On April 2, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a HIPAA enforcement update regarding disclosures made by Business Associates (BA) during COVID-19.
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).
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 The unpublished rule includes over 80 pages of discussion followed by specific guidance on key aspects of the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements, including the scope of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.
As life has been upended by COVID-19, we are quickly adapting to an intensified “on-line” world. Among other uncertainties, we have been thrown into a swirl of technological challenges surrounding the practice of law.
The President declared a national emergency in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic triggering Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. Thus, disaster assistance/relief payments are not taxable to the recipients if they meet certain requirements.
The Department of Labor has started issuing interpretive guidance on the FFCRA, which provides for paid sick and FMLA leave for certain employees.
In response to COVID-19, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services on a temporary and emergency basis for the duration of the Public Health Emergency.
As the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, businesses are facing nearly unprecedented risk that their commercial customers, who may have been transformed from financially strong to seriously distressed in a matter of days, will be unable to continue paying for goods and services.
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.
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.
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.
On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The new law requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid FMLA and paid sick leave related to the current pandemic. We address some of the major requirements of the new law.
Update March 19: via emergency order, California modified notification requirements under the state’s mini-WARN Act retroactive to March 4, 2020, and extending through the duration of the emergency
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.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will not sanction or issue penalties against hospitals failing to comply with certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
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
[UPDATED MARCH 18] Employers Ask: Can We Check All Employees for a Fever Before They Walk in the Door?
As businesses navigate the unprecedented waters surrounding COVID-19, some are considering using thermometers to screen employees and keep the workplace safe. But does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow employers to check employees for a fever at the door? Right now, the answer is “yes.”
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.
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.