Originally published on April 14, 2020. Last updated as of August 6, 2020. Since the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) on March 27, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) and the U.S Treasury Department (“Treasury”) have issued a sizable number of rules and additional guidance to implement the CARES Act’s marquee small business loan component – the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”). This up-to-date guide summarizes the key terms of the PPP, including with respect to the forgiveness aspect of the program, and addresses various issues and frequently asked questions…
Most price gouging laws have been in effect throughout the country since early March due to the pandemic. As hurricane season gets underway, businesses should be aware that new states of emergency may be declared, overlapping with current pandemic states of emergency. New states of emergency may trigger price gouging laws that cover a variety of goods not currently covered under those related to COVID-19.…
Most price gouging laws have been in effect for upwards of five months. These laws were not designed for the length and national scope of the current pandemic, which has led to them unintentionally harming businesses and the economy, and ultimately consumers along the way. In a recent Fortune article, Proskauer’s antitrust lawyers Chris Ondeck and Jennifer Tarr discuss several options to remedy these issues while still achieving the goals of these laws. Read the full article: Pandemic price gouging is a huge issue—but state laws to stop it are creating more problems than they solve *      *      * Visit …
The DOL recently provided retirement plans with a new method to comply electronically with certain participant disclosure and notice requirements. See our blog post outlining the new DOL rule. This new method adds to the previously issued DOL safe harbor and the IRS rules.  Below is a side-by-side general comparison to help plan administrators keep track of when each method may be used, and what requirements must be met. Plan administrators should consult with counsel on the details of any electronic disclosure procedures to verify compliance with all applicable rules. A few caveats to this framework: This chart could…
Originally published on May 4, 2020. Last updated as of August 5, 2020. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston recently published information in anticipation of the launch of the Main Street Lending Program under the CARES Act, including updated frequently asked questions and term sheets related to the Program. This updated alert describes and analyzes the main terms of the Program, and highlights remaining open issues and questions.
Price gouging statutes typically operate by setting a baseline over which any price increase is presumptively illegal, subject to various exemptions. But different states use different formulas for their baselines. Businesses who provide covered goods or services therefore need to determine the relevant baselines in order to calculate whether, and how much of, a price increase is permissible.…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Warns About Price Gouging Pennsylvania’s top insurance regulator, Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman, recently announced that the state insurance department has submitted a notice to the Pennsylvania Bulletin addressing billing practices during the pandemic. This follows a March 21, 2020 notice, in which the department recommended health insurers make all necessary and useful information available so their customers would have access to important…
On July 27, 2020, Senate Republicans introduced a series of bills and proposals that have been collectively referred to as the “Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act” (the “HEALS Act”).[1] The HEALS Act would enhance and expand certain provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) (H.R. 748), and provide additional forms of relief, including certain tax credits for employers. This blog summarizes the most important tax proposals in the HEALS Act and compares them with the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (the “HEROES Act”)[2] that was…
In response to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, states of emergencies were declared across the nation in order to implement emergency response plans and halt the spread of the virus. Generally, state governors have the power to declare states of emergency, by issuing executive orders which outline the duration of the declaration and the conditions that brought about the order.…
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the triggering states of emergencies are largely extended, companies are increasingly focused on compliance with state price gouging statutes. State attorneys generals have launched investigations and brought lawsuits, and several class actions have been filed by consumers against companies for alleged price gouging, up and down the supply chain. The relief sought in these actions highlights the risk that violators of price gouging statutes could find themselves facing hefty damages claims—perhaps to a greater extent than immediately obvious.…
Quick Hit:  Employees in the District of Columbia are currently eligible for paid and unpaid COVID-19 related leave under measures that temporarily expand the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (“DCFMLA”) and D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (“ASSLA”). Key Takeaway:  D.C. employers now must navigate an additional set of paid and unpaid leave requirements.  D.C. employers should review these new requirements and update their policies to reflect these temporary measures. More Detail: As we previously reported, in March 2020 the District of Columbia passed the D.C. COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, which expanded DCFMLA to…
California Governor Gavin Newsom has released a 32-page “Employer Playbook” that’s designed to help employers “plan and prepare for reopening their business and to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.” The Playbook contains general guidance applicable to all industries, such as how to manage an outbreak, record cases, and enforce mask requirements. The Playbook also contains hyperlinks to relevant government contacts and industry-specific guidance. In addition, the Playbook mandates that before reopening, all facilities must: Perform a detailed risk assessment and create a work site-specific COVID-19 prevention plan; Train workers on how to limit the spread of…
Quick Hit As we previously reported, Virginia became the first state to issue mandatory COVID-19 workplace safety rules when the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (“VSHCB”) approved an emergency temporary standard on July 15, 2020.  The final text has now been released and the new rules, which apply to most private employers, went into effect July 27, 2020.  Employers who fail to comply may be subject to fines of up to $13,494 for a “serious” violation and up to $134,937 for a “repeat” or “willful” violation. Key Takeaways Virginia’s new rules are quite detailed.  The new mandatory…
For years, federal courts in California have been inundated with wage and hour class actions.  Because these cases often clogged district court dockets for months (and, sometimes, even years) on end, the Central District of California issued the former Local Rule 23-3, which set a 90-day deadline to file a motion for class certification from the filing of a complaint in or removal of an action to federal court.  In 2018, the Ninth Circuit invalidated the 90-day deadline, but judges continue to manage their dockets by imposing shorter than average deadlines to keep cases moving.  And, as a recent Central…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. Nevada Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office Form Joint Task Force The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office teamed up to form a joint task force to protect Nevada citizens from COVID-19 related scams. According to Attorney General Aaron Ford, there has been a total of 858 complaints made to the Bureau of Protection team related to consumer fraud during the COVID-19…
As we have previously reported, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its COVID-19 guidance. Most recently, on July 20, 2020, the DOL issued additional Q and A guidance related to COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These latest publications not only offer new guidance, but also update prior DOL guidance. FLSA Guidance The latest FLSA guidance addresses compensable time and exempt status issues as they relate to telework, as well as hazard pay (or the lack thereof under…