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Proposed Legislation Would Protect Businesses from COVID-19 Claims
Waller, May 2020

With pandemic-related legal filings on the rise across the country, the Waller Government Relations team has worked closely with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry to draft the Tennessee Business Recovery and Safe Harbor Act...

Immigration Alert: USCIS Announces Temporary Policy Changes for J-1 Waiver Physicians during the COVID-19 National Emergency
Waller, May 2020

In light of the COVID-19 National Health Emergency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced temporary policies related to H-1B-sponsored physicians who are completing their three-year J-1 waiver service commitment requirements. The temporary policies relate to full-time work requirements and the ability of J-1 waiver-approved physicians to provide telehealth services...

USPTO Further Extends Certain Deadlines in Response to COVID-19
Waller, May 2020

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a news brief in connection with a further extension of the relief provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The USPTO has offered patent and trademark applicants and owners an additional thirty (30) days in which to file certain documents and pay certain fees, extending the deadline set by the original notices to June 1st...

An Alternative to CARES Act Relief SEC Issues Temporary Crowdfunding Rules Amendment
Waller, May 2020

On May 4, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a temporary final rule amending certain rules that apply to securities offerings initiated under Regulation Crowdfunding between May 4, 2020 and August 31, 2020...

Tennessee Restaurants Reopening: What Can We Do Besides Eat
Waller, May 2020

Restaurants and other establishments that serve a menu of food were allowed to open in Tennessee beginning April 27. Memphis and Nashville remain closed. We have been fielding questions about what else customers are allowed to do besides eat, including playing cornhole or ping-pong or being entertained by a live comedian...

All Roads Lead to Somewhere New: Taxpayers Get One Free Shot at Changing Qualified Improvement Property Depreciation Method
Waller, May 2020

On April 17th, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2020-25 to provide taxpayers guidance on implementing the changes to depreciation of qualified improvement property (QIP). As discussed in Waller’s prior blog post, the CARES Act provided a technical correction for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which precluded QIP from receiving 100% bonus depreciation under even though it was previously eligible for 50% bonus depreciation...

Tennessee Pledge to Reopen Restaurants
Waller, April 2020

The Governor’s Economic Recovery Group issued Tennessee Pledge, "a plan to help Tennesseans return to work in a safe environment, restore their livelihoods and reboot our state’s economy." Restaurants are expected to follow the guidelines in the pledge. The pledge is mandatory for limited service restaurants, as specified in Executive Order 30. Here is a copy of the Tennessee Pledge Guidelines for Restaurants This is our summary of the guidelines for re-opening: 1...

Tennessee Extends Alcohol Carryout and Delivery through May 29
Waller, April 2020

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee extended the executive order allowing drive-through, carryout and delivery of beer, wine and spirits for restaurants. Read Executive Order 30 here. Restaurants, limited-service restaurants and wine-only restaurants can continue to sell carryout and deliver alcoholic beverages and beer. There is no additional license or permission needed to deliver. We urge folks to keep hustling during these difficult times and checkLast Callfor updates...

20 Billion in Additional Funds Released to Providers as Part of CARES Act
Waller, April 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened up another $20 billion in funds to help hospitals and healthcare providers deal with the financial impacts of treating COVID-19 patients. The new funding round was opened on April 25 and is intended to compensate providers without regard to payer mix and to provide assistance based on March and April 2020 lost revenues...

Remaining Tennessee Counties Issue Reopening Plans
Waller, April 2020

City officials in Shelby County, Knox County, Hamilton County, Sullivan County, and Madison County have announced their respective plans to begin a phased reopening of non-essential businesses. Davidson County previously released its Roadmap to Reopening plan on April 24. Pursuant to Governor Lee’s Executive Order 29, the remaining 89 counties in Tennessee are required to follow statewide guidelines outlined in the Tennessee Pledge...

TTB Rolls Out New Rules for Distilleries, Wineries and Breweries
Waller, April 2020

The Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, fondly known as TTB, issued final rules that contain a few game-changers for the alcoholic beverage manufacturing industry. We are particularly fond of the greater flexibility offered to distilleries. Distilleries can now count the years bourbon or whisky are aged in used barrels. Previously, a whisky or bourbon could only list the number of years aged in new oak barrels...

Gov. Lee Leaves Tennessee Delivery and Curbside Alcohol in Limbo
Waller, April 2020

With Governor Lee’s order allowing curbside and delivery of alcohol set to expire at midnight April 30, we were expecting to see an extension of these privileges in connection with new guidelines for re-opening restaurants. We have the guidelines, but no mention of alcohol delivery and curbside service. The governor could still extend these privileges, but so far, he has not. Governor Lee said the state is releasing additional guidelines next week...

SEC provides temporary relief from form ID notarization requirements, extends crowdfunding filing deadlines
Waller, April 2020

As discussed on this blog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a number of orders providing conditional regulatory relief for certain publicly traded company filing obligations as a result of the challenges created by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)...

Immigration Alert: How the Executive Order suspending immigration impacts sponsored workers
Waller, April 2020

On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending the entry of certain immigrants into the United States. The Executive Order only affects foreign nationals who are currently outside the United States applying for permanent residence through the immigrant visa process at a U.S. consular post. Initially, the Executive Order will be in effect for 60 days, unless the administration determines that it should be extended...

Nashville's Roadmap for Reopening
Waller, April 2020

Mayor Cooper has ordered Phase 1 of Metro Nashville’s Roadmap for Reopening to begin May 11. Restaurants and stores can open at half capacity starting Monday. The Roadmap is a four-phase plan to restart the city’s economy...

Round 2 of PPP loans: What Does this Mean for Private Equity and Healthcare Practices?
Waller, April 2020

The initial $350 billion in forgivable loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were claimed within 13 days. Given the initial interest, Congress on Thursday, April 23 approved an additional $484 billion of coronavirus-relief funding, including an additional $310 billion for the government-backed PPP and $75 billion in new funding for healthcare providers. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law on Friday, April 24...

Mayor Cooper Approves Continued Take-Out for Beer - But no Word on Delivery in Tennessee
Waller, April 2020

Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced a detailed plan for the staged reopening of restaurants, bars and music venues, as soon as May 1. The real question is: will anyone reopen their dining room on May 1st? You can read the entire Roadmap here. Initial reactions do not look good if you are in the market for a sitdown meal on May 1...

Federal Court PPP Loan Applicants Can't Sue the Bank over PPP Rules
Waller, April 2020

With the promise of low-interest or no-interest loans, and even the possibility of loan forgiveness, small businesses rocked by COVID-19 have recently turned to banks to apply for federally guaranteed funds. These funds are vital to many small businesses in order to help them stabilize their financial health during the widespread economic fallout from the pandemic. They are seeking these funds under the recently enacted CARES Act...

SEC Confirms COVID-19 Relief Extends to Part III of Form 10-K
Waller, April 2020

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently updated its Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (CDI) to confirm that its recent orders extending the due date for SEC filings by up to 45 additional days in light of COVID-19 pandemic are applicable to the incorporation by reference of disclosure into Part III of Form 10-K. (Additional information on the prior orders is available here and here...

CMS Releases Framework for Re-Opening Facilities that Provide Elective Healthcare Procedures
Waller, April 2020

On April 19, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published guidance (the “CMS Guidance”) for reopening facilities to provide elective procedures or “non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare...

HHS-OIG Adjusts Enforcement Priorities During the COVID-19 Pandemic Giving Some Comfort to Providers Focused on Caring for their Communities
Waller, April 2020

Every healthcare provider in the country is under significant operational and financial strain. Those on the front lines of emergency care are working frantically to either increase surge capacity or deal with the surge that has already come. Others are suffering financially from the stoppage of non-emergency procedures and patient visits. In the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis, there is a modicum of good news from a source that is not known for spreading joy...

Key Issues to Address before Reopening after Coronavirus COVID-19 Closure
Waller, April 2020

With COVID-19 numbers beginning to stabilize and some states announcing re-opening dates, many businesses are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With that, many employers are asking key questions: What do we do to get ready and how do we do so without jeopardizing the safety of our workforce and our customers or clients? There is much to consider and there seems to be no crystal clear path forward for employers...

Providers Must Comply with Reporting Requirements for CARES Act Relief Fund Pyments
Waller, April 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economics Security Act (the “CARES Act”) added an additional $100 billion to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (the “Relief Fund”) to provide funding to healthcare providers responding to the coronavirus pandemic...

When will Tennessee's Bars and Restaurants be Open for Business? Here's our Educated Guess
Waller, April 2020

This post is out of date. Look for specifics about reopening at our newer posts at Last Call. There has been plenty of speculation about what the new normal will be for dining out after stay-at-home orders are lifted. California took the lead in providing some guidance for restaurants. At a press conference on April 14, California Governor Gavin Newsom discussed what the new normal will look like for dining in a restaurant. As Yoda might say, “Normal, it will be not...

IRS Lets Taxpayers Change Horses Mid-Pandemic Section 163j and QIP
Waller, April 2020

In the age of COVID-19, “irrevocable” doesn’t always mean “forever.” The IRS is providing significant tax advantages to companies that are now permitted to take back their once irrevocable elections regarding the deduction of interest expenses for improvements to non-residential real estate...

Fed Launches Programs to Help 'Main Street' Businesses
Waller, April 2020

In order to facilitate lending to mid-sized businesses in the wake of COVID-19, the Fed instituted the Main Street New Loan Facility and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility to provide financing to lenders that make direct loans to "main street" businesses...

COVID-19 Assistance for Companies with Investment-Grade Credit
Waller, April 2020

The Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) has recently announced programs intended to help businesses not covered by the loan provisions under the purview of the Small Business Administration, specifically PPP and EIDL loans available under the CARES Act. In order to facilitate lending to larger corporations, the Fed instituted the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (“PMCCF”) and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (“SMCCF”)...

Federal Reserve Programs Provide Assistance for Lenders Too
Waller, April 2020

In its attempt to provide relief to corporate America, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) did not neglect lenders in all of the commotion. The Fed recently instituted several programs meant to provide liquidity to economic markets through lending directly to financial institutions, altering capital requirements and relaxing Fed examinations of financial institutions...

USPTO Responds to COVID-19 by Extending Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines
Waller, April 2020

In the past few weeks, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a number of press releases in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Calling the outbreak an “extraordinary situation,” the USPTO has announced that it will be providing additional time for the filing of certain patent and trademark documents and for payments of specific mandatory fees...

NYSE and Nasdaq Provide Temporary Listing Compliance and Private Offering Relief
Waller, April 2020

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq) recently granted temporary relief and issued guidance to assist companies that are in imminent danger of immediate delisting and/or that are experiencing urgent liquidity needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Applying COVID-19 Tax Provisions to Maximize Immediate Benefits for Employers
Waller, April 2020

In what seems a long time past, yet was actually only three weeks ago, Congress enacted theFamilies First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that includes Emergency Family and Medical Expansion Act and The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. The legislation, largely administered by the Department of Labor, provides payroll tax credits to employers in order to ease the burden of new provisions requiring certain paid leave for employees due to COVID-19...

HHS Begins Issuing Nearly 30 Billion to Providers in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic
Waller, April 2020

On April 10, Health and Human Services (“HHS”) began providing a $30 billion portion of the latest COVID-19 relief fund to healthcare providers. Information on this funding may be found here. While the government announced this funding as coming with “no strings attached” in its April 7 briefing, the relief payment (the “Payment”) does come with certain terms and conditions that a provider must certify compliance with...

COVID-19 and the CARES Act Opportunities and Uncertainties for the Hemp Industry
Waller, April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all aspects of both the hemp and marijuana industries and their supply chains, as many other industries have experienced. To provide significant relief for the entire economy, the U.S. federal government passed The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), collectively, the largest aid package ever passed...

FDA Issues Warning Letters to CBD Firms for Fraudulent COVID-19 Claims
Waller, April 2020

On April 6, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued five warning letters chastising companies for their unapproved products related to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Two days later, the FDA issued another four warning letters for similar reasons. Two of the five warning letters issued on April 6 were issued to companies in connection with their CBD products, and one of the warning letters issued on April 8 was issued to a CBD company as well...

Federal Regulators Take on Risk from Banks over Small Business Loans
Waller, April 2020

On April 9, the federal banking agencies issued an interim final rule to encourage lending to small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) established under the CARES Act. Specifically, the agencies are applying a 0% risk weight to PPP covered loans for regulatory capital purposes...

IRS Provides Partnerships a Big Break to Amend 2018 and 2019 Tax Returns for CARES Act Changes and Corrections
Waller, April 2020

On April 8, 2020, the IRS published Revenue Procedure 2020-23 (Rev. Proc. 2020-23) that provides partnerships a limited opportunity to amend their 2018 and 2019 tax returns and issue amended Schedule K-1s to partners to take advantage of the retrospective Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act changes...

CMS Changes its Approach to Services Provided Under Arrangements for COVID-19 Emergency
Waller, April 2020

On April 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register that, among other initiatives and changes to existing policy, allows certain inpatient hospital services to be provided “under arrangements” outside of the hospital. The “March 2020 IFC” is intended to give healthcare providers increased flexibility to respond to the public health emergency created by COVID-19...

CARES Act Encourages Lenders to Have Flexible Terms with Mortgage Holders
Waller, April 2020

Last month, Waller published an article (Bank Interagency group offers guidance on working with borrowers affected by COVID-19) analyzing guidance issued by the federal financial regulatory agencies encouraging lenders to “work constructively with borrowers” and offer loan modification programs in a safe and sound manner to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19...

The IRS Quiets Skepticism of Government Paying COVID-19-Related Paid Leave but Limits Qualified Family Leave
Waller, April 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to generously interpret theFamilies First Coronavirus Response Act(FFCRA), deploying the “qualified leave tax credit” to maximize the benefit for employers and provide speedy aid, while adding new conditions to the “qualified family leave” mandate...

SBA Favorable Interpretation of CARES Act Allows Small Business Employers Participating in the PPP Loan Program to Include Withholdings and Employee Share of OASDI Taxes
Waller, April 2020

In revised Frequently Asked Questions (as of April 6, 2020) (the “FAQ”), linked here, the Small Business Administration in consultation with the Department of the Treasury addressed the questions of whether a small business borrower participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) could count the employee withholdings and the employee share of Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax in determining the maximum amount of borrowings and whether such a

Regulators Approve Greater Flexibility with CBLR Requirements
Waller, April 2020

The federal banking agencies issued two interim final rules this week providing temporary relief to community banks that are deciding whether to opt in to the community bank leverage ratio (“CBLR”) framework. The interim final rules reflect the agencies’ actions to implement Section 4012 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which requires them to temporarily lower the CBLR to 8 percent (from 9 percent)...

CMS Releases Additional Guidance for Temporary ASC-to-Hospital Conversions
Waller, April 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hasrecently announced an unprecedented “Hospitals Without Walls” program to aid in the fight against COVID-19. The goal of this program is to ensure that local hospitals and health systems have the capacity to handle a potential surge of COVID-19 patients through temporary expansion sites including other, non-affiliated healthcare providers and even unlicensed locations such as community centers and schools...

SEC Issues Sweeping Proposal to Simplify Private Securities Offerings Regulation
Waller, April 2020

On March 4, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a massive, 341-page release proposing “a set of amendments that would harmonize, simplify, and improve the exempt offering framework to promote capital formation and expand investment opportunities while preserving and enhancing important investor protections...

OCR Issues Cyber-Security and Scam Alerts Amid Coronavirus
Waller, April 2020

Not only are healthcare providers under attack in the daily battle against the coronavirus, criminal actors are quickly taking advantage of relaxed HIPAA enforcement and standards, teleworking and the general intensity of the situation to exploit patient and other confidential information...

SBA Issues Further Guidance Concerning the Paycheck Protection Program
Waller, April 2020

While most of the PPP under the CARES Act remains substantially unchanged by the SBA’s guidance issued late on April 2, there is one material alteration that will affect all borrowers under the program. Under the CARES Act, loan proceeds under the PPP could be used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and interest payments on other debt obligations. While those use of proceeds have not changed, the guidance placed a limitation on them...

Portion of CARES Act 100 Billion Grant Fund Earmarked for Uninsured Care of COVID-19 Patients
Waller, April 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes $100 billion for Medicare and Medicaid-enrolled suppliers/providers that provide diagnosis, testing or care for individuals with possible/actual cases of COVID-19...

CMS SAMHSA and State Waivers Encourage Providers to Expand Behavioral Care Services Via Telehealth
Waller, April 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has increased the need for behavioral services and has also led to some opportunities for providers...

Healthcare Providers Can Tap into 100 Billion Relief Fund
Waller, April 2020

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, conserve medical supplies and prepare for and address the surge of COVID-19 patients, hospitals and other healthcare providers took a number of steps in recent weeks, including: delaying or canceling elective and non-emergent procedures, delayed or rescheduled appointments, retrofitted and/or constructed facilities, expanded to previously non-hospital locations, increased purchasing of supplies and, in some cases, closed cli

Think You Can Rely on Pre-Coronavirus Corporate Governance Practices, Think Again
Waller, April 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, and as we noted in our prior blog post regardingvirtual annual meetings, both ISS and Glass Lewis have issued guidance on virtual meetings and annual meeting best practices in response to COVID-19. Pivoting from its focus on annual meetings, Glass Lewis has issued anew releasethat highlights certain key governance areas that they will be paying close attention to in the coming months...

Only One Hour to Read and Determine Responsibilities under the FFCRA A Practical Primer of What Employers Need to Know Now
Waller, April 2020

Introduction On April 1, 2020 — the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — the Department of Labor (DOL) issued “temporary regulations” to interpret and enforce the landmark legislation passed by Congress “to assist working families facing public health emergencies” arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic...

My Bar or Restaurant has Closed for Coronavirus, Now What
Waller, April 2020

On the heels of Gov. Bill Lee’s Safer at Home Order, we are seeing a second wave of restaurant closures. Which begs an important question: Should I let the ABC and local beer board know that my business is closed? Although we have not seen any formal guidance from the ABC or beer boards on temporary corona closures, we do not expect any citations to issue for closed restaurants, bars, hotels and other licensed establishments...

A Crash Course in What's New in the US Department of Labors Temporary FFCRA Regulations
Waller, April 2020

On April 1, 2020—the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)—the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary regulations to interpret and enforce the landmark legislation passed by Congress “to assist working families facing public health emergencies” arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic...

How to Document Leave Requests and Tax Credits Under the FFRCA
Waller, April 2020

While the Families First Act creates paid leave obligations for smaller employers, companies are able to apply for relief through applicable tax credits. Here's how to do it: Employers eligible for tax credits for paid leave provided under the FFCRA can report their total qualified leave wages and the related credits for each quarter on their federal employment tax returns, usually Form 941: Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return...

Bankruptcy Alternatives for Marijuana-Related Companies
Waller, April 2020

Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”) is intended to give a debtor time and ability to restructure its balance sheet and business or to liquidate its assets responsibly in order to maximize recoveries of creditors. The Bankruptcy Code has the added benefit of the automatic stay, which generally prevents collection actions or actions to exercise rights and remedies against the debtor’s assets during the pendency of the bankruptcy case...

Real World Ethics Considerations in the Era of the Coronavirus COVID-19
Waller, April 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released a letter that stated that using a single ventilator for two patients should be considered “an absolute last resort.” Of course, this statement assumes that a ventilator exists in the first place, and it says nothing about how to deal with several more than two patients needing the same ventilator. This, however, is only the tip of proverbial iceberg...

How Insurance Companies Failure to Exclude Business Interruption Losses Caused by COVID-19 Impacts your Coverage
Waller, March 2020

Commentators and lawyers continue to make blanket statements regarding lack of business interruption coverage for losses caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). They contend that coronavirus-related losses cannot satisfy the “direct physical loss of or damage to [covered] property” language contained in many policies to trigger coverage in the first place...

Federal Reserve Policies in Response to COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) has implemented monetary policy and federal programs in response to COVID-19. The policies and programs primarily affect financial institutions in the business of lending, but an understanding of the policies will aid all borrowers in knowing the constraints of their lenders and the process by which they will receive funds...

CMS Adopts Greater Regulatory Flexibility Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Waller, March 2020

On March 30th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a number of regulatory reforms aimed at giving healthcare providers more tools to combat COVID-19...

Section 4003 of the CARES Act Emergency Relief and Taxpayer Protections
Waller, March 2020

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), $500 billion of emergency relief has been allocated to be used at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury (the “Secretary”) to make loans, loan guarantees, and other investments in support of eligible businesses, states and municipalities...

Delayed Effective Date for Revised Control Framework Under BHC Act
Waller, March 2020

On March 31, the Federal Reserve Board announced that it will delay for six months the effective date (from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020) for its revised control framework for determining when a company controls a bank, and vice versa, for purposes of the Bank Holding Company Act (referred to as the “BHC Act”)...

CMS Adopts Geater Regulatory Flexibility Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
Waller, March 2020

On March 30th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a number of regulatory reforms aimed at giving healthcare providers more tools to combat COVID-19...

PODCAST Congress Responds A Closer Look at the Families First and CARES Acts
Waller, March 2020

Welcome to PointByPoint. Conversations, interviews and legal commentary for today's business professionals. In this episode, Waller’s Mark Peters talks with employment attorney Kierstin Jodway about two of the major federal stimulus packages related to the coronavirus and what it means for businesses. Here is a transcript of the conversation: Mark Kierstin, thanks for being with us today...

Banking Regulatory Agencies Offer Flexibility with New CECL Accounting Standard
Waller, March 2020

The Federal banking agencies recently issued an interim final rule (Regulatory Capital Rule: Revised Transition of the Current Expected Credit Losses Methodology for Allowances) permitting banks to mitigate the effects of the current expected credit loss, or CECL, accounting standard. Introduced in 2016 by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, CECL replaces the incurred loss methodology for financial assets and requires banks to recognize lifetime expected credit losses...

How to Apply for a SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan
Waller, March 2020

Now that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) has been signed into, law, small businesses may be wondering what they can do to get a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan into their bank accounts as soon as possible so they can pay employees. In case you missed it, check out our bulletin here for a detailed description of the terms and conditions of and eligibility for these very favorable loans...

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee Issues Safer-at-Home Executive Orders
Waller, March 2020

On March 30, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 21, an order amending Executive Order No. 17 to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by limiting non-essential services and gatherings. The order expands the list of businesses and venues that perform close-contact personal services that are required to close to the public. The Order also amends the effective date in Executive Order No...

How to keep Zoom Bombers from Ruining your Next Meeting
Waller, March 2020

Zoom, the social platform which has become nearly ubiquitous in the past few weeks, has unintentionally introduced the world to a new term: “Zoom Bombing." Millions of people are struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy as they continue to engage in personal and business interactions while simultaneously practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic...

Department of Labor Issues Extensive Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ
Waller, March 2020

Beginning on March 24, the Department of Labor (DOL) has been steadily releasing information and guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). We have been reviewing those releases to find the important information employers need to comply with the FFCRA and have summarized our analysis below...

CMS to Make Cash Payments to Healthcare Providers Now
Waller, March 2020

Just 24 hours after the President signed the CARES Act into law, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded the scope of its Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to include additional Part A providers and Part B suppliers. CMS outlined the program expansion in a fact sheet. The accelerated payments are intended to provide immediate cash flow relief to providers and suppliers focused on treating the flood of COVID patients...

Business Interrupted when Civil Authorities Declare a COVID-19 State of Emergency
Waller, March 2020

Many governmental authorities across the country have ordered “nonessential” businesses to shut down because of the COVID-19 crisis. Many business owners are asking what that means for the business income losses that they are forced to endure and whether insurance will cover those losses. Most property insurance policies that offer business interruption coverage provide some form of “civil authority” coverage...

A Role for Rural Hospitals in the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
Waller, March 2020

Rural and community hospitals could fill a major gap in a healthcare system that will likely be overloaded, in varying degrees, for at least the next 18 months due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Congress is in the process of passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the Cares Act”) that provides unprecedented relief designed to help business in general, but specific allocations for hospitals...

Will COVID-19 Change the Way Courts Enforce - Or Not - Non-Compete Agreements
Waller, March 2020

Is now a time to think a bit differently about an old topic? Let’s see. This short article does not make that decision for your business or client. It does provide the reasons to consider it. Until the aftermath of COVID-19 passes through the American workforce, businesses experiencing coronavirus-related economic hardships will face difficult decisions. These include whether to furlough or layoff employees—an already challenging question...

Navigating Real Estate Leases in the Coronavirus Epidemic
Waller, March 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of companies quickly reorganized to enable employees to work from home for the foreseeable future...

Updated FAQ on Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Waller, March 2020

Two days after issuing its initial FAQ about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the list, including adding 23 new questions. We will have full coverage of the updated FAQ soon...

Stay-at-Home Orders What Companies Should Know about Justifying their Exempt sSatus
Waller, March 2020

More and more states, counties and municipalities are issuing “stay-at-home” orders or directives recommending, and sometimes requiring: non-essential travel be limited; non-essential businesses temporarily close; or people generally remain at home...

COVID-19 SEC Issues New Guidance
Waller, March 2020

Yesterday, the SEC issued updated guidance regarding public company reporting obligations in light of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)...

Executive Order Waives Certain Tennessee CON Regulatory Requirements
Waller, March 2020

As of March 19, 2020, the requirement to receive a certificate of need (CON) prior to increasing bed capacity has been temporarily suspended byTennessee Executive Order No. 15(the “Order”)...

Department of Labor Issues Official FAQ on Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Waller, March 2020

Late Tuesday night, the Department of Labor issued an official Frequently Asked Questions in regards to the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. READ NOW: Our complete Families First coverage Here are a few key takeaways: The effective date of the Act is April 1, 2020...

Employee Benefits in the Age of COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

Employers are grappling with increasingly difficult decisions as COVID-19 changes our labor force and the ways we work in profound ways. Below are various benefits-related issues and solutions to consider, amidst a rapidly shifting legislative environment: 401(k) loans and hardship distributions:Most 401(k) plans allow in-service withdrawals in the event of financial hardship...

Observations on FinTech and COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

Waller’s Financial Technology practice has been providing advice to processors, banks, ISOs, financial technology providers, merchants and other participants in the payment processing ecosystem for over forty years...

CMS Announces New Survey Priorities and Enforcement Discretion
Waller, March 2020

On March 23, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced updates to its survey process in response to COVID-19 (press release,press release, andmemo). Specifically, as authorized pursuant to section 1135(b)(5) of the Social Security Act, CMS is prioritizing certain surveys and exercising enforcement discretion for all certified provider and supplier types for the next three weeks...

SEC Amends Filer Definitions Eliminating Internal Control Auditor Attestations for Smaller Reporting Companies
Waller, March 2020

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)adopted amendmentsto the accelerated filer and large accelerated filer definitions set forth under Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934...

How You Can Prepare your Company for COVID-19 Litigation
Waller, March 2020

Given the rash of moment-by-moment challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is understandable that many companies have not been focused on what is likely coming when the crisis subsides: a flood of litigation related to the devastation left in the wake of the virus...

Expansion of Telehealth as a Solution in the COVID-19 Emergency
Waller, March 2020

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken steps to make healthcare services more accessible through telehealth, particularly for those who are at high-risk of complications from the virus. CMS and commercial payors have opened a viable path for healthcare providers to continue to provide care to high risk patients and other patients and receive reimbursement for services to current and new patients...

Federal Government Poised for Massive Expansion of 7a Loan Program
Waller, March 2020

As Democrats and Republicans continue to negotiate the terms and conditions of a “Phase 3” COVID-19 bill, the implementation of a large-scale expansion of the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Section 7(a) Loan Program appears to have widespread bipartisan support and should pass in some form in the next few days. The existing 7(a) Program currently operates to provide access to capital to small businesses that might not otherwise be eligible for bank loans...

CMS Makes Changes to Provider Enrollment in Response to COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

On March 23, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an FAQ on Medicare provider enrollment relief, noting several key changes aimed at streamlining and expediting provider enrollment in light of COVID-19. Physicians and non-physician practitioners may now enroll and receive temporary billing privileges without certain fingerprint-based criminal background checks and site visits...

Latest Updates for Alcohol Delivery by Restaurants in Tennessee
Waller, March 2020

Sunday morning, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive order limiting restaurants, bars and similar food or drink establishments to drive-through, carry-out and delivery service only. Read the order here. Restaurants, limited-service restaurants and wine-only restaurants can sell take-out and deliver alcoholic beverages and beer. There is no additional license or permission needed to deliver...

Companies Can Tap into Payroll Tax Credits for Providing Coronavirus-Related Leave to Employees
Waller, March 2020

The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have announced aplanto implement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act)...

Business Interruption Insurance Coverage in Times of the Coronavirus
Waller, March 2020

Two schools of thought have emerged on business interruption insurance coverage for coronavirus, either (a) it is a total panacea that will shift the risk of coronavirus revenue losses to insurance carriers or (b) there is no possible coverage for losses caused by coronavirus. As with most things in life and insurance, the truth lies somewhere in between and will depend on the specific policy at issue and the jurisdiction interpreting the policy...

Bank Interagency Group Offers Guidance on Working with Borrowers Affected by COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

The FDIC and other banking and credit agencies provided specific guidance to FDIC-supervised financial institutions that are working with borrowers affected by COVID-19. The Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting by Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus, issued on March 22, encourages lenders to “work constructively with borrowers” and offers the following guidance...

COVID-19 Take Your Business from a Reactive to Proactive Stance
Waller, March 2020

“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.” - Winston Churchill As responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have evolved over the course of the first quarter, you and your business have reacted swiftly to ensure the health and safety of your customers, partners and employees...

Considering Layoffs Congress' CARES Act Could Offer Small Business a Lifeline
Waller, March 2020

Businesses who are covered by the CARES Act and who are planning to make large-scale layoffs this week might consider pressing pause. The Senate is presently debating the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), originally introduced late on March 19, 2020...

What Employers Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Waller, March 2020

Along with funding for health services and testing and expanded access to food benefits like SNAP and WIC, the sweeping Families First Coronavirus Response Actincludes paid family and sick leave entitlements for employees who are out of work due to COVID-19 related reasons...

What the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Means for You
Waller, March 2020

On March 18, 2020, Congress passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Act, which is on its way to the President’s desk for immediate signature, includes many emergency measures to address COVID-19. The provisions with the greatest potential to impact employers and employees nation-wide are the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act of 2020 and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act...

An Employee has Tested Positive for COVID-19: Now What?
Waller, March 2020

At this moment in time, it may not be a question of “if” an employee will test positive for COVID-19, but “when.”  This document provides practical guidance on what notice employers should provide to employees in the event that a coworker tests positive for coronavirus...

Planning for Furloughs or Layoffs in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Waller, March 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads and officials recommend or impose increasingly restrictive steps to mitigate the impact to public health, more companies are assessing what impact the outbreak is likely to have on their business and are considering whether that impact may necessitate furloughing workers. Following is a summary of some of the core compliance issues employers should consider as they develop contingency plans that may include furloughs...

Wage and Hour and Payroll Practices in the Age of COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

Employers nationwide are grappling with the new normal to balance how, where, and when their employees will work with the interests of employee health and safety and ever-tightening government mandates to self-quarantine. Below are some FLSA reminders and typical issues we are fielding from clients across many industries. Some of my employees are self-quarantined and working from home...

Public Companies may Consider Virtual Annual Meetings in Light of Coronavirus
Waller, March 2020

In light of the Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19)pandemic, many companies are now having to consider in real-time whether a virtual or hybrid annual shareholders’ meeting as an alternative to an in-person meeting is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders...

Changes in Reimbursement Healthcare Delivery Options Support Diagnosis and Treatment of Coronavirus COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

The focus on the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has primarily centered around prevention and containment but the government and commercial payors have also addressed healthcare operational matters that encourage prompt diagnosis, treatment and monitoring through billing and reimbursement modifications and expansion of telehealth services...

Coronavirus COVID-19 Healthcare Employers FAQ
Waller, March 2020

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Coronavirus COVID-19 Occupational Safety and Health Administration FAQ
Waller, March 2020

1. Has OSHA developed standards specifically with respect to COVID-19, or coronavirus? At this time, OSHA has not created specific OSHA standards for COVID-19. However, OSHA is carefully monitoring the situation. It has created a centralized website for employers to familiarize themselves with the disease, including its transmission and what can be done to protect employees...

EEOC Issues ADA Guidance on Coronavirus
Waller, March 2020

As we continue to be bombarded daily with the relentless 24/7 news cycle regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the reality is that healthcare employees are currently the most likely to be exposed to the disease in the United States. Accordingly, healthcare employers must start, or continue, to think about the various situations that may arise in the workplace and the multitude of laws that may apply...

Coronavirus COVID-19 The Role of Healthcare Employers During Pandemics
Waller, March 2020

As we continue to be bombarded daily with the relentless 24/7 news cycle regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the reality is that healthcare employees are currently the most likely to be exposed to the disease in the United States. Accordingly, healthcare employers must start, or continue, to think about the various situations that may arise in the workplace and the multitude of laws that may apply...

EEOC issues ADA Guidance on Coronavirus
Waller, March 2020

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidelines to help employers avoid violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they scramble to address the impact of COVID-19 on their employees and businesses. The EEOC guidance is a reminder that employee privacy and health protections under the ADA continue to apply even in the midst of a global pandemic...

Coronavirus Interrupts Beer Board Licensing in Tennessee
Waller, March 2020

It is official. The coronavirus is slowing down the sale of beer, or at least the issuance of beer permits. We are going to keep a running list of closures atLast Call. If you know of any that are not on our list, please email me here...

How to Support your Local Watering Hole in Nashville
Waller, March 2020

Mayor Cooper‘s announcement that he was closing bars in Nashville as a result of the coronavirus epidemic quickly went viral among locals. We have been hearing the same question from tons of bar owners: What do we do? We recommend that you serve food and provide a safe environment for your customers. If you have a decent food menu and loyal customers, become a restaurant in this time of need...

Coronavirus COVID-19 Coworking with COVID-19
Waller, March 2020

Soccer matches played to 100,000 empty seats. Marathons with 200 runners in silent streets. Business blocks deserted. Restaurants closed. Those areas hardest hit by coronavirus can look like something out of an apocalyptic movie. And now, just two months after the new type of virus was first identified in China, Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) has hit the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, coronavirus has been found in over 80 countries and 13 U.S...

Coronavirus COVID-19 SEC Issues Dilatory Relief for Issuers Affected by the Coronavirus
Waller, March 2020

On March 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an order providing conditional regulatory relief for certain publicly traded company filing obligations under the federal securities laws, as a result of the challenges created by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for certain companies that are required to provide information to trading markets, shareholders and the SEC...

 

 

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