding False Advertising Claims During COVID-19

Posted May 12, 2020 with Tags ,

Avoiding False Advertising Claims During COVID-19

With the unprecedented steps being taken to slow down the spread of COVID-19, it is important that those companies whose products effectively kill or contain the spread of Coronavirus be able to market their products’ efficacy to consumers. It is equally important that unscrupulous companies not be allowed to capitalize on the current crisis by misleading desperate consumers into believing that their products are more effective at killing or containing the spread of the Coronavirus than they actually are.

Newsroom image for the post Employers: How to Avoid ADA Litigation in the COVID-19 Era

Posted May 7, 2020 with Tags ,

Employers: How to Avoid ADA Litigation in the COVID-19 Era

The COVID-19 pandemic and related "stay-at-home" orders have required changes to employers' everyday practices, impacting nearly all aspects of operations. Employers have worked hard to meet the demand for rapid flexibility in the interest of continuing operations and keeping their workforce safe and intact. For good reason, many of these policies (such as temporary remote work policies) may have been implemented outside of the traditional planning processes that employers use when rolling out new policies.

Newsroom image for the post Impact Analysis for Higher Education: Weighing Risks Posed by Demands for Tuition and Housing Refunds

Posted April 24, 2020 with Tags ,

Impact Analysis for Higher Education: Weighing Risks Posed by Demands for Tuition and Housing Refunds

“Stay-at-home” orders in response to COVID-19 have shifted learning from college classrooms to online platforms and emptied residence and dining halls. Campus administrators are responding to demands from parents and students to refund tuition, housing and meal plan costs, and student fees. Most institutions have adopted policies to reimburse prorated fees and expenses, but are not offering tuition refunds. For many families, this is not enough, and several have filed class-action lawsuits against the schools, with more likely to come.

Posted April 23, 2020 with Tags ,

Returning to Work: Minnesota allows more businesses to resume in-person operations starting April 27

On April 23, Governor Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-40, which expands the number of businesses permitted to operate in-person during Minnesota’s “stay-at-home” order. Under the Order, individuals working in certain types of businesses are permitted to return to work starting next week, Monday, April 27, provided other conditions are met.

Newsroom image for the post Managing Off-the-Clock Time During the Pandemic

Posted April 23, 2020 with Tags , ,

Managing Off-the-Clock Time During the Pandemic

Ensuring that hourly employees accurately record their work time—and that employees are paid for all work time—can be a challenge even under the best of circumstances. But it’s crucial to avoid or defend costly class litigation or audits from the Department of Labor. These “off the clock” issues may be exacerbated for employers who now have hourly employees working remotely during the pandemic. Remote work means employers have less oversight and ability to enforce timekeeping rules. This is made even more complicated because employees may be working—and responding to work requests—during odd hours as they navigate other home obligations.

Newsroom image for the post Minnesota Price-Gouging Laws: What Retailers and Manufacturers Need to Know

Posted April 22, 2020 with Tags ,

Minnesota Price-Gouging Laws: What Retailers and Manufacturers Need to Know

Unlike the majority of states, Minnesota has no anti-price gouging statute on its books. Minnesota has sought to ban price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic through an executive order issued by Governor Walz on March 20, 2020. Since that time, the Minnesota Attorney General has received hundreds of complaints of alleged price gouging and pursued enforcement action against many businesses. The potential also exists that private litigants could seek to bring lawsuits against businesses for alleged price gouging activity.

Newsroom image for the post Employers: Watch Out for ERISA Lawsuits During Pandemic

Posted April 20, 2020 with Tags ,

Employers: Watch Out for ERISA Lawsuits During Pandemic

ERISA lawsuits typically grow in numbers whenever there is an economic downturn. Though COVID-19’s financial impact is still unfolding, employer-sponsored employee-stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the employers themselves are likely to once again face a heightened risk of litigation. In particular, we anticipate a rise in so-called “stock-drop” lawsuits involving ESOPs.

Newsroom image for the post EEOC Issues Updated ADA Guidance Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted April 12, 2020 with Tags , , ,

EEOC Issues Updated ADA Guidance Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 9, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new guidance to help employers manage workplace issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic without running afoul of federal non-discrimination laws. The EEOC’s updated guidance focuses primarily on employers’ obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We discuss the highlights.

Newsroom image for the post CDC Issues New Guidance on Safety Measures for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Potential Exposure to COVID-19

Posted April 10, 2020 with Tags , ,

CDC Issues New Guidance on Safety Measures for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Potential Exposure to COVID-19

On April 8, 2020, the CDC issued new guidance advising critical infrastructure workers (essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions that communities depend on daily) to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and certain precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.

Posted April 9, 2020 with Tags , ,

How Employers Can Take Advantage of Tax Credits under the New FFCRA Legislation

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) creates, for the first time, a federal requirement to issue paid sick leave and paid FMLA benefits for most private employers with fewer than 500 employees. To help offset the cost, the legislation permits employers to claim tax credits on qualifying paid leave wages, certain health plan expenses, and the employer's share of Medicare taxes.

Newsroom image for the post Amidst Increased Video Interviews, Employers Must Keep Law in Mind

Posted April 7, 2020 with Tags , , ,

Amidst Increased Video Interviews, Employers Must Keep Law in Mind

Since shelter-in-place and self-isolation orders have become the norm around the country, more employers are utilizing video interview tools in lieu of interviewing candidates in person. These tools allow HR and hiring teams to continue to assess talent with little interruption. But Nilan Johnson Lewis labor and employment attorney Mark Girouard urges companies to keep certain legal requirements in mind before turning on the cameras.

Newsroom image for the post CARES Act Loan FAQs for Nonprofits, Foundations and Small Businesses

Posted April 6, 2020 with Tags ,

CARES Act Loan FAQs for Nonprofits, Foundations and Small Businesses

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on April 2, 2020, released an Interim Final Rule regarding how the agency will implement the “Paycheck Protection Program” of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act also expands the SBA’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). We address some Frequently Asked Questions as to why nonprofits, foundations, and small businesses should be paying attention to these CARES Act loan programs.

Posted April 3, 2020 with Tags ,

How Manufacturers and Retailers Can Protect Themselves from Product Liability Exposure During COVID-19

The pandemic has forced many product manufacturers and retailers into unchartered territory. As COVID-19 progresses throughout the United States, it is affecting everything from the workforce, to supply chains, to even the availability of recall remedies. During these times of rapid change, it may be difficult for companies to remain diligent on product safety issues. However, product manufacturers and retailers can take a few steps to ensure they are protecting themselves not only now, but in the long-term, from product liability lawsuits or fines from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Newsroom image for the post DOL Issues Temporary Rule Interpreting Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Posted April 3, 2020 with Tags ,

DOL Issues Temporary Rule Interpreting Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor issued a temporary rule interpreting the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”) found in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The unpublished rule includes over 80 pages of discussion followed by specific guidance on key aspects of the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements, including the scope of exemptions for small employers, calculations of leave benefits for part-time employees, and notice and certification requirements. For the most part, the regulations mirror the FAQs recently released by the DOL.

Newsroom image for the post Convenient Summary of Minnesota “Stay at Home” Executive Order 20-20

Posted March 26, 2020 with Tags , , ,

Convenient Summary of Minnesota “Stay at Home” Executive Order 20-20

In response to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-20 on March 25, 2020. The Governor’s order directs Minnesotans to remain at home, work remotely if possible, and limit their outside activities to those that are essential. The order also contains exemptions for businesses that are part of certain “critical sectors,” as defined in the order. Executive Order 20-20 takes effect on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect for two weeks, until Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., unless extended.

Posted March 25, 2020 with Tags ,

Can Nonprofits Use Their Endowment Funds to Assist Communities in the wake of COVID-19?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all corners of life both locally and nationally, we have received questions from our nonprofit clients regarding the use of their endowment funds to help support their targeted communities.  In addition to a quick review of Minnesota’s endowment fund law, we provide some action items to consider when faced with these spending decisions.

Newsroom image for the post New York Employers: New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law Explained

Posted March 20, 2020 with Tags , , ,

New York Employers: New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law Explained

On March 18, 2020, the New York State Assembly passed and Governor Cuomo signed into law a response to the novel coronavirus that provides certain employees sick leave and job protection in the event they are subject to quarantine or isolation due to an order by a public health official. The new law also expands protections to certain employees under the New York Paid Family Leave and the New York disability benefits law to provide some measure of salary continuation during a quarantine or isolation order period.

Posted March 18, 2020 with Tags , ,

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers: Update on Temporary Closures, Layoffs, and Leaves of Absence

In the last few days, Minnesota has closed schools, restaurants, theaters, fitness centers, and other gathering places (Emergency Executive Orders 20-02 and 20-04). Minnesota has also started to provide much-needed relief to Minnesota employers and employees facing the immediate loss of work because of COVID-19 (Emergency Executive Order 20-05), including making unemployment benefits immediately accessible rather than requiring a one-week waiting period for out-of-work individuals. Below, we answer some frequently asked questions we have received since these orders were issued.

Posted March 17, 2020 with Tags ,

Minnesota Nonprofits and COVID-19: Special Considerations for Unemployment Insurance

With Emergency Executive Order 20-05, Minnesota Governor Walz provided much-needed relief to Minnesota employers and employees facing immediate loss of work because of COVID-19. The March 16th Order waives the one-week waiting period before individuals can be considered eligible for unemployment and relaxes otherwise strict requirements to maximize the chances that unemployed and underemployed workers receive benefits quickly

Posted March 12, 2020 with Tags , ,

Coronavirus FAQs for Employers

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has created significant workplace concerns for U.S. employers. Companies are balancing the need to continue their operations against the desire to keep their employees safe. The Frequently Asked Questions below, and those answered by Courtney Blanchard on this news broadcast, address some of the more difficult employment law-related issues that have arisen as employers confront the coronavirus threat.

Newsroom image for the post Employers and Coronavirus: A Brief Guide

Posted March 2, 2020 with Tags , ,

Employers and Coronavirus: A Brief Guide

The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the “coronavirus”) are unfolding each day. Currently, there is no evidence of widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the U.S. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that most American workers are at a low risk of contracting coronavirus absent sustained human-to-human transmission with infected travelers from abroad or other close contact with infected persons. Nonetheless, as individuals take steps to prepare for a potential outbreak, employers must also prepare for the possibility of a workforce impacted by an outbreak of COVID-19. There are several legal issues to consider.

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