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Relief for Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciaries Due to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a "Relief Notice," providing ERISA plan fiduciaries additional time to furnish required notices and disclosures to participants and beneficiaries. For governmental plans that are not subject to ERISA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will extend similar timeframes otherwise applicable under the Public Health Service Act...

Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines Extended Due to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2020

Key Points: Several key deadlines for employee benefit plan participants are being extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic under guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and IRS. The deadline extensions could impose significant administrative burdens on plans and plan sponsors. The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued new guidance extending key deadlines for participants in private sector plans subject to ERISA. For governmental health plans, the U.S...

CMS-Mandated COVID-19 Reporting Requirements and Enforcement Actions Coming for Skilled Nursing
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2020

Key Points Facilities will have until the week ending June 7, 2020 to report specific COVID-19 data to the CDC or face the assessment of deficiencies and CMPs. Facilities are now required to notify residents, their representatives, and families when the facility has a confirmed COVID-19 infection or 3 instances of new onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours...

Bay Area Counties Issue New Orders Permitting Construction to Resume with Conditions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2020

Key Points Bay Area counties issued new Shelter Orders on April 29, 2020 allowing all construction to resume. The new Shelter Orders include detailed Construction Safety Protocols that construction jobsites must comply with. There is one Construction Safety Protocol for “small” construction projects, and a more rigorous Construction Safety Protocol for “large” construction projects...

A Role for Water Treatment Systems in Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2020

Key Points Monitoring the movement of the COVID-19 virus in untreated wastewater may provide useful information in tracking the spread of the disease. Current methods for treating wastewater supplies appear to be sufficient to protect against further spread of COVID-19. In the absence of widespread testing and contact tracing, could untreated wastewater hold the key to tracking the spread of COVID-19? Increasingly, the answer appears promising...

No Deduction for You
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2020

Key Points The IRS recently issued guidance (Notice 2020-32) regarding the deductibility of expenses incurred in a taxpayer’s trade or business when the taxpayer receives a PPP loan under the CARES Act. Section 1106 of the CARES Act provides that PPP loans may be forgiven without causing the borrower to incur cancellation of debt income...

New Bay Area Shelter-in-Place Orders Allow for the Resumption of Environmental Site Remediation and Agricultural Operations
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

The Bay Area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, and the City of Berkeley have jointly issued new Shelter-in-Place orders superseding their existing March 31, 2020 Shelter-in-Place orders...

EPA Makes Good on Promise to Crack Down on Sham COVID-19 Cleaners and Disinfectants
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: EPA is marching forward with its plans to prevent sham COVID-19 cleaners and disinfectants from entering the marketplace. Manufacturers should continue to adhere to EPA's policy regarding products that make disinfectant efficacy claims. EPA warns consumers against injecting disinfectants into their bodies. On April 23, 2020, the U.S...

New Orders from 6 Bay Area Counties Require Face Coverings to be Worn During Work in Most Circumstances
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: Face coverings are now mandatory for most workers in six Bay Area counties. These orders apply to those working in proximity to others and in areas frequented by the public, and to all essential infrastructure workers. There are immediate implications for public agencies, contractors, and construction project owners...

Recent Changes to CEQA-Related Procedures from COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: An executive order from the governor's office modifies California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") noticing procedures, requiring local agencies to take extra steps to notify the public that environmental review processes are underway or have concluded for development projects. Extra steps include posting notices on agency websites and active outreach to interested parties...

CARES Act Update: New SBA Guidance on PPP Loan 'Necessity'
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: New guidance from the SBA clarifies the "necessity" requirement for PPP loans. Start-ups should proceed with caution when planning to apply for a PPP loan. Since the passage over the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES ACT (the “Act”) start-ups and emerging companies have received mixed signals and guidance regarding their eligibility for loans and loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP")...

CARES Act Update: New SBA Guidance on PPP Loan 'Necessity'
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Since the passage over the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES ACT (the “Act”) start-ups and emerging companies have received mixed signals and guidance regarding their eligibility for loans and loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP")...

Ready to Return to Work? Perhaps Not – San Francisco Temporarily Expands Paid Leave for Employees Impacted by COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

  Key Points: SF passed emergency ordinance requiring employers to provide workers with supplemental COVID-related paid leave. The ordinance applies to employers not covered by federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Employers are required now to post notice about this emergency leave, which is available from SF’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement. Despite the discussions of reopening businesses, employees may not be returning to work anytime soon...

San Francisco Extends Commercial Eviction Moratorium
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: SF Major extends commercial eviction moratorium through May 17, 2020. Moratorium applies only to commercial tenants registered to do business in San Francisco meeting certain requirements. Moratorium applies to all attempts to recover possession due to non-payment. Moratorium covers security deposits...

A Pandemic Upsets Supply Chains as Proposition 65 Enforcement Soars and New Regulations Take Effect
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: Since Governor Newsom announced a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak, private Proposition 65 enforcement has increased by about 50%. Effective April 1st, new regulations clarify how manufacturers can satisfy their Proposition 65 warning obligations. These new regulations also clarify when retail sellers assume the burden under Proposition 65 to warn Californians...

Top Ten Signals That Your Company is or May be a Candidate for Bankruptcy
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Key Points: In most circumstances, the bankruptcy court should be a court of last, not first, resort. In certain circumstances, outlined in this article, the commencement of a bankruptcy case makes good sense. In most circumstances, because of the costs and uncertainties associated with the commencement and prosecution of a bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy court should be a court of last, not first, resort...

Public Works Projects in the Bay Area May Proceed Under COVID-19 Orders
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

COVID-19 related Executive Orders from Governor Newsom and shelter-in-place orders from County Health Officers in the Bay Area have restricted construction activities during this healthcare emergency. These restrictions apply to private projects and public works construction projects, although public works projects have broader flexibility to proceed. This alert will summarize how public works projects in the Bay Area can continue under the current orders...

Privacy Alert: Zoom or Not to Zoom?
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

As soon as we began to shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 crisis, most of us also started to hold virtual meetings, both professional and personal, as a better, more satisfying way to connect. For this, we turned en masse to a handful of video conferencing platforms. However, while we can all agree that these services help us do our jobs and stay in touch with loved ones, these services raise many novel privacy and security concerns...

SBA Issues Guidance on PPP Loans for Law, Accounting, and Other Service Partnerships
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

April 14, 2020, the SBA issued new guidance on the treatment of service partners for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. The Interim Final Rule Paycheck Protection Program – Additional Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for Certain Pledges of Loans clarifies that individuals treated as partners may not submit a separate PPP loan application as an "eligible self-employed individuals...

New EPA Guidance for Site Field Work Decisions Impacted by COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. EPA published an interim memorandum titled “Interim Guidance on Site Field Work Decisions Due to Impacts of COVID-19,” available here, intended as guidance to EPA's regional field offices amid growing concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 on-site cleanup activities. Specifically, the memorandum provides guidance regarding decisions to continue, reduce, or halt on site cleanup activities amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak...

Eviction Guidance for California Senior Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, California has implemented eviction restrictions on all landlords. These restrictions have been issued in several forms, and have changed over the last few weeks. The purpose of this alert is to provide a brief overview of the current statewide rules regarding evictions as applied to senior communities. On March 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom first issued an executive order authorizing local governments to halt evictions, among other things...

EPA Promises Crackdown on Sham COVID-19 Cleaners and Disinfectants
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Amidst growing concerns regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, disinfectants and cleaners falsely claiming to prevent infection from the virus have started to infiltrate U.S. markets. In light of the widespread shortage of hand sanitizers, latex gloves, and face masks brought about by panic-buying in response to the outbreak, many Americans have fallen prey to these dupes. So much so that, according to a recent New York Times article, U.S...

The Main Street Lending Program: How it Works and Who is it For?
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

What Is It? On April 9, the Federal Reserve Board revealed details about the previously announced Main Street Lending Program. Even larger than the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Lending Program is geared toward mid-sized businesses. Its principal purpose is to get 4-year loans with deferred principal and interest payments to mid-sized businesses with up to 10,000 employees or less than $2.5 billion in revenue...

Guidelines for Construction Owners Responding to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Across the country, construction projects of every nature are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation and governmental response to the pandemic continue to evolve, and owners must keep abreast of these changes to ensure they manage their construction projects appropriately. There are a litany of issues, legal and practical, that owners need to assess when deciding how to manage ongoing projects and those in the pipeline...

Owner Alert: Recent Guidance on the CARES Act Offers Hope for Modification of Distressed Construction Loans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

In passing the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), Congress provided much-needed relief to project owners by making it easier to modify construction loans. Under the Act, an owner may qualify for a forbearance arrangement, an interest rate modification, or a repayment plan, among other options, and the modification does not adversely impact the credit of the borrower...

New Guidance Released Regarding Carryback of Net Operating Losses Under the CARES Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

The IRS continues to provide clarity regarding application of the various Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES Act") modifications to the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code") (see prior coverage here). In addition to recent guidance regarding bonus depreciation, the IRS on April 9 released Rev. Proc. 2020-24 and Notice 2020-26, both of which address CARES Act amendments applicable to net operating losses ("NOLs")...

Protecting Employees on the Front Lines: Interim Cal/OSHA Guidance for Skilled Nursing and Long-Term Care Facilities
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

A recent COVID-19 outbreak at a King County, Washington state long-term care skilled nursing facility led to numerous cases and deaths among residents and visitors. Most likely as a result of continued and growing cases of COVID-19 at skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, on April 5, 2020, Cal/OSHA published Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers at Skilled Nursing and Long-term Care Facilities from Exposure to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)...

IRS Allows Amended Partnership Returns for Bonus Depreciation and Other CARES Act Changes
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On April 8, 2020, the IRS released Rev. Proc. 2020-23 to allow certain partnerships to take advantage of tax law changes under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including the immediate expensing of costs related to "qualified improvement property...

Employers Need to Check for Local COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinances
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

An increasing number of California cities are adopting expanded paid sick leave ordinances – or expanded application of local paid sick leave ordinances – aimed at providing paid sick leave benefits to employees affected by COVID-19 who may not be entitled to benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose...

PPP Loans Coming for Independent Contractors and Self-Employed Individuals
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Last week, the SBA issued guidance concerning the rights of independent contractors with respect to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans. First, the SBA clarified that employers cannot include compensation paid to independent contractors in calculating their own loan amount. Second, the SBA announced that independent contractors and self-employed individuals will be eligible to apply for a PPP loans starting April 10, 2020...

Workouts and Restructurings in the COVID Era
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Introduction I have not taken the time to research and, hence, cannot speak knowledgeably about the economic impact of government measures taken to defeat the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918, and the legal consequences thereof...

Paycheck Protection Program Loans – Affiliation Rules Updated
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On April 3, 2020, small business owners started applying for forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the program got underway, the Small Business Administration (SBA) rolled out important new guidance for small businesses, including an updated loan application form and comprehensive guidance on PPP requirements for borrowers and lenders...

Governor's Executive Order N-42-20 Restricts the Ability of Water Service Providers to Shut Off Water Service
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On April 2, 2020, Governor Newson issued Executive Order N-42-20 ("Executive Order") in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This order restricts the ability of water service providers to shut off water to certain customers for non-payment. All Residential Water Service Providers Affected All water service providers providing residential water service, regardless of size, are affected by this Executive Order...

Takings Challenge Against San Francisco’s Expedited Conversion Program Dismissed as Unripe
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

In Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco, filed on March 17, 2020, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal voted 2-1 to affirm the dismissal of a property owner’s takings challenge against San Francisco’s “Expedited Conversion Program...

CARES Act Extends Certain Bankruptcy Provisions to Expanded Group of Small Businesses
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

The provisions of the newly-enacted CARES ACT that have been receiving the most attention from owners of small businesses that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic are those relating to the business-sustaining forgivable loans and tax benefits that will potentially be available to those companies...

COVID-19 Related Employee Benefits Issues for Governmental Employers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

As a growing number of the workforce is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, governmental employers are raising benefit-related questions. The Employee Benefits Group at Hanson Bridgett will be providing updated information on possible issues arising in the benefits area through Benefits Alerts and postings on Hanson Bridgett's Online COVID-19 Resource Center...

Guidelines for Contractors Responding to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

You’ve read the qualifying language before: across the country, construction projects are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We thought it important to prepare guidelines to assist contractors in navigating the situation from a risk management perspective. The situation is dynamic and will change quickly. A one-size-fits-all solution does not exist, and this global challenge continues to evolve. What works today may not address tomorrow’s needs...

Can Qualified Small Businesses Get a PPP Loan under the CARES Act?
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Like most industries, tech startups have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As they scramble to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, tech leaders are asking if, and to what extent, their businesses can benefit from the $2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act...

Requesting Rent Abatement: A Practical Approach During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Chances are your business has been interrupted by the Coronavirus epidemic, and if you rent space, you are considering how to obtain rent concessions from your landlord. Most likely, your lease will not give you an express right to rent abatement if your use is precluded by a "shelter-in-place" order or other government action...

COVID-19: Top Ten Issues for Employers Considering Layoffs, Furloughs or Reduction in Hours
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

As private and governmental employers cope with reduced revenues and other significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are considering whether to lay off or furlough employees, or reduce employees’ hours...

IRS Form Released for Advance Payments of COVID-19 Payroll Tax Credits
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On March 31, 2020, the IRS issued Form 7200 Advance Payment of Employer Tax Credits Due to COVID-19 and instructions for eligible employers to claim advance payments of refundable payroll tax credits related to COVID-19...

CEQA Update: No Change to Administrative Deadlines, Noticing, or Filing Requirements Following Governor Newsom's 'Stay at Home' Order
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On March 24, 2020, the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) announced that “[a]t this time, there has been no change to the deadlines, noticing, or filing requirements contained within CEQA.” OPR also announced that the California State Clearinghouse, the office that coordinates state-level review of CEQA documents, will be operating every weekday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m...

UPDATE: CARES Act: Paycheck Protection Loans and Eligibility for Loan Forgiveness
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

Last Friday, March 27, we published CARES Act: Paycheck Protection Loans and Eligibility for Loan Forgiveness. This alert is intended to provide an update concerning implementation of the Paycheck Protection Loan application process. The SBA has posted a Paycheck Protection Application Form on its website. Since the loans will be funded by private SBA lenders, and guaranteed by the SBA, most borrowers are lining up with private SBA lenders now...

Bay Area Counties Further Restrict Construction, Extend Shelter-in-Place Orders Until May 3, 2020
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

On March 31, 2020, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties plus the City of Berkeley issued new Shelter-in-Place orders, further restricting construction and extending Shelter-in-Place restrictions until May 3, 2020. Under the new orders, most construction, including residential and commercial, is now prohibited. Healthcare, low income housing, specially designated public works projects, shelters, and temporary housing projects may continue...

California Property Tax Payments and COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2020

While relief has been granted for federal and California income tax filing and payment obligations (see prior coverage here and here) the same cannot be said for local property tax obligations. To avoid penalties, the next payment deadline for California property taxes remains April 10, 2020. Property tax payment deadlines are set by California state law and cannot be extended by either the Board of Equalization or local county assessor offices (see BOE statement)...

COVID-19 and CCPA: No Delay in Enforcement
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Unique challenges confront those businesses impacted by COVID-19 that are also in the process of implementing operational changes to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The California Attorney General begins enforcement on July 1, 2020, and recently declined to extend that date due to COVID-19. We take a look at those challenges here and propose some best practices to avoid legal liability under the CCPA...

Planning for and Negotiating Mergers & Acquisitions In Light of COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Whether your company is at the outset of exploring a potential M&A transaction or in the days leading up to closing the deal, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented levels of uncertainty into transactions for sellers and acquirors alike. This alert highlights potential considerations for sellers and acquirors in M&A transactions as a result of COVID-19...

Newsom Temporarily Bans Evictions of Residential Tenant’s Impacted by COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 27, 2020 California Governor, Gavin Newsom, issued Executive Order N-37-20 (“Order”), temporarily restricting the ability of landlords to evict residential tenants for nonpayment of rent if the failure to pay rent is due to the impacts of the COVID-19 Coronavirus (“COVID-19”)...

CARES Act – Important Changes to 401k or other Retirement Plans
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As a growing number of the workforce is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are raising several benefit related questions, particularly with respect to financial assistance available to employees. The Employee Benefits Group at Hanson Bridgett will be providing updated information on possible issues arising in the benefits area through Benefits Alerts and postings on Hanson Bridgett's Online COVID-19 Resource Center...

U.S. EPA's Temporary Enforcement Policy Provides Needed Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a temporary policy on its enforcement of environmental obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many facilities are experiencing unexpected constraints arising from the pandemic, including limited availability of key staff, contractors, and laboratories...

The CARES Act Increases Unemployment Compensation Coverage and the DOL Clarifies Exemptions to the FFCRA
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Last week, President Trump signed two Legislative Acts – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA") and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Effective April 1, 2020, the FFCRA requires employers with more than 50 but fewer than 500 employees to provide emergency paid sick leave and expanded Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") leave to employees...

Group Health Plan and Cafeteria Plan Issues Related to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As a growing number of the workforce is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are raising several benefit related questions, particularly with respect to group health plans. The Employee Benefits Group at Hanson Bridgett will be providing updated information on possible issues arising in the benefits area through Benefits Alerts and postings on Hanson Bridgett's Online COVID-19 Resource Center...

UPDATED: Additional Payroll Tax Credits for Small and Large Employers Under the CARES Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Updated April 2, 2020 The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides payroll tax relief to certain businesses facing the COVID-19 crisis. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides for payroll tax credits for small and mid-size private sector employers (500 or fewer employees) required to provide paid sick and expanded family and medical leave related to qualified payments made between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020...

Modifications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in the CARES Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act cleared the House vote and was signed into law. As the most expensive legislation ever passed, the CARES Act includes tax relief and incentives designed to help both businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the CARES Act modifies certain provisions that were previously amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)...

CARES Loans Come With "Union Neutrality" Price Tag
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Under the CARES Act (H.R. 748), mid-sized businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for low-interest rate loans. These loans, however, come with a hidden price tag: a requirement that the business makes a "good-faith certification" that it "will remain neutral in any union organizing effort for the term of the loan.” What it means for a business to remain "neutral" is up in the air. The CARES Act does not define the term...

CARES Act: Paycheck Protection Loans and Eligibility for Loan Forgiveness
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

An update to this article is available ?   The Trump Administration and representatives of Congress reached an agreement on a proposed COVID-19 economic stimulus bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES ACT (the “Act”). The Senate passed the Act late Wednesday, and the House of Representatives will vote on Friday. It is expected to be approved then signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020...

The Force of Force Majeure in Supply Chain Contracts
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

In the turmoil of adjusting and living day-to-day in this time of the COVID-19 virus, the public has become more attuned to the reality of the term “Supply Chain.” We are gaining a better appreciation that before products reach the consumer, an extensive network of shippers and transportation entities of all types and modes of commerce, as well as freight brokers and any other functions essential to the delivery cycle, are at play 24/7...

Employee Benefits Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As a growing number of the workforce is being affected by the COVID-19 virus, employers are being asked to respond to benefit-related questions from employees. In the coming days, the Employee Benefits Group at Hanson Bridgett will be providing updated information on possible issues arising in the benefits area through Benefits Alerts and postings on Hanson Bridgett's Online COVID-19 Resource Center...

IRS and DOL Issue COVID-19 Related Tax Credit Guidance
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

An updated version of this article is available ?   On March 20, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) jointly issued guidance regarding the tax credits available to certain small employers who are required to provide new types of paid leave to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), enacted on March 18, 2020...

Complying with Environmental Requirements During COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every sector of the economy in multiple ways. For businesses whose operations are subject to environmental requirements, including waste management, storage, and disposal laws, these coronavirus-related disruptions may impact a facility’s ability to comply with mandatory reporting and submission deadlines or waste storage time limits...

Risk Management Advisory: Considerations for Engineers in Responding to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Across the country, construction projects are being impacted by the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is dynamic and will change quickly. We thought it important to prepare some guidelines that would help firms navigate the situation from a risk management perspective. A one-size-fits-all solution does not exist, and this global challenge continues to evolve. What works today may not address tomorrow’s needs...

Governor's Office Designates Cannabis an Essential Business
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay at home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish a consistent approach across the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. This order went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and is in place until further notice. The order identifies certain services as essential, including food, prescriptions, and healthcare. These services can continue despite the stay at home order...

Executive Order Relaxes Brown Act Requirements Further
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 17, 2020, Governor Newson issued Executive Order N-29-20 ("Executive Order") in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This order supersedes Executive Order N-25-20, which was issued on March 12, and expressly waives all requirements in the Brown Act and Bagley-Keene Act that require a physical presence of Board members, staff or the public as a condition of holding and participating in a local agency governing body or state commission public meeting...

Tax Day Extended to July 15 – Now Matches Payment Deadline
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 20, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced by tweet that the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns will be postponed to July 15: "At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties." Later on March 20, the IRS published Notice 2020-18 to memorialize the extension...

Shelter-in-Place Implications for Cannabis Dispensaries
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 16, seven Bay Area counties issued "shelter-in-place" restrictions, which create compliance issues for cannabis operations licensed as dispensaries or as delivery services...

UPDATED: Important Shelter-in-Place Exceptions for Some Construction Activities
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Many jurisdictions in Northern California and throughout the State have ordered individuals who live in those communities to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition, all businesses except for “Essential Businesses” have been ordered to close. Certain construction activities, however, are exempt from the Shelter-in-Place orders, including housing projects and public works...

Contractual Performance Defenses In The Face Of COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

 The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic is upending regular commercial activity across the United States and around the world, and that disruption is expected to escalate. Among the issues confronting our clients, the effect of public health orders and other measures to address COVID-19 is threatening, impacting, and in some cases, outright prohibiting the performance of material contractual obligations...

Obligations of Board of Directors in Light of COVID-19 Restrictions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

We have been asked whether businesses should cancel or severely limit business meetings and social engagements due to the Coronavirus pandemic crisis. It is admittedly difficult to run a business while essentially sheltering in place until such time, as the country achieves some sort of reliable testing program and medical treatment availability. Our recommendation is to cancel all but the most critical of meetings and gatherings...

Employee Benefits Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As a growing number of the workforce is being affected by the COVID-19 virus, employers are being asked to respond to benefit-related questions from employees. In the coming days, the Employee Benefits Group at Hanson Bridgett will be providing updated information on possible issues arising in the benefits area through Benefits Alerts and postings on Hanson Bridgett's Online COVID-19 Resource Center...

Business Interruption Insurance May Cover Losses Related to Coronavirus
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As each day that passes while COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, more businesses are closing their doors to protect their employees, customers, vendors, and other people with whom they come into contact. And many of them are wondering whether there is coverage for their business losses during this time. Business interruption or business income coverage is sometimes included in commercial property coverage...

Notice to Employers: California WARN Act Notice Requirements Suspended
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order suspending some of the notice requirements under the California WARN Act ("Cal-WARN"), the state counterpart to the Federal WARN Act. The order came in response to the sudden onslaught of workplace closings across California due to COVID-19. Under the Cal-WARN, employers with 75 or more employees must give 60-days' written notice to employees and unions before layoffs occur...

Employer Notice: Families First Coronavirus Response Act Becomes Law
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 18, 2020, the Senate approved, and President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act." The legislation contains a number of provisions related to employees' rights to time off and pay, provides tax credits to employers, and includes expanded health services and unemployment provisions. The provisions related to employees' rights to time off and pay, tax credits, and unemployment are summarized here:   Family Medical Leave Act Expansion H.R...

Newsom Order Facilitates Local COVID-19 Eviction Restrictions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency in the State of California as a result of the threat of COVID-19...

Notice to Employers: California WARN Act Notice Requirements Suspended
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order suspending some of the notice requirements under the California WARN Act ("Cal-WARN"), the state counterpart to the Federal WARN Act. The order came in response to the sudden onslaught of workplace closings across California due to COVID-19. Under the Cal-WARN, employers with 75 or more employees must give 60-days' written notice to employees and unions before layoffs occur...

COVID-19 Considerations for Landlords & Property Managers
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As the COVID-19/Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread and affect our lives, the only certainty seems to be uncertainty. What is becoming clear is that both the short term and long term economic effects of the outbreak are likely to be significant. In light of this, real estate clients are asking important questions regarding the potential legal issues COVID-19 may have on their rights as real estate owners and operators...

Employer Notice: Families First Coronavirus Response Act Becomes Law
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 18, 2020, the Senate approved, and President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act." The legislation contains a number of provisions related to employees' rights to time off and pay, provides tax credits to employers, and includes expanded health services and unemployment provisions. The provisions related to employees' rights to time off and pay, tax credits, and unemployment are summarized here: Family Medical Leave Act Expansion (H.R. 6201) H...

Force Majeure and Other Contract Performance Defenses In The Face Of COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic is upending regular commercial activity across the United States and around the world, and that disruption is expected to escalate. Among the issues confronting our clients, the effect of public health orders and other measures to address COVID-19 is threatening, impacting, and in some cases, outright prohibiting the performance of material contractual obligations...

Employer’s Notification Requirements of Possible COVID-19 Exposure
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

In the current situation, employees who come into contact with other employees may be diagnosed with COVID-19. What is an employer’s obligation to notify other potentially exposed employees? Employers have a general duty to provide a safe workplace under Cal/OSHA and federal OSHA...

The IRS and FTB Delay Tax Deadlines by Up To 90 Days
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 17, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced a new tax plan to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 crisis. Under the new plan, individuals and corporations can defer $1 million, and $10 million, respectively, in tax payments for 90 days. Importantly, individual and corporate taxpayers can take advantage of the new plan without incurring any interest or penalties...

Shelter-in-Place Implications for Cannabis Dispensaries
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 16, seven Bay Area counties issued "shelter-in-place" restrictions, which create compliance issues for cannabis operations licensed as dispensaries or as delivery services...

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Considerations for Private Lenders
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

We are conscious that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is top of mind for everyone these days, and our first hope is that all of our clients and their loved ones are healthy and safe. Many of our private lending clients have had questions regarding actions they should be taking in response to the pandemic and the effect voluntary and, in some cases mandated, “social distancing” measures are having on their businesses and the economy...

California Employment Development Program Provisions Relating to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

California has implemented procedures for employees to obtain unemployment, paid family leave, or disability insurance benefits related to COVID-19. Here are the main points: If employee is unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 and has the necessary supporting medical documentation, employee may file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim (1-week waiting period waived)...

Business Interruption Insurance May Cover Losses Related to Coronavirus
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As each day that passes while COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, more businesses are closing their doors to protect their employees, customers, vendors, and other people with whom they come into contact. And many of them are wondering whether there is coverage for their business losses during this time. Business interruption or business income coverage is sometimes included in commercial property coverage...

San Francisco Offers Relief to Local Small Businesses in Response to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 11, 2020, the City of San Francisco announced measures to support small businesses in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. The City’s support efforts include the deferral of business taxes and licensing fees, as well as the launch of an economic relief fund...

H.R. 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

A more recent examination of H.R. 6201, Family Medical Leave Act Expansion, is available here.     In the early morning hours of March 14, the House passed H.R. 6201, which now moves to the Senate, where changes are likely to be made before enactment...

Obligations of Board of Directors in Light of COVID-19 Restrictions
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

We have been asked whether businesses should cancel or severely limit business meetings and social engagements due to the Coronavirus pandemic crisis. It is admittedly difficult to run a business while essentially sheltering in place until such time, as the country achieves some sort of reliable testing program and medical treatment availability. Our recommendation is to cancel all but the most critical of meetings and gatherings...

COVID-19 Employer Requirements for Reporting & Recordkeeping Under California OSHA
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Federal and state occupational safety and health regulations require employers to record and report certain work-related injuries and serious illnesses, including work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations. While Cal/OSHA has stated that the common cold or flu are exempt from reporting and recording requirements, even if the employee became ill at work, this exemption does not apply to COVID-19...

Workplace Safety and COVID-19: California and Federal OSHA Issue Employer Guidelines
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) have issued guidance for employers. The guidelines provide guidance on how to determine if COVID-19 is a hazard in the workplace and employer obligations. Is COVID-19 a Workplace Hazard? Employers should determine if COVID-19 infection is a hazard in their workplace...

Newsom’s Executive Order on COVID-19 Loosens Teleconference Rules for Public Meetings under the Brown Act and Bagley-Keene Act
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

On March 12, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20 (“Executive Order”) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, invoking the Governor’s authority under the Emergency Services Act under Government Code section 8572. The Executive Order is available here...

New Federal Law Requires PFAS Users to Report to EPA
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

Companies, municipalities, and water systems must now report their per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) use to the federal government. A new federal law requires facilities using 100 pounds per year of a listed PFAS compound to self-report to the national Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Monitoring and reporting requirements are often prerequisites to cleanup and enforcement, and this collection of data may be a bellwether for the future regulation of PFAS...

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response for Senior Living Communities
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2020

Introduction The recent spread of the coronavirus around the world is justifying significant concern among senior living operators and raising questions about how to prepare for and respond to the possibility that the disease will affect residents, staff, and visitors. This concern is exacerbated by the fact that seniors tend to be more vulnerable to such communicable diseases and live in close quarters with others at the community, sharing meals and participating in group activities...

 

 

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