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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 Employers May Face No-Hire Claims

Posted April 14, 2020 with Tags , , , ,

Employers May Face No-Hire Claims

Saks Fifth Avenue and several luxury designers were recently hit with a nationwide class-action lawsuit regarding their alleged use of no-poach agreements to limit solicitation of retail store employees between Saks and the designers. Employers using similar agreements (written or otherwise) not to hire other companies’ employees should reconsider those agreements in light of this emerging litigation.

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.

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