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To Be or Not to Be (An Independent Contractor): DOL Seeks to Clarify Independent Contractor Test in Landmark Proposed Rule
Dykema, September 2020

  On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its first-ever proposed rule outlining a test for when a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  In its proposed rule, the DOL has created a new framework for the well-established “economic reality” independent contractor test...

IRS Allows Reduction of Gross Receipts For State-Legal Cannabis Businesses
Dykema, September 2020

On Saturday, September 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) updated a marijuana industry frequently asked questions (“FAQ”) page that provides relief to state-legal cannabis businesses. The FAQ announces that state-legal cannabis businesses can reduce their gross receipts by using an alternative accounting method under Section 471 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”)...

Deferring Payroll Tax—The IRS Lets Employers Off The Hook
Dykema, September 2020

On September 2, 2020, we issued an e-alert discussing the deferral of the employee portion of Social Security taxes (“SS Tax Deferral Program”), as directed by the Presidential Memorandum dated August 28, 2020, and as implemented by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) pursuant to Notice 2020-65 (“Notice”) issued on August 28, 2020...

Deferring Payroll Tax—The Employer’s Dilemma
Dykema, September 2020

On August 13, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of the Treasury to use his authority to defer the withholding, deposit and payment of the employee portion of Social Security taxes (“SS Tax Deferral Program”). On August 28, 2020, the Secretary of the Treasury and IRS issued Notice 2020-65 (“Notice”) to implement the SS Tax Deferral Program...

What Employers Need to Know About Michigan’s Latest Executive Order Protecting Workers
Dykema, August 2020

On August 27, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer released Executive Order 2020-172, entitled “Protecting workers who stay home, stay safe when they or their close contacts are sick,” which replaces Executive Order 2020-166. The new executive order is nearly identical to the one it replaces, with two important differences...

Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery MOUs: A Roadmap to CARES Act Enforcement
Dykema, August 2020

Businesses across the country have wondered how the new Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) will enforce the CARES Act’s loan requirements, especially with the large number of loan and forgiveness applications. Until recently, the answer was unclear. Press releases have announced Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between SIGPR and three U.S. Attorney’s Offices to collaborate on investigating and prosecuting CARES Act violations...

Are Parts of Paid COVID-19 Leave Regulations in Jeopardy? Federal Court Rejects Parts DOL’s FFCRA Regulations, Employers Brace for Possible Fallout
Dykema, August 2020

On Monday, August 3, 2020, a New York federal judge issued a decision invalidating portions of the DOL’s regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”). The decision’s impact changes the legal landscape employers confront as they strive to comply with the FFCRA—a landscape that is unstable as the DOL and the courts sort out the legality of the disputed regulations...

Governor Reimposes Restrictions in Northern Michigan
Dykema, July 2020

On July 29, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order Nos. 2020-160 and 2020-161. Executive Order 2020-160 replaces the prior executive orders that address stay home, stay safe restrictions in Michigan. In general, this Order moves the State to a more uniform approach to business operations and restrictions...

One Week Left for Eligible Dental Providers to Apply for Provider Relief Funds
Dykema, July 2020

Eligible dental providers may now apply for Provider Relief Funds, but the deadline to do so, July 24, 2020, is quickly approaching. On July 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $4 billion in relief payments to healthcare providers and, notably, opened its provider portal to dental providers...

Mandatory Mask Requirements in Michigan—Executive Order No. 2020-147
Dykema, July 2020

Executive Order No. 2020-147 sets forth new face covering requirements for all individuals in Michigan as well as new requirements for any business open to the public. When is face covering required under Executive Order No...

Michigan Small Business Restart Program Accepting Grant Applications Starting July 15
Dykema, July 2020

The State of Michigan has allocated $100 million of CARES Act funding to implement the Michigan Small Business Restart Program to provide grants to Michigan businesses directly impacted by COVID-19. The grants, up to $20,000 each, will be administered by 15 Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties in the state. Participating EDOs are listed below...

Supreme Court Affirms Addition of .Com to Generic Term Renders Booking.com Registrable
Dykema, July 2020

In a decision contrary to current Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) rules, the United States Supreme Court has found the mark BOOKING.COM as a whole is not generic and that combining a generic term with “.com” does not necessarily result in a composite term that also is generic. Background Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”) sought to federally register the mark BOOKING.COM, and related variations, for travel services...

United States Congress Extends PPP Loan Application Deadline to August 8, 2020
Dykema, July 2020

On June 30, 2020, the Senate passed an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to keep the program operating until August 8, 2020. On July 1, 2020, the House also approved the extension for the program which was set to end on June 30. The President is expected to sign the extension shortly...

PPP Loan Forgiveness and Review: Key Observations
Dykema, June 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness IFR Revisions and Revised Application, Key Observations Part V Once again, the SBA is doling out guidance in small doses, solving some questions, creating new questions and leaving most questions still unanswered. On June 16, 2020, the SBA issued a revised PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, along wit hrelated instructions, and new PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ, also with related instructions...

U.S. Copyright Office Issues Final Regulation Regarding Short Online Literary Works
Dykema, June 2020

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a final regulation (37 CFR §202.4) permitting a single, “group” registration for “Short Online Literary Works.” To be eligible, each of the works included in the registration “must be published as part of a website or online platform, including online newspapers, social media websites, and social networking platforms...

Presidential Proclamation Extends Ban on Entry of Immigrants; Adds H-1B, L-1 and J-1 Visa Holders
Dykema, June 2020

Following up on Dykema’s alert from June 18, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation that extends his April 22, 2020, 60-day ban on immigrant workers entering the United States until December 31, 2020. In addition, it also added those with H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visas and any foreign national accompanying them to this ban. The Proclamation states this was done to address, in part, high unemployment levels due to the coronavirus pandemic...

Possible Presidential Proclamation to Limit Entry of H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 Visa Holders
Dykema, June 2020

Several reports, including one by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, indicate President Trump may issue a Proclamation limiting or prohibiting the entry into the United States of foreign nationals holding H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visas. H-1Bs are used to employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations (those positions normally requiring at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent for entry into the field). H-2Bs are for temporary, non-agricultural workers...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Pride Month History by Holding That Title VII Bars Job Discrimination Against LGBT+ Workers
Dykema, June 2020

Unexpectedly siding with the liberal wing of the Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch penned a 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, holding that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination also covers sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The Court’s decision dealt a historic victory for proponents of expanding gay and trans protections for workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964...

Proposed Legislation Would Create New Protections for Michigan Residential Borrowers and Tenants During States of Emergency
Dykema, June 2020

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its resulting adverse effects on the income levels of Michigan residents, a package of bills (2020 SB 912 through 2020 SB 917) was introduced earlier this month to provide additional protections for residential tenants and owner-occupants during a declared state of emergency...

IRS Provides Relief for Projects Eligible for Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit
Dykema, June 2020

On May 27, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2020-41 (“Notice”) providing COVID-19 relief for businesses seeking to qualify for the production tax credit for renewable energy facilities under Section 45 (“PTC”) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and investment tax credit for energy property under Section 48 (“ITC”) of the Code...

PPP Loan Forgiveness and Review: Key Observations
Dykema, June 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness Expansion: Key Observations Part III On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”) was signed into law by the President. It provides for a number of liberalizations of the terms of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”)...

Notice 2020-39: IRS Provides Relief to Qualified Opportunity Funds and Investors Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
Dykema, June 2020

The Novogradac Opportunity Zones Working Group (the “Novogradac Group”) recently wrote to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (the “Commissioner”) and the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy of the Department of the Treasury...

Tax Deferral of Employer’s Portion of Social Security Taxes Under Section 2302 of the CARES Act Now Available for PPP Borrowers Without Exception
Dykema, June 2020

Pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which was enacted into law on June 5, 2020, taxpayers who take out a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), all or a portion of which is subsequently forgiven, may now also take advantage of the tax deferral of the employer’s portion of the Social Security taxes under Section 2302 of the CARES Act...

Executive Order No 2020-110: Three Things to Remember as When Planning to Reopen
Dykema, June 2020

With Executive Order No. 2020-110, Governor Whitmer has lifted the stay-at-home order and allowed most businesses in Michigan to reopen—at least to some extent. There are still several sectors that are ordered to stay closed to the public, including non-essential personal care services (hair, nail, massage, etc.), and the Executive Order contains several other restrictions imposed on specific industries...

Quick Reference Guide State Level Shelter-in-Place Orders and Essential Services Provisions
Dykema, June 2020

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is affecting companies across the nation and around the world in a variety of ways. Dykema is closely monitoring the legal ramifications of the crisis and evaluating the potential impact to businesses in a wide variety of industries. This Quick Reference Guide is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice...

 

 

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