New York State has released an informal guidance page, including frequently asked questions, regarding the newly enacted statewide paid sick leave law, which took effect on September 30, 2020. As we have previously reported, the law requires employers with New York employees to provide a certain amount of paid or unpaid sick leave to be used for certain medical and employee safety-related reasons. Specifically, under the new law: employers with 4 or fewer employees and a net income of less than $1 million in the prior tax year must provide employees with up to 40 hours of…
On October 28, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an Executive Order addressing health and safety requirements for New Jersey employers that require or permit their workers to be physically present in the office. The Order supplements other guidance that was previously issued for certain industries – including retail, gyms and fitness centers, and child care. Below is a brief summary of what New Jersey employers need to know about the Order. Minimum Health and Safety Protocols. Beginning on Thursday, November 5, all employers that require or permit their workers to be physically present in the office to perform work…
We continue to cover the patchwork of price gouging laws and enforcement actions brought under them, providing an overview of the current legal landscape. We are also following and will report on the application of price gouging restrictions outside the U.S. In this post, we provide an overview of price gouging restrictions applied by several jurisdictions that may be important to our readers.…
In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the U.S. government has provided relief to companies through various grant programs.  The receipt of these grant proceeds represents a meaningful lifeline to many companies and the revenue provided by these grants can have a significant impact on their accounting statements (including GAAP and non-GAAP financial calculations).  Similarly, such financial determinations may also impact various provisions of these companies’ credit facilities, particularly in the private credit space.  Revenue calculations are key to determining a company’s consolidated net income and EBITDA, which are then used to determine such company’s financial covenant compliance and incurrence capacity…
Beyond its devastating human toll, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a historic impact on the U.S. economy, causing tens of millions of Americans to lose employment and numerous businesses to temporarily or permanently shutter. This presents an environment ripe for distressed M&A activity. Will U.S. antitrust law stand in the way of the economic forces spurring such consolidation? U.S. antitrust enforcers have historically viewed industry consolidation suspiciously, considering it better to let troubled businesses naturally run their course. But does that view apply in the context of a rapid economic downturn, particularly where the underlying cause is an environmental health…
As some companies experience financial hardship as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, bankruptcy filings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are on the rise. Companies looking to restructure and streamline costs in the bankruptcy process often look to employee benefit plans as one area for change. This article broadly addresses the impact of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy on employee benefit plans and some of the significant employee benefits issues that debtors face in a Chapter 11 restructuring, including potential sale of the debtor’s assets under 11 U.S.C. §363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Companies with significant benefits liabilities…
State-by-State Real Time Updates on Employment and Privacy-Related Rules, Regulations, Orders and Guidance As jurisdictions continue to respond to COVID-19 with new rules, regulations, orders and guidance, employers must ensure that they adhere to these requirements as they manage business operations. To assist multi-state employers as they navigate these developments, we have created ProTrack COVID-19, a state and local tracker tool. Our proprietary tracker allows employers to search the legal requirements in the jurisdictions where they conduct business, and provides realtime updates. Key features Access to our database of COVID-19 employment and privacy-related state and local rules, regulations, orders and…
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. Virginia Passes Expansion of Price Gouging Law On October 21, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law a revision to Virginia’s Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act. As reported last week, prior to the revision, the Act’s prohibition on selling necessary goods and services at an unconscionable price during a declared emergency did not extend to manufacturers and distributors unless it advertised to consumers. The newly passed…
As coronavirus infection rates rise and restrictions tighten across the UK, the UK Chancellor has extended the Job Support Scheme (again). Last week we reported on the extension of the Scheme to businesses legally required to close under tier 3 of the alert system (https://www.proskauertaxtalks.com/2020/10/covid-19-extension-of-the-uks-job-support-scheme/). Yesterday (22 October) the UK Chancellor announced the following updates: Employees must work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours per month (previously 33%) and the employer’s contribution for non-worked hours is 5% (previously 33%), capped at £125 per month. The government will pay 61.67% of hours not worked, up to a…
As mentioned in our previous post, the legality of state Governors’ emergency powers have come under scrutiny during the pandemic. Michigan’s Supreme Court, for example, recently struck down Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers. The Hawaii Circuit Court, however, recently dismissed a legal challenge to Hawaii Governor David Ige’s emergency powers. In response to the victory, Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors stated “[t]his decision sends an important message at an important time—the Governor’s emergency proclamations are lawful. By continuing to follow these rules, all residents and visitors protect each other and promote public health during this pandemic crisis.”…
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…
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…
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…