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. Illinois Businessman Charged with Price Gouging Under the Defense Production Act On October 8, 2020, the U.S. attorney’s office for Chicago announced that an Illinois businessman was charged with price gouging protective masks during the height of the pandemic, in violation of the Defense Production Act. The businessman is accused of accumulating about 80,000 masks in March and April for approximately $5 each. The businessman allegedly…
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. Department of Justice Continues Defense Production Act Enforcement On October 13, 2020, the Department of Justice announced that a Santa Monica women had been charged with price gouging N95 masks in violation of the Defense Production Act. According to the DOJ, the women sold the masks at vastly inflated prices sometimes nearly 1,100 percent over list price. The women admitted to charging inflated prices and pled…
If there is a silver lining to the extended application of most state price gouging laws, it is that we now know more about their ramifications. State attorneys general have launched numerous investigations and brought many lawsuits, and several class actions have been filed by consumers against companies for alleged price gouging up and down the supply chain. Insights can be gleaned from these price gouging-related suits to understand the “anatomy” of these suits, including what they allege, how to avoid them, and, when necessary, how to defend against them.…
Are Michigan’s Enhanced Price Gouging Provisions Undone? As much of the country remains under various and often overlapping states of emergency, one Governor’s powers have been limited by a state supreme court. On October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court held that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not have authority to issue or renew COVID-related executive orders beyond April 30, 2020. The Court stated that “our decision today . . . leaves open many avenues for our Governor and Legislature to work together in a cooperative spirit and constitutional manner to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”…
As lockdowns loom across the land with the introduction of a three-tier system of restrictions based on local COVID-19 alert levels, at the highest alert level (tier 3) certain businesses will be forced to close, including pubs and bars (unless they serve substantial meals). To support businesses that are legally required to close as a result of the restrictions, the Job Support Scheme announced as part of the UK Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan (reported by us https://www.proskauertaxtalks.com/2020/09/uk-chancellor-announces-winter-economy-plan/) is extended. Below are the key points: The government will pay two-thirds of each employees’ salary up to a maximum of £2,100…
Originally published on April 14, 2020. Last updated as of October 9, 2020. On October 8, the SBA simplified the forgiveness process for PPP loans of $50,000 or less.  If your PPP loan was $50,000 or less, and your affiliates together have not borrowed $2,000,000 or more, your PPP loan is exempt from forgiveness reduction due to reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or in employee salary or wages and you can utilize a new Loan Forgiveness Application – SBA Form 3508S. This up-to-date guide summarizes the key terms of the PPP, including with respect to the forgiveness aspect…
In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, partner Harris Mufson and associate Phil Lebel discuss recent legal developments in California, specifically a new supplemental paid sick leave law and coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure notification requirements. Tune in as we discuss steps employers can take to ensure compliance with these new requirements. Listen to the podcast.  …
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many governors have issued executive orders targeted at combating price gouging. However, one California state senator, Senator Thomas Umberg, proposed going a step further. In April 2020, Senator Umberg introduced Senate Bill 1196, which would codify many of the provisions in California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-44-20. On September 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed the bill into law. In connection with the signing, Senator Umberg stated that “[t]his decisive action ensures that fewer of our neighbors will be victims of price gouging.”…
As of September 2019, 61,691 public charities and 11,529 private and public foundations were registered in New York, and one could expect that such numbers have increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests against systemic racism. Most charities are community-based and focus on local needs. The pandemic has put immense strain on the resources of many charitable nonprofits at a time when their services are most desperately needed. Faced with the prospect of shutting or drastically reducing operations, nonprofits — particularly those that provide overlapping or complimentary services — may consider combining as a means to…
For private investment funds with limited or no remaining uncalled commitments, net asset value (NAV) and hybrid credit facilities can provide a useful source of liquidity to support underperforming assets or allow funds to engage in opportunistic acquisitions. These types of facilities are receiving renewed attention for funds seeking liquidity in light of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, in the case of NAV or hybrid credit facilities that were put in place prior to the onset of the pandemic, more recent valuation reporting has created challenges for some funds in complying with the financial covenants under…
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. New Jersey Attorney General Speaks Out On Efforts to Stop Price Gouging In a recent Law360 article, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal discussed the state’s approach to combatting pandemic-related price gouging. Prior to the pandemic, the state had declared a variety of states of emergency resulting from hurricanes and winter nor’easters. Accordingly, Attorney General Grewal stated that New Jersey’s “Division of Consumer Affairs anticipated an…
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the flurry of associated leave issues, Gov. Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 1383 (“SB 1383”) into law, which provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) to employers with as few as five employees.  Beginning on January 1, 2021, when SB 1383 takes effect, employees of most small employers will be eligible for leaves of absence: (1) for the birth of a child; (2) for adoption or foster care placement of a child; (3) to care for a seriously ill family member; and/or (4) to care for the…
Employers across the country are restructuring business operations to mitigate the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Restructuring business operations—whether by complete shutdown, sale, or bankruptcy—implicates several employer-sponsored health and welfare plan issues. This article provides a high-level overview of common health and welfare plan scenarios that plan sponsors may encounter during a restructuring. Managing Health & Welfare Plans During Restructuring
In late September, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) published Press Release 20-04 and issued Technical Update 20-2 providing flexibility in the calculation of variable-rate premiums for plan sponsors who take advantage of extended pension contribution deadlines for 2020—even in certain circumstances where the plan sponsor has already completed its PBGC premium filing. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) allows plan sponsors to delay until January 1, 2021 the payment of minimum required contributions to tax-qualified defined benefit pension plans that would otherwise be due in 2020.  The IRS subsequently clarified in Notice 2020-61
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently made headlines around the country by announcing that he was lifting physical distancing restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida. The Governor’s order allows restaurants to open at full capacity, and prevents cities and counties from ordering them to operate at less than half capacity unless justified by health or economic reasons. Florida cities and counties are also barred from collecting fines for violations of social distancing or mask rules. But, while such actions may seem to indicate an imminent return to something resembling normalcy, or at least the end of widespread social distancing…
Proskauer’s Antitrust Practice Group has provided clients with need-to-know information on price gouging restrictions across the country since the start of COVID-19. In light of the continuously changing landscape, Proskauer has developed an interactive state-by-state price gouging map, which provides a quick reference to current price gouging restrictions in effect in each state. *      *      * Visit Proskauer on Price Gouging for antitrust insights on COVID-19. *      *      * Proskauer’s cross-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional Coronavirus Response Team is focused on supporting and addressing client concerns. Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for guidance on risk management measures, practical steps businesses can take…