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Coronavirus Resource Center

Given Hodgson Russ’s focus on supporting our clients with ongoing legal issues relating to workforce management and developments in the health care industry, we understand the uncertainty that everyone is facing relating to dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have created this page in order to provide you with instant access to the latest news and updates on this topic. You can also access Governor Cuomo's website listing all executive orders relating to this issue here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/executiveorders

Please continue also to visit our CARES Act page for alerts focusing on the Act and the developments relating to that area. 

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webinars

Upcoming Webinars

Reopening Your Business: New York Forward and Preparing Your Business’ Safety Plan June 9, 2020 4 p.m.
Join Hodgson Russ attorney Michael D. Zahler for a presentation, hosted by the NYS Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, discussing when businesses may reopen, preparing a business safety plan, and reducing risks associated with reopening (click here to learn more).

Reopening Your Business: New York Forward and Preparing Your Business’ Safety Plan June 10, 2020 1 p.m.
Join Hodgson Russ attorney Michael D. Zahler for a presentation, hosted by the NYS Bar Subcommittee on Solo and Small Firm Practice, discussing when businesses may reopen, preparing a business safety plan, and reducing risks associated with reopening (click here to learn more).

Untapped Innovation: Using Telehealth to Improve Resident Care & Gain the Edge Over the Competition May 27, 2020 & June 19, 2020
Join Hodgson Russ attorney Jane Bello Burke for a two-part telehealth webinar hosted by the NYS Health Facilities Association (NYSHFA) and NYS Center for Assisted Living (NYSCAL) on May 27 and June 19.  Jane will discuss the future for telehealth in the skilled nursing setting and how to use it to gain the edge over the competition (click here to learn more).

Past Webinars

Fulfilling Special Education Responsibilities During the Covid-19 Outbreak April 7, 2020 (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

Best Labor Practices for European Companies Managing US Coronavirus Restrictions April 7, 2020
This webinar will discuss emerging legal issues, sick leave policies, and furlough and termination options under current US restrictions and economic realities.  We also will discuss best practices for asking your US employees to work from home (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

The Hodgson Russ CARES Act Webinar Series – A Primer for Businesses April 6 & 13
Join us for a series of webinars presented by various Hodgson Russ attorneys as they discuss what you need to know now regarding the CARES Act and how it impacts your business (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

Review of New 2020 School Budget Vote and Board Election Procedures and Timelines May 7, 2020
On May 1, Executive Order (No. 202.26) was issued, outlining the dates and procedures for 2020 school district budget votes and board elections. This followed the initial postponement of the school vote which had been scheduled for May 19 (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

What Employers Need to Know about Reopening the Workplace May 15, 2020
Join attorneys in our Labor & Employment Practice as they review the rapidly evolving state and federal employment law issues employers need to focus on when resuming operations in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

Environmental Legal and Regulatory Updates: What You and Your Clients Need to Know May 26, 2020
Join attorneys in our Environmental Practice as they review environmental legal and regulatory updates in the wake of COVID-19 (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

Reopening Your Business: New York Forward and Preparing Your Business’ Safety Plan May 29, 2020 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Join Hodgson Russ attorney Michael D. Zahler for a half hour presentation discussing when businesses may reopen, preparing a business safety plan, and reducing risks associated with reopening (click here to access a recording of the webinar).

You can either click on the All Alerts button below to access the full list of alerts we have drafted on the Coronavirus Pandemic organized by publication date, or view them organized by practice area.

alerts

All Alerts

  • New York Extends Deadline for Annual Report for Electric Generating Facilities June 2, 2020
    The initial filing deadline for the “Annual Report of Electric Generating Facilities,” New York’s recently adopted requirement for owners of certain electric-generating facilities has been extended from April 30 to June 30 this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan For a Phase Two Business Reopening June 1, 2020
    Governor Cuomo has announced the second phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process. As part of that process, the State has released detailed guidance, and a safety plan template, for each industry which is part of Phase II of reopening: (1) offices; (2) real estate; (3) essential and Phase II in-store retail; (4) vehicle sales, leases, and rentals; (5) retail rental, repair, and cleaning; (6) commercial building management; and (7) hair salons and barbershops. (See the NY Forward website for a list of businesses considered part of Phase II.) Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • Uptick in Investor Class Action Lawsuits Expected Due to COVID-19 May 29, 2020
    The legal fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is rippling through the courts in the form of new class action lawsuit filings. In what is likely the first wave of a surge of class action activity, several recent class action filings show where trends may be headed. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • OSHA Updates Its Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Illnesses on Employers’ OSHA 300 Logs and Self-Reporting Obligations for Work-Related Fatalities and In-Patient Hospitalizations May 27, 2020

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Enforcement Memorandum on May 19, 2020 that updates its prior interim enforcement guidance on the recording obligations of employers for COVID-19 cases on their OSHA 300 logs. The new guidance is effective May 26 and supplants the previously issued guidance from April 10. It will remain in effect until OSHA gives further notice. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • Essential Investment in New York’s Grid is On the Horizon; NY PSC Sets the Course for Major Transmission Planning and Upgrades May 26, 2020 

    In Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s May 26, 2020 daily briefing related to the COVID-19 pandemic, he emphasized that rebuilding the State’s economy will include major investments in renewable energy and transmission upgrades. Specifically, the Governor’s presentation emphasized that the State would “jumpstart the future” by, among other things, increasing renewable energy “production Upstate with building of new cross-state transmission cables.” Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • New York State Launches Forward Loan Fund Program – What Do I Need to Know? May 26, 2020

    As New York State moves forward with re-opening plans and as the federal government debates further COVID-19 relief packages, the state is launching its own COVID-19 economic relief fund. On Friday May 22, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Forward Loan Fund (FLF). The $100 million program will provide working capital loans to assist small businesses, small nonprofits and small landlords with upfront costs related to reopening. Pre-applications open on Tuesday May 26, 2020 at 12:00 noon (EDT). Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • SEC Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Enforcement Priorities May 22, 2020
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has formed a Coronavirus Steering Committee to proactively identify and monitor areas of potential misconduct related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Division of Enforcement’s Co-Director, Steven Peikin, announced the Steering Committee’s formation during his May 20 keynote address to the Securities Enforcement Forum West 2020. Mr. Peikin addressed particular areas of focus and enforcement priorities for the Division of Enforcement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • OSHA Guidance For COVID-19 Health and Safety Plans Required for Phased Reopenings of New York Businesses May 18, 2020
    Employers in certain regions across New York began reopening on May 15 in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.31 and satisfaction of required COVID-19 metrics. Whether your business is an existing “essential business” continuing its current operations, a Phase 1 business that is reopening, or a Phase 2, 3, or 4 business preparing for a future reopening, your business will likely need to prepare a COVID-19 Reopening Health and Safety Plan. The current Phase 1 guidance states that there will be no waivers from this requirement. In developing their Plans, employers must also consider the implications of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • IRS Issues Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Relief to Increase Employer Flexibility During the COVID-19 Pandemic May 18, 2020

    On May 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released two pieces of guidance providing increased flexibility with respect to Internal Revenue Code section 125 cafeteria plans (“Section 125 plans”). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33 provide relief including expanded election opportunities, extended claims grace periods, and increased carryover allowances.  Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • Paycheck Protection Program: SBA Releases Forgiveness Application – Some Questions Answered, Others Remain May 18, 2020

    The concept of a forgivable loan has been the most attractive feature of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) since the first rumors of the program began emanating from Washington.  Millions of companies applied for and received PPP loans with the hope (and in many cases, expectation) that the loan would be fully forgiven. However, borrowers and professional advisors attempting to calculate potential forgiveness on issued PPP loans have been stymied by the forgiveness provisions in Section 1106 of the CARES Act. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • Preparing Your Required Covid-19 Health and Safety Plan for An Energy Construction Business Reopening May 15, 2020
    Governor Cuomo has announced the first phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process, including construction in the energy sector. As part of that process, the State has released detailed guidance regarding construction activities, which is part of the first phase of reopening. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for Business Reopening in New York State May 13, 2020
    Governor Cuomo announced this week the first phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process.  Whether your business may reopen depends on three things: (1) your business must be located in a region of the state that has satisfied the metrics for loosening restrictions; (2) the nature of your business must fall within the list of industries covered by the applicable reopening phase; and (3) you as an employer have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place that details the methods and procedures that will be undertaken to manage COVID-19 risks to employees and customers in the course of operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • PPP Update: SBA Provides Guidance on Application of Necessity Certification May 13, 2020
    On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued additional guidance on the interpretation of the certification necessary to obtain a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), in the form of FAQ 46. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • New York Mandates New COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements for Skilled Nursing and Adult Care Facilities May 11, 2020
    As COVID-19-related hospitalizations decline, New York turns its focus to COVID-19 testing for skilled nursing and adult care facility staff, and for residents returning from hospitalization, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus in the long-term care setting. Executive Order 202.30, issued May 10, 2020, mandates that each skilled nursing and adult care facility develop a plan to implement the new requirements and to certify their compliance. EO 202.30 also prohibits hospitals from discharging patients to nursing homes unless the patient first tests negative. Here is what you need to know about the new requirements. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • New York Follows Other States in Allowing Security Deposits to be Applied Toward Rent May 11, 2020
    After weeks of speculation and much public interest, New York State finally joined several other states in providing relief for renters. On May 7, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.28 (the “Order”), which allows landlords and tenants to apply tenant security deposits toward rent payments, bans late fees for the late payment of rent, and extends the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until August 20, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New COVID-19 Pilot Program and Extensions for Patents and Trademarks May 8, 2020
    Many government agencies are implementing policies to reduce the need for in-person interaction and accommodate those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is no exception. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • New York Issues Updated Guidance Broadly Expanding Medicaid Telehealth May 6, 2020
    On May 1, 2020, the New York State Department of Health issued comprehensive guidance on the use of telehealth, including telephonic services, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The updated guidance revises and clarifies the existing rules and provides broad authorization for Medicaid providers to use a wide variety of communication methods, including audio-only telephone, for delivering healthcare services remotely during the Emergency. Here are the top ten things you need to know about New York’s Medicaid telehealth policies. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Issues Additional Guidance on Employee Retention Tax Credit; Consistency with Congressional Intent Again Questioned May 5, 2020
    This is an update to our April 14, 2020 alert which discussed, in part, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) employee retention credit (“ERC”) for certain employers subject to closure due to COVID-19.  On April 29, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released additional Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) on the ERC.  The ERC is not available to business that took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  Recent frustration and open questions surrounding the availability of and qualifications for the PPP loan has given way to renewed interest in the ERC for some businesses. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Newly Announced Deadline Extensions and Other Disaster Relief for Employee Benefit Plans May 5, 2020
    The federal agencies charged with broad oversight and enforcement authority respecting employer-sponsored benefit plans have issued joint notices announcing the extension of numerous plan-related deadlines during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Executive Order Modifies Real Property Tax Deadlines May 5, 2020
    On May 1, many towns published their tentative assessment roll as required by the Real Property Tax Law. However, the Governor of New York issued Executive Order 202.22 which granted an extension of time for municipalities to publish their assessment rolls. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New Jersey Allows Security Deposits to be Used for Rent – Will New York Follow? May 4, 2020
    As states grapple with how to handle the burden on individuals impacted by COVID-19 shut downs, some lawmakers are pushing for extreme measures like a national moratorium on rent payments with rent forgiveness. Although those measures are unlikely to gain enough traction to move forward, states have begun to find other ways to provide relief to renters. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • School Votes Set for June 9 Under Substantially Revamped Procedures May 2, 2020

    Late Friday afternoon, Governor Cuomo issued a long-awaited Executive Order (No. 202.26) establishing the date and associated procedures for the 2020 school district budget vote and board election (the “school vote”). Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • IRS Denies Deductions for Expenses Paid with Forgiven PPP Loans May 1, 2020

    On April 30, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-32 which provides that expenses paid with proceeds from a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan are nondeductible for federal income tax purposes to the extent the payment of those expenses results in the forgiveness of the PPP loan. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • EEOC Gives Green Light to Employers Testing Employees for COVID-19 April 28, 2020

    Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 guidance twice to address reopening of the workplace and testing employees for COVID-19. According to the new guidance, which applies to employers throughout the United States, management may require the testing of employees for the COVID-19 virus before they enter the workplace. Employers may also check employee temperatures, ask questions about whether an employee is experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus, and require employees to self-report COVID-19 infection or related symptoms. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Proposed Legislation to Aid Local Governments and Schools in the Wake of COVID-19 April 27, 2020
    It is without question that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt worldwide. Although not on the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ lawyers are seeing firsthand the fiscal impact it is having on our clients, and we are quickly mobilizing to anticipate and minimize the effects and plan for the post-pandemic future. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • COVID-19 Relief Package 3.5 Adds $75 Billion to Provider Relief Fund April 24, 2020
    On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the so-called COVID-19 Relief Package 3.5, which increases the resources available to healthcare providers and others under the previously enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This alert summarizes key changes affecting healthcare providers and highlights steps providers should take to comply with the applicable conditions and recordkeeping requirements. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • More Funds for Paycheck Protection Program, More Uncertainty for Businesses April 24, 2020
    President Trump is expected on April 24 to sign into law new legislation that will provide an additional $310 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Once effective, banks should again begin accepting applications for the program. While the additional funding may bring hope to some businesses who were left out of the first tranche of PPP funds, guidance released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury (Treasury) on April 23 is causing some borrowers to second guess their involvement in the massive program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Should My Business Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)? April 24, 2020
    In addition to establishing the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and Main Street lending program, which we have covered in prior alerts, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES Act”) expanded an already-existing program: the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) Program. EIDL Loans are authorized under Section 7(b) of the Small Business Act, and differ from PPP Loans in several important respects. The information below summarizes the EIDL Program as it has been expanded by the CARES Act. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Due to COVID-19 April 23, 2020
    It began with a late-night tweet earlier this week when President Trump declared his intention to ban immigration to the United States as part of the fight against COVID-19.  The resulting Executive Order, entitled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak”, becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Announces Pandemic Relief for U.S./Foreign Residency Determinations April 22, 2020
    On April 21, Treasury and the IRS issued welcome guidance that provides U.S. income tax relief for nonresident individuals who may be present in the United States indefinitely as a result of COVID-19 travel disruptions, including travel bans, government-mandated lockdowns, and canceled flights. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Failing to Protect Against COVID-19: Can My Business Be Sued? April 22, 2020
    In the current climate of the pandemic, plaintiffs are bringing claims against businesses, alleging a failure to act to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their employees and customers. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Executive Orders Expand the Ranks of Healthcare Providers to Fight COVID-19 April 21, 2020
    As New York continues its battle against COVID-19, two new Executive Orders, 202.15 and 202.18, seek to alleviate the burden on healthcare workers by authorizing further expansion in the ranks of professionals who may practice in New York.  These new Executive Orders build on prior Executive Orders (202.5202.10202.11, and 202.14), discussed here, which permit certain practitioners without current New York licensure or registration to practice in New York to assist in the ongoing COVID-19 fight. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Legislation and Programs - What Agricultural Producers Should Know April 20, 2020
    For weeks, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers across the country have been working to address COVID-19 and the wide-ranging negative effects experienced across their industry. The federal government passed several major pieces of legislation in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). FFCRA requires certain employers to provide paid sick and other leave to address COVID-19 issues, while the CARES Act provides emergency economic relief to individuals and businesses. There are provisions in both Acts that apply to agricultural producers. Additionally, programs created under the Acts provide for economic relief specifically directed to farmers and other agricultural producers. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Treatment of Co-Working Arrangements During the COVID-19 Crisis April 20, 2020
    The current COVID-19 crisis has up-ended business and legal arrangements across a broad cross section of industries, locations and sizes of businesses. There have been a host of emergency federal, state and local actions to address the crisis and to stabilize business arrangements during the crisis. Among them are the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act), New York Executive Order 202: Declaring a Disaster Emergency in the State of New York, State of California Executive Order N-28-20. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Coronavirus and Your Insurance Coverage Questions April 17, 2020

    As the global crisis stemming from the coronavirus pandemic continues, losses to businesses and other entities continue to mount. Stay-at-home orders, restrictions on the operations of non-essential businesses, and other government action are dealing significant damage to economic activity. The virus itself is also sickening hundreds of thousands of individuals. 

    The long term business and liability impacts of these measures are a matter of conjecture at this point. But organizations may be able to mitigate some of these negative impacts through their existing insurance. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update, April 17, 2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)
    The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of relief efforts from the Federal, state, and local governments. This update will provide insight into several of these relief efforts, and discuss the effect they might have on employers coping with the impact of the Coronavirus on their business operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Postpones Due Date for Form 990 Series Returns April 16, 2020

    The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) recently issued Notice 2020-23 and related guidance which postpones the due date for a wide variety of federal tax returns, forms, schedules and tax payments. This alert will discuss the significance of Notice 2020-23 for tax-exempt organizations. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Violating Price-Gouging Laws May Subject Businesses to Civil and Criminal Penalties April 15, 2020

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several stories in the news and on social media about individuals and businesses capitalizing on “panic buying” and attempting to charge excessive prices for everyday products. Rudimentary economics tells us that prices will increase in response to increased demand. But when does that increase cross the line into illegal “price gouging,” and how can you stay on the right side of the law? Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Coronavirus E-mail Scams April 15, 2020
    Please be aware that cyber criminals are taking advantage of the opportunity to use Coronavirus as a new scam. They are crafting many Phishing e-mails related to the Coronavirus. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Requiring Employers to Provide All Essential Employees with Masks April 14, 2020
    Governor Cuomo recently signed an executive order mandating that employers provide certain employees with face coverings. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • EPA Issues Supplemental Guidance on Response and Enforcement Actions April 14, 2020
    On April 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued supplemental guidance to all Regional Administrators regarding cleanup and emergency response actions. The guidance specifically focused on sites regulated pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“Superfund”), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) corrective action, the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) polychlorinated biphenyl (“PCB”) cleanup provisions, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Underground Storage Tank (“UST”) program. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • CARES Act Update: IRS Issues Guidance on Federal Tax Changes April 14, 2020
    This is an update to our March 27, 2020 alert summarizing the various federal tax law changes enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Since, the IRS has been working furiously to issue guidance addressing those federal tax law changes, and we expect further guidance will be issued. Notable recent IRS guidance impacting the business federal tax law changes is addressed below. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • $500 Billion in Direct Federal Loans Available for Local Governments April 13, 2020
    This alert describes a newly-announced Federal Reserve program to support the municipal bond market and the flow of credit and liquidity to state and local governments. Up to $500 billion in direct federal short-term lending will be made available to help these governments manage cash flow disruptions arising out of the pandemic. These loans can be directly accessed by the largest state, county and city borrowers, and indirectly accessed by smaller governmental issuers (including smaller counties and cities, as well as towns, villages and school districts), once the program is fully in place. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Governor Cuomo Orders Reporting Certain Medical Equipment Located in New York State to the Department of Health for Redistribution April 10, 2020
    During a press conference on April 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the National Guard would be called upon to collect “excess” personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and ventilators from hospitals and other institutions for use where they are more urgently needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following significant outcry from politicians across the political spectrum, the Executive Order to implement this policy was delayed. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Notice 2020-23 Provides Additional Deadline Extension Relief April 10, 2020
    On April 9, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-23, which amplifies relief set forth in multiple recently issued IRS notices by providing additional relief to taxpayers affected by COVID-19. The Notice also provides the IRS with additional time to perform certain actions. Here are some of the highlights of Notice 2020-23. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • No-Damages-for-Delay Clauses and the COVID-19 Crisis April 9, 2020
    Although “construction” was originally deemed by Governor Cuomo to be “essential”, and thus exempt from the restrictions imposed by his March 18, 2020 Executive Order, that has since changed. Through subsequent Executive Orders, as interpreted by various State agencies, the reach of COVID-19 has extended deeply into the construction industry to preclude “non-essential” or “non-emergency” construction projects. Accordingly, construction projects across the State are grinding to a halt. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York and Federal Lawmakers Ease Professional Practice, Licensing, and Documentation Requirements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic April 9, 2020
    The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to expand the ranks of physicians and practitioners who are available to respond to the emergency. To increase system capacity, New York has temporarily amended or suspended multiple statutory and regulatory provisions affecting practitioners by Executive Order. This alert discusses key provisions. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Re-tooling Your Business to Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic? Here’s What You Need to Know April 9, 2020
    Many companies have retooled their factories or workshops to manufacture products in response to the increased demand for health care products. Whiskey distillers are making hand sanitizer and design houses are sewing face masks. Everyone is receiving kudos for their great work, but what are the risks? Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • CARES Act Impact on Bankruptcy Law April 8, 2020
    Business owners and individuals facing the impacts of COVID-19 should be aware of some important changes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes to the United States Bankruptcy Code. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Updates to the Paycheck Protection Program April 8, 2020
    On March 30, 2020, Hodgson Russ issued an alert summarizing the basics of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Since that release, the Treasury Department issued additional guidance regarding the PPP, found here.  Below are a number of updates relevant to any business’s determination of whether and how to apply for a PPP loan. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • NY Executive Order Allows Estate Planning Documents to be Executed Virtually April 8, 2020
    On April 7, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.14, which provides necessary flexibility for individuals to execute estate planning documents while still practicing social distancing. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Video Conference Security Concerns Increase as NYS Suspends Article 7 In Person Meeting Requirement April 8, 2020
    On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1, which suspended the in-person meeting requirement under Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, the Open Meetings Law (OML). As a consequence of this exception to the OML, public bodies (i.e., municipalities, school districts, and public authorities) in New York State have turned to video conferencing services for holding public meetings. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • New York Limits Liability for Health Care Facilities, Professionals, and Volunteer Organizations Arising from the COVID-19 Emergency April 8, 2020
    New York has enacted wide-ranging protection for healthcare facilities, professionals, and volunteer organizations from liabilities arising from the COVID-19 crisis. This alert summarizes the key provisions. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • FDA During the Pandemic: Packaging and Labeling of Shell Eggs Sold by Retail Establishments April 7, 2020
    The FDA, as the primary agency regulating the food supply, has released guidance relaxing the packaging and labeling obligations of retail food establishments selling shell eggs. “Retail food establishments” is defined as a business that sells food products directly to consumers as its primary function. The term “consumers” specifically excludes other businesses. Therefore, this guidance is meant for the sale of shell eggs to individuals and families. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • OCR Eases HIPAA Enforcement for Telehealth Use During Coronavirus Crisis April 6, 2020
    HIPAA’s privacy and security protections are the bedrock of the modern health care system. But now, as COVID-19 spreads across the country, lawmakers and regulators are relaxing certain restrictions on health care providers to meet the challenges posed by this pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • FDA During the Pandemic: Relaxing Labeling Requirements for Restaurants and Food Manufacturers April 3, 2020

    The FDA, the primary agency regulating the food supply, has relaxed restrictions on restaurants and food manufacturers in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances facing these industries. The relaxed standards are intended to assist this sector, which has been devastated by the pandemic, and help it remain sustainable during this time. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Non-Profit Organizations and the CARES Act: Can Non-Profits Take Advantage of the Financial Assistance Programs? April 3, 2020

    Like for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations are struggling with many of the same financial difficulties during this uncertain time. Some non-profits have several employees and largely depend on grants or donations to stay afloat. Some have hundreds of employees and provide programs or other services, many of which may or may not be considered essential services under the various state-mandated Coronavirus lockdown directives. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Covid-19: FAQs for New York Tax and Residency Considerations April 3, 2020

    As of the writing of this alert, New York City is, unfortunately, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. As the State and City scramble to deal with this unprecedented pandemic, state and local taxes may be the furthest thing from the minds of those who typically spend significant time in the Empire State. Nevertheless, there will come a time when it will be necessary to calculate your 2020 state and local tax liability. Actions taken now will likely impact that calculation. In light of this, the attorneys in Hodgson Russ’s State and Local Tax Practice Group have put together the following FAQs to respond to some of the New York residency-related questions we’ve encountered during these extraordinary times. We are still early in this outbreak, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (“Tax Department”) hasn’t specifically addressed any of these issues yet. So the information below should be considered to be our current “best guess” on the topic and subject to change. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • NYS Department of Health Issues Temperature Monitoring and Return to Work Protocols after a COVID-19 Exposure or Infection April 2, 2020
    As essential business functions and operations continue in New York, employers will inevitably grapple with questions about how, when, and under what circumstances essential employees—in a non-health care setting—may be permitted to work following a suspect exposure or after recovering from the disease. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Temperature Monitoring and Return to Work Protocols in the Healthcare (Non-Telehealth) Setting after a COVID-19 Exposure or Infection April 2, 2020
    In a March 28, 2020 publication, the New York State Department of Health issued a guidance document entitled: “Health Advisory: Updated Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure or Infection.” The updated guidance has broad application to healthcare workers beyond hospitals. It applies in “All Healthcare Settings, including but not limited to Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs), Adult Care Facilities (ACFs), End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Home Care, Outpatient Clinics, and Private Practice that is unable to deliver a service through telehealth and is required to maintain operations.” Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Telecommuting During and After COVID-19: What Every Employer Should Know April 1, 2020
    Last month, the TaxStringer published our article, The Multistate Tax Implications of a Mobile Workforce, on various tax considerations facing employers with an increasingly mobile workforce. How the world has changed in just a few weeks!
  • Updated Renewable Energy Construction and Contracts Guidance in the Face of COVID-19 April 1, 2020
    As the State of New York continues to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has or is expected to take at least three significant actions with respect to renewable energy development and construction activities. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYSDEC Issues Guidance on “Essential Activities” for Remedial and Brownfields Projects During the COVID-19 Pandemic April 1, 2020
    Non-essential in-person activities have been restricted in New York State during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through a series of Executive Orders issued by Governor Cuomo. To supplement the plain language of the orders, Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) has provided further guidance on the State’s interpretation of these designations. In the context of remedial projects, there has been some confusion as to the scope of what applies, as there is language applicable to services that are “necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of businesses,” which some parties have been reading in concert with restrictions limiting construction activities to those that have been deemed essential. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act and Public Finance April 1, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was enacted to provide approximately $2.2 trillion of relief to Americans and the U.S. economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • It took a worldwide pandemic to bring telehealth into the 21st century. Today, the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is disrupting the traditional model of delivering healthcare to the point where face-to-face visits are no longer tenable, or in many settings not even available. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, enacted March 27, 2020, in large part to stimulate the U.S. economy, is banking on telehealth as a solution.
  • The CARES Act: Financial Assistance Highlights for the Real Estate Industry March 31, 2020

    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 748, titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that includes public health spending, immediate cash relief for individuals, and loans for businesses. Notably for the real estate industry, the CARES Act provides assistance to commercial property owners, residential homeowners, landlords and tenants impacted by the pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Three Ways School Districts are Affected by Cuomo’s New Executive Order 202.13 March 31, 2020
    Early on Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.13 (the “Order”), which impacts schools in several ways. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Developments for Tax-Exempt Organizations/Non-Profits March 30, 2020
    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Coronavirus”), a variety of relief efforts have been enacted, many of which may impact tax-exempt organization and non-profit clients. This update will discuss certain of these relief efforts, detailing their status as of Monday, March 30, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Is your Business Eligible for Distressed Industry Relief under the CARES Act? March 30, 2020
    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 748, titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that includes public health spending, immediate cash relief for individuals, and loans for businesses.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Amidst Coronavirus, New York Public Service Commission Authorizes New Community Credit Tranche, Extending Runway for Community Solar Projects March 30, 2020
    On March 19, 2020, the New York Public Service Commission (Commission) issued an Order Regarding Community Credit and Community Adder Allocations, in response to a November 1, 2019 petition filed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Exempts School Construction Work from Shut Down Order, But Calls For Schools to Postpone Non-Essential Work March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of school district construction work. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether school district construction was covered. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • What is the $349 Billion Paycheck Protection Plan? March 30, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. Among the programs in the Act is “Paycheck Protection Program”, which is a $349 billion boost to the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation: Benefit Plans Highlights March 30, 2020
    On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (the “Act”).  There are number of provisions relevant to employer-sponsored retirement and welfare benefit plans intended to deliver relief in connection with the Coronavirus pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York State Exempts Municipal Construction From Blanket Ban, But Calls For Avoidance of Non-Essential Projects March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of local government construction work, including municipalities and school districts. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether non-utility municipal construction was or was not essential. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • DOL Provides More Clarity on Families First Coronavirus Response Act Leave Provisions March 29, 2020
    On March 26, 2020 the US Department of Labor (USDOL) issued a second round of questions and answers interpreting the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • State Updates Construction Essential Work Guidance, Amends Single Employee Exemption March 27, 2020
    Earlier today New York State Empire State Development updated its Guidance for Determining Whether a Business Enterprise Is Subject To A Workforce Reduction Under Recent Executive Orders, in furtherance of Executive Order 202.6, as amended by Executive Orders 202.7 through 202.10, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • USEPA Issues Guidance on Enforcement and Compliance as a Result of COVID-19 March 27, 2020
    As a complement to our March 26, 2020 alert discussing general environmental compliance considerations in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Pandemic”), we wanted to let you know about a new enforcement discretion guidance memorandum issued later that same day by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) regarding violations associated with the Pandemic (the “Policy”).  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Environmental Compliance Considerations for Businesses in the Wake of COVID-19 March 27, 2020
    During these unprecedented times, businesses may be struggling to assess their ability to comply with certain environmental operational compliance requirements, given limited staffing and/or ongoing production levels resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the responsive government restrictions. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Trump Signs CARES Act – Federal Tax Law Changes March 27, 2020

    Earlier today the House of Representatives passed what was, in effect, the Senate version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) previously passed by the Senate on March 25, 2020.  Shortly thereafter, President Trump signed the CARES Act into law. Click on the title to read the full alert

  • IRS People First Initiative Provides Administrative Collection and Other Relief March 26, 2020 
    On March 25, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unveiled its “People First Initiative” in an effort to help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues. The IRS is taking unprecedented action to ease the burden on people facing tax issues by adjusting some of its normal processes and automated collection systems through July 15, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • A Time for Reflection: Estate Planning During a Market Downturn March 25, 2020
    The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented public safety and economic turbulence.  In response, the U.S. government is aiming to counter the economic fallout by slashing federal interest rates and proposing trillion dollar stimulus packages.  While all Americans are certainly anxious in light of the economic instability, as former President John F. Kennedy once said: “In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity.” Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York State Empire State Development Corporation Updates "Essential Business" Guidance March 25, 2020
    Last week, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8, which required businesses to reduce their in-person workforce at all work locations within New York State by 100% by March 22nd at 8 p.m. Any business or entity that qualifies as “essential” or that provides “essential services or functions” is exempt from the in-person restrictions.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Federal Government Issues Informal Guidance to Speed FFCRA Tax Credits to Employers March 24, 2020
    On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued additional guidance relating to the federal tax incentives and employer compliance under the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“FFCRA”).  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Impact on New York Hospitals and Health Care Workers March 24, 2020
    This alert summarizes recent developments in New York State that those in the healthcare industry should note as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, including topics such as access to free testing, required hospital capacity increases, and the need for additional health care workers. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Mandates 90 Days for Forbearance for COVID-19 Impacted Borrowers March 24, 2020
    As part of the State of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 21, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.9 (the “Order”), which, in part, temporarily modifies subdivision 2 of Section 39 of the Banking Law of the State of New York (which provides that the superintendent may issue an order directing the discontinuance of unauthorized or unsafe business conduct) to deem it an unsafe and unsound business practice for a bank to refuse to grant a forbearance for 90 days to any person or business who has a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Impact on Commercial Leasing Operations March 23, 2020
    As part of New York State’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.8, which creates further restrictions designed to minimize contact between individuals. Notably, starting at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, businesses and not-for-profit entities are not allowed to have any in-person workers unless they are considered “essential businesses or entities,” which are exempt from the in-person workforce restrictions. Under the Executive Order, entities that otherwise may not qualify as “essential” but that provide “essential services or functions” may operate at the level necessary to provide such service or function. Guidelines clarifying the Executive Order were promulgated by Empire State Development and are available here. These guidelines provide insight into the categories of “essential businesses or entities” and which “essential services or functions” at non-exempt businesses are exempted from the Executive Order prohibition against on-site employees. “Essential services” under this guidance include trash collection and building cleaning/maintenance. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Commercial Contracts in the Time of Coronavirus March 23, 2020
    The federal, state, and local efforts to control the spread of the Coronavirus and
    associated disease have created significant uncertainty for businesses of all sizes and
    across industries. While the ultimate fallout of these efforts is far from clear, a
    number of companies are grappling with situations where performance under a
    current agreement has been rendered difficult or not economically reasonable. How
    should these companies assess their options and risk? Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Education Practice COVID-19 Update and FAQ March 23, 2020 (originally published March 17, 2020)
    As school district leaders continue to work through the unprecedented and ever-evolving impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date legal analysis and practical guidance to assist you in making critical decisions for your school community. This document discusses, in question/answer format, some of the issues that have arisen over the past few days, with analysis that we hope will be useful to you. We will continue to add to this document and share information as it becomes available. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Federal and State Legislation Enacted to Address Paid Sick Time and Other Leave Related to COVID-19 Updated March 22, 2020 (originally published March 19, 2020)
    On Wednesday March 18, 2020, President Trump and New York Governor Cuomo both signed into law legislation aimed at providing workers paid sick time and other leave to address absences related to the Coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Governor Issues Executive Order Extending Statutes of Limitations, Service, and Other Legal Deadlines in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic March 22, 2020
    In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, New York has issued a wide-ranging order suspending statutes of limitation. Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8 (available here), which temporarily suspended statutes of limitations, service, and other legal time periods through April 19, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Executive Order Lifts Regulatory Obstacles to Fighting Coronavirus March 20, 2020
    On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.5, entitled “Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency.” This wide-ranging emergency order temporarily suspends or modifies, through April 17, 2020, a host of statutes and regulations in an effort to lift regulatory obstacles and free up resources to address the Coronavirus emergency. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Governor Announces 100% Workforce Reductions Due to Coronavirus Pandemic March 20, 2020
    Editor's Note: Access a recording of the firm's webinar: "Coronavirus: What Employers Need to Know Now" at the end of this alert. On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 requiring businesses to reduce their in-person workforce to 50%.  Shortly after the Executive Order was published, Governor Cuomo issued a verbal directive instructing all businesses and not-for-profit employers to further reduce their in-person workforce at any work location by 75% no later than Saturday, March 21st at 8:00 p.m. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Offers Further Coronavirus Workforce Restrictions Guidance March 20, 2020
    On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 requiring businesses to reduce their in-person workforce to 50%. Shortly after the Executive Order was published, Governor Cuomo issued a verbal directive instructing all businesses and not-for-profit employers to further reduce their in-person workforce at any work location by 75% no later than Saturday, March 21st at 8:00 p.m. 
  • Cuomo Issues Further Order on Workforce Reduction: Employers Now Down to Twenty-Five Percent March 19, 2020
    Yesterday, we issued an alert on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that New York businesses would be prohibited from having more than fifty percent (50%) of their workforce report to work outside of the home. See a copy of our previous alert here. Earlier this morning, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 202.6 providing further guidance on the workforce reduction requirements he had announced the day prior. The Governor’s Executive Order directs that all businesses and not-for-profit entities have until no later than March 20, at 8:00 p.m., to “reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by fifty percent.” However, Gov. Cuomo’s restrictions appear to have already been rendered obsolete by his most recent verbal directive requiring employers to reduce their in-person workforces to twenty-five percent (25%) in an effort to aid density reduction.  This announcement appears to supersede earlier direction from the Governor’s Office that fifty percent (50%) of employees would have to work from home. We expect another Executive Order will be issued on this topic in the near future. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Employee Benefit Plan Developments March 19, 2020
    As the impact of the COVID-19 virus reverberates throughout the U.S. economy, employers soon will be called upon to address employee benefit issues related to extended employee absences or reductions in hours due to illness or leaves of absence. New legislation and regulation at both the federal and state levels may require immediate changes to the administration of group health plans, as rules affecting permissible cost-sharing and deductible provisions have already been proposed. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Do I Have Insurance for My Coronavirus Losses? March 19, 2020
    Businesses should review their commercial package policies or property insurance policies to determine if they potentially have coverage for some of the actual, or anticipated, losses. Most commercial property insurance policies include coverage for lost profits resulting from “property damage.” Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Announces Federal Income Tax Payment Deferral March 19, 2020
    As part of the national emergency declaration related to the Coronavirus, on March 18, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17, which defers, until July 15, 2020, payment of 2019 Federal income tax previously due by April 15, 2020, up to specified allowed amounts. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • CMS Expands Use of Telehealth to Address COVID-19 Public Health Emergency March 18, 2020
    On March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an unprecedented expansion of the use of telecommunications technology to deliver healthcare during the current COVID-19 public health emergency. This expansion builds on the Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020,” enacted March 6, 2020 as part of the Coronavirus supplemental appropriations package, a summary of which is available here. In addition, CMS acted pursuant to its emergency authority under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act to waive compliance with certain requirements during the period of a public health emergency. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Update: NY Businesses are Required to Keep 50 Percent of Workforce Home March 18, 2020
    During a press conference early Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that “no business can have more than 50% of their workforce report to work outside of the home.”  This mandatory workforce reduction order is a further development of the Governor’s policy of requesting employers to implement remote work programs to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for School Districts, March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support the school district community during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Education Law Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4). Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for Municipalities March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support municipalities during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Municipal Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4).
  • Coronavirus, the Open Meetings Law, and Emergency Powers: A Brief Guide for Municipal Officials March 16, 2020
    In light of the public health threat from the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, municipal officials are contemplating delaying or cancelling board meetings, including zoning boards of appeals, planning boards, advisory boards, many of which include previously scheduled public hearings. They are also reviewing their local emergency powers as they contemplate responses to the pandemic, particularly in an effort to limit large gatherings.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Issues HDHP Coronavirus Relief March 16, 2020
    The IRS issued Notice 2020-15 providing that a high deductible health plan (HDHP) will not fail to be a HDHP for allowing first dollar coverage for benefits associated with the testing and treatment of COVID-19.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Appropriations Act Eases Restrictions on Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement during Emergency March 9, 2020
    One of the major hurdles to the expansion of telehealth has been the Medicare “originating site” requirement. This requirement limits Medicare telehealth reimbursement to services delivered in a physician’s office or healthcare facility in a rural area, but not in a home or non-rural area. In a shift, the “Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020,” enacted March 6, 2020 as Division B of the Coronavirus supplemental appropriations package, lifts these obstacles during certain public health emergencies.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  •  COVID-19 Coronavirus and Workforce Considerations for Employers March 6, 2020
    With global concern regarding novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and COVID-19 rising and cases in the United States now being widely reported, employers should consider several issues surrounding managing a potential outbreak.  Click on the title to read the full alert.

Agriculture

  • Coronavirus Legislation and Programs - What Agricultural Producers Should Know April 20, 2020
    For weeks, farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers across the country have been working to address COVID-19 and the wide-ranging negative effects experienced across their industry. The federal government passed several major pieces of legislation in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). FFCRA requires certain employers to provide paid sick and other leave to address COVID-19 issues, while the CARES Act provides emergency economic relief to individuals and businesses. There are provisions in both Acts that apply to agricultural producers. Additionally, programs created under the Acts provide for economic relief specifically directed to farmers and other agricultural producers. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Banking & Finance

  • New York State Launches Forward Loan Fund Program – What Do I Need to Know? May 26, 2020

    As New York State moves forward with re-opening plans and as the federal government debates further COVID-19 relief packages, the state is launching its own COVID-19 economic relief fund. On Friday May 22, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Forward Loan Fund (FLF). The $100 million program will provide working capital loans to assist small businesses, small nonprofits and small landlords with upfront costs related to reopening. Pre-applications open on Tuesday May 26, 2020 at 12:00 noon (EDT). Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • Paycheck Protection Program: SBA Releases Forgiveness Application – Some Questions Answered, Others Remain May 18, 2020

    The concept of a forgivable loan has been the most attractive feature of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) since the first rumors of the program began emanating from Washington.  Millions of companies applied for and received PPP loans with the hope (and in many cases, expectation) that the loan would be fully forgiven. However, borrowers and professional advisors attempting to calculate potential forgiveness on issued PPP loans have been stymied by the forgiveness provisions in Section 1106 of the CARES Act. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • PPP Update: SBA Provides Guidance on Application of Necessity Certification May 13, 2020
    On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued additional guidance on the interpretation of the certification necessary to obtain a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), in the form of FAQ 46. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • More Funds for Paycheck Protection Program, More Uncertainty for Businesses April 24, 2020
    President Trump is expected on April 24 to sign into law new legislation that will provide an additional $310 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Once effective, banks should again begin accepting applications for the program. While the additional funding may bring hope to some businesses who were left out of the first tranche of PPP funds, guidance released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury (Treasury) on April 23 is causing some borrowers to second guess their involvement in the massive program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Should My Business Apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)? April 24, 2020
    In addition to establishing the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and Main Street lending program, which we have covered in prior alerts, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES Act”) expanded an already-existing program: the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) Program. EIDL Loans are authorized under Section 7(b) of the Small Business Act, and differ from PPP Loans in several important respects. The information below summarizes the EIDL Program as it has been expanded by the CARES Act. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Updates to the Paycheck Protection Program April 8, 2020
    On March 30, 2020, Hodgson Russ issued an alert summarizing the basics of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Since that release, the Treasury Department issued additional guidance regarding the PPP, found here.  Below are a number of updates relevant to any business’s determination of whether and how to apply for a PPP loan. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Is your Business Eligible for Distressed Industry Relief under the CARES Act? March 30, 2020
    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 748, titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that includes public health spending, immediate cash relief for individuals, and loans for businesses.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • What is the $349 Billion Paycheck Protection Plan? March 30, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. Among the programs in the Act is “Paycheck Protection Program”, which is a $349 billion boost to the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Mandates 90 Days for Forbearance for COVID-19 Impacted Borrowers March 24, 2020
    As part of the State of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 21, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.9 (the “Order”), which, in part, temporarily modifies subdivision 2 of Section 39 of the Banking Law of the State of New York (which provides that the superintendent may issue an order directing the discontinuance of unauthorized or unsafe business conduct) to deem it an unsafe and unsound business practice for a bank to refuse to grant a forbearance for 90 days to any person or business who has a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click on the title to read the full alert.

Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Commercial Litigation

  • CARES Act Impact on Bankruptcy Law April 8, 2020
    Business owners and individuals facing the impacts of COVID-19 should be aware of some important changes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes to the United States Bankruptcy Code. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Bond Counsel

  • Proposed Legislation to Aid Local Governments and Schools in the Wake of COVID-19 April 27, 2020
    It is without question that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt worldwide. Although not on the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ lawyers are seeing firsthand the fiscal impact it is having on our clients, and we are quickly mobilizing to anticipate and minimize the effects and plan for the post-pandemic future. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act and Public Finance April 1, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was enacted to provide approximately $2.2 trillion of relief to Americans and the U.S. economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Brownfield Redevelopment

  • NYSDEC Issues Guidance on “Essential Activities” for Remedial and Brownfields Projects During the COVID-19 Pandemic April 1, 2020
    Non-essential in-person activities have been restricted in New York State during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through a series of Executive Orders issued by Governor Cuomo. To supplement the plain language of the orders, Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) has provided further guidance on the State’s interpretation of these designations. In the context of remedial projects, there has been some confusion as to the scope of what applies, as there is language applicable to services that are “necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of businesses,” which some parties have been reading in concert with restrictions limiting construction activities to those that have been deemed essential. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Business Litigation

  • SEC Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Enforcement Priorities May 22, 2020
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has formed a Coronavirus Steering Committee to proactively identify and monitor areas of potential misconduct related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Division of Enforcement’s Co-Director, Steven Peikin, announced the Steering Committee’s formation during his May 20 keynote address to the Securities Enforcement Forum West 2020. Mr. Peikin addressed particular areas of focus and enforcement priorities for the Division of Enforcement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for Business Reopening in New York State May 13, 2020
    Governor Cuomo announced this week the first phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process.  Whether your business may reopen depends on three things: (1) your business must be located in a region of the state that has satisfied the metrics for loosening restrictions; (2) the nature of your business must fall within the list of industries covered by the applicable reopening phase; and (3) you as an employer have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place that details the methods and procedures that will be undertaken to manage COVID-19 risks to employees and customers in the course of operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Failing to Protect Against COVID-19: Can My Business Be Sued? April 22, 2020
    In the current climate of the pandemic, plaintiffs are bringing claims against businesses, alleging a failure to act to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their employees and customers. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Violating Price-Gouging Laws May Subject Businesses to Civil and Criminal Penalties April 15, 2020

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several stories in the news and on social media about individuals and businesses capitalizing on “panic buying” and attempting to charge excessive prices for everyday products. Rudimentary economics tells us that prices will increase in response to increased demand. But when does that increase cross the line into illegal “price gouging,” and how can you stay on the right side of the law? Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Re-tooling Your Business to Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic? Here’s What You Need to Know April 9, 2020
    Many companies have retooled their factories or workshops to manufacture products in response to the increased demand for health care products. Whiskey distillers are making hand sanitizer and design houses are sewing face masks. Everyone is receiving kudos for their great work, but what are the risks? Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Governor Issues Executive Order Extending Statutes of Limitations, Service, and Other Legal Deadlines in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic March 22, 2020
    In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, New York has issued a wide-ranging order suspending statutes of limitation. Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8 (available here), which temporarily suspended statutes of limitations, service, and other legal time periods through April 19, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Business Tax

  • IRS Issues Additional Guidance on Employee Retention Tax Credit; Consistency with Congressional Intent Again Questioned May 5, 2020
    This is an update to our April 14, 2020 alert which discussed, in part, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) employee retention credit (“ERC”) for certain employers subject to closure due to COVID-19.  On April 29, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released additional Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) on the ERC.  The ERC is not available to business that took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  Recent frustration and open questions surrounding the availability of and qualifications for the PPP loan has given way to renewed interest in the ERC for some businesses. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Denies Deductions for Expenses Paid with Forgiven PPP Loans May 1, 2020

    On April 30, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-32 which provides that expenses paid with proceeds from a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan are nondeductible for federal income tax purposes to the extent the payment of those expenses results in the forgiveness of the PPP loan. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update April 17, 2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)
    The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of relief efforts from the Federal, state, and local governments. This update will provide insight into several of these relief efforts, and discuss the effect they might have on employers coping with the impact of the Coronavirus on their business operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • CARES Act Update: IRS Issues Guidance on Federal Tax Changes April 14, 2020
    This is an update to our March 27, 2020 alert summarizing the various federal tax law changes enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Since, the IRS has been working furiously to issue guidance addressing those federal tax law changes, and we expect further guidance will be issued. Notable recent IRS guidance impacting the business federal tax law changes is addressed below. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Trump Signs CARES Act – Federal Tax Law Changes March 27, 2020

    Earlier today the House of Representatives passed what was, in effect, the Senate version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) previously passed by the Senate on March 25, 2020.  Shortly thereafter, President Trump signed the CARES Act into law. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • IRS People First Initiative Provides Administrative Collection and Other Relief March 26, 2020
    On March 25, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unveiled its “People First Initiative” in an effort to help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues. The IRS is taking unprecedented action to ease the burden on people facing tax issues by adjusting some of its normal processes and automated collection systems through July 15, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Federal Government Issues Informal Guidance to Speed FFCRA Tax Credits to Employers March 24, 2020
    On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued additional guidance relating to the federal tax incentives and employer compliance under the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“FFCRA”).  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Announces Federal Income Tax Payment Deferral March 19, 2020
    As part of the national emergency declaration related to the Coronavirus, on March 18, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17, which defers, until July 15, 2020, payment of 2019 Federal income tax previously due by April 15, 2020, up to specified allowed amounts. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Class Action Litigation

  • Uptick in Investor Class Action Lawsuits Expected Due to COVID-19 May 29, 2020
    The legal fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is rippling through the courts in the form of new class action lawsuit filings. In what is likely the first wave of a surge of class action activity, several recent class action filings show where trends may be headed. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

Construction

  • Preparing Your Required Covid-19 Health and Safety Plan for An Energy Construction Business Reopening May 15, 2020
    Governor Cuomo has announced the first phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process, including construction in the energy sector. As part of that process, the State has released detailed guidance regarding construction activities, which is part of the first phase of reopening. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • No-Damages-for-Delay Clauses and the COVID-19 Crisis April 9, 2020
    Although “construction” was originally deemed by Governor Cuomo to be “essential”, and thus exempt from the restrictions imposed by his March 18, 2020 Executive Order, that has since changed. Through subsequent Executive Orders, as interpreted by various State agencies, the reach of COVID-19 has extended deeply into the construction industry to preclude “non-essential” or “non-emergency” construction projects. Accordingly, construction projects across the State are grinding to a halt. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Exempts School Construction Work from Shut Down Order, But Calls For Schools to Postpone Non-Essential Work March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of school district construction work. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether school district construction was covered. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • State Updates Construction Essential Work Guidance, Amends Single Employee Exemption March 27, 2020
    Earlier today New York State Empire State Development updated its Guidance for Determining Whether a Business Enterprise Is Subject To A Workforce Reduction Under Recent Executive Orders, in furtherance of Executive Order 202.6, as amended by Executive Orders 202.7 through 202.10, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Corporate & Business

  • COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update April 17, 2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)
    The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of relief efforts from the Federal, state, and local governments. This update will provide insight into several of these relief efforts, and discuss the effect they might have on employers coping with the impact of the Coronavirus on their business operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Updates to the Paycheck Protection Program April 8, 2020
    On March 30, 2020, Hodgson Russ issued an alert summarizing the basics of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Since that release, the Treasury Department issued additional guidance regarding the PPP, found here.  Below are a number of updates relevant to any business’s determination of whether and how to apply for a PPP loan. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • What is the $349 Billion Paycheck Protection Plan? March 30, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. Among the programs in the Act is “Paycheck Protection Program”, which is a $349 billion boost to the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Commercial Contracts in the Time of Coronavirus March 23, 2020
    The federal, state, and local efforts to control the spread of the Coronavirus and
    associated disease have created significant uncertainty for businesses of all sizes and
    across industries. While the ultimate fallout of these efforts is far from clear, a
    number of companies are grappling with situations where performance under a
    current agreement has been rendered difficult or not economically reasonable. How
    should these companies assess their options and risk? Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Do I Have Insurance for My Coronavirus Losses? March 19, 2020
    Businesses should review their commercial package policies or property insurance policies to determine if they potentially have coverage for some of the actual, or anticipated, losses. Most commercial property insurance policies include coverage for lost profits resulting from “property damage.” Click on the title to read the full alert.

Cybersecurity & Privacy

  • Coronavirus E-mail Scams April 15, 2020
    Please be aware that cyber criminals are taking advantage of the opportunity to use Coronavirus as a new scam. They are crafting many Phishing e-mails related to the Coronavirus. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Video Conference Security Concerns Increase as NYS Suspends Article 7 In Person Meeting Requirement April 8, 2020
    On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1, which suspended the in-person meeting requirement under Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, the Open Meetings Law (OML). As a consequence of this exception to the OML, public bodies (i.e., municipalities, school districts, and public authorities) in New York State have turned to video conferencing services for holding public meetings. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Education

  • School Votes Set for June 9 Under Substantially Revamped Procedures May 2, 2020

    Late Friday afternoon, Governor Cuomo issued a long-awaited Executive Order (No. 202.26) establishing the date and associated procedures for the 2020 school district budget vote and board election (the “school vote”). Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Proposed Legislation to Aid Local Governments and Schools in the Wake of COVID-19 April 27, 2020
    It is without question that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt worldwide. Although not on the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ lawyers are seeing firsthand the fiscal impact it is having on our clients, and we are quickly mobilizing to anticipate and minimize the effects and plan for the post-pandemic future. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Video Conference Security Concerns Increase as NYS Suspends Article 7 In Person Meeting Requirement April 8, 2020
    On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1, which suspended the in-person meeting requirement under Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, the Open Meetings Law (OML). As a consequence of this exception to the OML, public bodies (i.e., municipalities, school districts, and public authorities) in New York State have turned to video conferencing services for holding public meetings. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act and Public Finance April 1, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was enacted to provide approximately $2.2 trillion of relief to Americans and the U.S. economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Three Ways School Districts are Affected by Cuomo’s New Executive Order 202.13 March 31, 2020
    Early on Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.13 (the “Order”), which impacts schools in several ways. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Exempts School Construction Work from Shut Down Order, But Calls For Schools to Postpone Non-Essential Work March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of school district construction work. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether school district construction was covered. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Education Practice COVID-19 Update and FAQ March 23, 2020 (originally published March 17, 2020)
    As school district leaders continue to work through the unprecedented and ever-evolving impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date legal analysis and practical guidance to assist you in making critical decisions for your school community. This document discusses, in question/answer format, some of the issues that have arisen over the past few days, with analysis that we hope will be useful to you. We will continue to add to this document and share information as it becomes available. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for School Districts, March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support the school district community during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Education Law Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4). Click on the title to read the full alert.

Employee Benefits

  • IRS Issues Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Relief to Increase Employer Flexibility During the COVID-19 Pandemic May 18, 2020

    On May 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released two pieces of guidance providing increased flexibility with respect to Internal Revenue Code section 125 cafeteria plans (“Section 125 plans”). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33 provide relief including expanded election opportunities, extended claims grace periods, and increased carryover allowances.  Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • Newly Announced Deadline Extensions and Other Disaster Relief for Employee Benefit Plans May 5, 2020
    The federal agencies charged with broad oversight and enforcement authority respecting employer-sponsored benefit plans have issued joint notices announcing the extension of numerous plan-related deadlines during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update April 17, 2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)
    The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of relief efforts from the Federal, state, and local governments. This update will provide insight into several of these relief efforts, and discuss the effect they might have on employers coping with the impact of the Coronavirus on their business operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation: Benefit Plans Highlights March 30, 2020
    On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (the “Act”).  There are number of provisions relevant to employer-sponsored retirement and welfare benefit plans intended to deliver relief in connection with the Coronavirus pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Employee Benefit Plan Developments March 19, 2020
    As the impact of the COVID-19 virus reverberates throughout the U.S. economy, employers soon will be called upon to address employee benefit issues related to extended employee absences or reductions in hours due to illness or leaves of absence. New legislation and regulation at both the federal and state levels may require immediate changes to the administration of group health plans, as rules affecting permissible cost-sharing and deductible provisions have already been proposed. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Issues HDHP Coronavirus Relief March 16, 2020
    The IRS issued Notice 2020-15 providing that a high deductible health plan (HDHP) will not fail to be a HDHP for allowing first dollar coverage for benefits associated with the testing and treatment of COVID-19.  Click on the title to read the full alert.

Environmental

  • EPA Issues Supplemental Guidance on Response and Enforcement Actions April 14, 2020
    On April 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued supplemental guidance to all Regional Administrators regarding cleanup and emergency response actions. The guidance specifically focused on sites regulated pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“Superfund”), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) corrective action, the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) polychlorinated biphenyl (“PCB”) cleanup provisions, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Underground Storage Tank (“UST”) program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYSDEC Issues Guidance on “Essential Activities” for Remedial and Brownfields Projects During the COVID-19 Pandemic April 1, 2020
    Non-essential in-person activities have been restricted in New York State during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through a series of Executive Orders issued by Governor Cuomo. To supplement the plain language of the orders, Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) has provided further guidance on the State’s interpretation of these designations. In the context of remedial projects, there has been some confusion as to the scope of what applies, as there is language applicable to services that are “necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of businesses,” which some parties have been reading in concert with restrictions limiting construction activities to those that have been deemed essential. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • USEPA Issues Guidance on Enforcement and Compliance as a Result of COVID-19 March 27, 2020
    As a complement to our March 26, 2020 alert discussing general environmental compliance considerations in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Pandemic”), we wanted to let you know about a new enforcement discretion guidance memorandum issued later that same day by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) regarding violations associated with the Pandemic (the “Policy”).  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Environmental Compliance Considerations for Businesses in the Wake of COVID-19 March 27, 2020
    During these unprecedented times, businesses may be struggling to assess their ability to comply with certain environmental operational compliance requirements, given limited staffing and/or ongoing production levels resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the responsive government restrictions. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Financial Services

  • What is the $349 Billion Paycheck Protection Plan? March 30, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. Among the programs in the Act is “Paycheck Protection Program”, which is a $349 billion boost to the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty program. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Food & Beverage

  • FDA During the Pandemic: Packaging and Labeling of Shell Eggs Sold by Retail Establishments April 7, 2020
    The FDA, as the primary agency regulating the food supply, has released guidance relaxing the packaging and labeling obligations of retail food establishments selling shell eggs. “Retail food establishments” is defined as a business that sells food products directly to consumers as its primary function. The term “consumers” specifically excludes other businesses. Therefore, this guidance is meant for the sale of shell eggs to individuals and families. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • FDA During the Pandemic: Relaxing Labeling Requirements for Restaurants and Food Manufacturers April 3, 2020

    The FDA, the primary agency regulating the food supply, has relaxed restrictions on restaurants and food manufacturers in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances facing these industries. The relaxed standards are intended to assist this sector, which has been devastated by the pandemic, and help it remain sustainable during this time. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Healthcare

  • New York Mandates New COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements for Skilled Nursing and Adult Care Facilities May 11, 2020
    As COVID-19-related hospitalizations decline, New York turns its focus to COVID-19 testing for skilled nursing and adult care facility staff, and for residents returning from hospitalization, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus in the long-term care setting. Executive Order 202.30, issued May 10, 2020, mandates that each skilled nursing and adult care facility develop a plan to implement the new requirements and to certify their compliance. EO 202.30 also prohibits hospitals from discharging patients to nursing homes unless the patient first tests negative. Here is what you need to know about the new requirements. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Issues Updated Guidance Broadly Expanding Medicaid Telehealth May 6, 2020
    On May 1, 2020, the New York State Department of Health issued comprehensive guidance on the use of telehealth, including telephonic services, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The updated guidance revises and clarifies the existing rules and provides broad authorization for Medicaid providers to use a wide variety of communication methods, including audio-only telephone, for delivering healthcare services remotely during the Emergency. Here are the top ten things you need to know about New York’s Medicaid telehealth policies. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • COVID-19 Relief Package 3.5 Adds $75 Billion to Provider Relief Fund April 24, 2020
    On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the so-called COVID-19 Relief Package 3.5, which increases the resources available to healthcare providers and others under the previously enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This alert summarizes key changes affecting healthcare providers and highlights steps providers should take to comply with the applicable conditions and recordkeeping requirements. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Executive Orders Expand the Ranks of Healthcare Providers to Fight COVID-19 April 21, 2020
    As New York continues its battle against COVID-19, two new Executive Orders, 202.15 and 202.18, seek to alleviate the burden on healthcare workers by authorizing further expansion in the ranks of professionals who may practice in New York.  These new Executive Orders build on prior Executive Orders (202.5202.10202.11, and 202.14), discussed here, which permit certain practitioners without current New York licensure or registration to practice in New York to assist in the ongoing COVID-19 fight. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Governor Cuomo Orders Reporting Certain Medical Equipment Located in New York State to the Department of Health for Redistribution April 10, 2020
    During a press conference on April 3, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the National Guard would be called upon to collect “excess” personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and ventilators from hospitals and other institutions for use where they are more urgently needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following significant outcry from politicians across the political spectrum, the Executive Order to implement this policy was delayed. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York and Federal Lawmakers Ease Professional Practice, Licensing, and Documentation Requirements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic April 9, 2020
    The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to expand the ranks of physicians and practitioners who are available to respond to the emergency. To increase system capacity, New York has temporarily amended or suspended multiple statutory and regulatory provisions affecting practitioners by Executive Order. This alert discusses key provisions. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Limits Liability for Health Care Facilities, Professionals, and Volunteer Organizations Arising from the COVID-19 Emergency April 8, 2020
    New York has enacted wide-ranging protection for healthcare facilities, professionals, and volunteer organizations from liabilities arising from the COVID-19 crisis. This alert summarizes the key provisions. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • OCR Eases HIPAA Enforcement for Telehealth Use During Coronavirus Crisis April 6, 2020
    HIPAA’s privacy and security protections are the bedrock of the modern health care system. But now, as COVID-19 spreads across the country, lawmakers and regulators are relaxing certain restrictions on health care providers to meet the challenges posed by this pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Temperature Monitoring and Return to Work Protocols in the Healthcare (Non-Telehealth) Setting after a COVID-19 Exposure or Infection April 2, 2020
    In a March 28, 2020 publication, the New York State Department of Health issued a guidance document entitled: “Health Advisory: Updated Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure or Infection.” The updated guidance has broad application to healthcare workers beyond hospitals. It applies in “All Healthcare Settings, including but not limited to Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs), Adult Care Facilities (ACFs), End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Home Care, Outpatient Clinics, and Private Practice that is unable to deliver a service through telehealth and is required to maintain operations.” Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • It took a worldwide pandemic to bring telehealth into the 21st century. Today, the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is disrupting the traditional model of delivering healthcare to the point where face-to-face visits are no longer tenable, or in many settings not even available. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, enacted March 27, 2020, in large part to stimulate the U.S. economy, is banking on telehealth as a solution.
  • Coronavirus Impact on New York Hospitals and Health Care Workers March 24, 2020
    This alert summarizes recent developments in New York State that those in the healthcare industry should note as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, including topics such as access to free testing, required hospital capacity increases, and the need for additional health care workers. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Executive Order Lifts Regulatory Obstacles to Fighting Coronavirus March 20, 2020
    On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.5, entitled “Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency.” This wide-ranging emergency order temporarily suspends or modifies, through April 17, 2020, a host of statutes and regulations in an effort to lift regulatory obstacles and free up resources to address the Coronavirus emergency. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • CMS Expands Use of Telehealth to Address COVID-19 Public Health Emergency March 18, 2020
    On March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an unprecedented expansion of the use of telecommunications technology to deliver healthcare during the current COVID-19 public health emergency. This expansion builds on the Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020,” enacted March 6, 2020 as part of the Coronavirus supplemental appropriations package, a summary of which is available here. In addition, CMS acted pursuant to its emergency authority under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act to waive compliance with certain requirements during the period of a public health emergency. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Appropriations Act Eases Restrictions on Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement during Emergency March 9, 2020
    One of the major hurdles to the expansion of telehealth has been the Medicare “originating site” requirement. This requirement limits Medicare telehealth reimbursement to services delivered in a physician’s office or healthcare facility in a rural area, but not in a home or non-rural area. In a shift, the “Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020,” enacted March 6, 2020 as Division B of the Coronavirus supplemental appropriations package, lifts these obstacles during certain public health emergencies.  Click on the title to read the full alert.

Home Care

  • New York Mandates New COVID-19 Testing and Reporting Requirements for Skilled Nursing and Adult Care Facilities May 11, 2020
    As COVID-19-related hospitalizations decline, New York turns its focus to COVID-19 testing for skilled nursing and adult care facility staff, and for residents returning from hospitalization, in an effort to limit the spread of the virus in the long-term care setting. Executive Order 202.30, issued May 10, 2020, mandates that each skilled nursing and adult care facility develop a plan to implement the new requirements and to certify their compliance. EO 202.30 also prohibits hospitals from discharging patients to nursing homes unless the patient first tests negative. Here is what you need to know about the new requirements. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Immigration

  • President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration Due to COVID-19 April 23, 2020
    It began with a late-night tweet earlier this week when President Trump declared his intention to ban immigration to the United States as part of the fight against COVID-19.  The resulting Executive Order, entitled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak”, becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Intellectual Property

International Tax

  • IRS Announces Pandemic Relief for U.S./Foreign Residency Determinations April 22, 2020
    On April 21, Treasury and the IRS issued welcome guidance that provides U.S. income tax relief for nonresident individuals who may be present in the United States indefinitely as a result of COVID-19 travel disruptions, including travel bans, government-mandated lockdowns, and canceled flights. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS People First Initiative Provides Administrative Collection and Other Relief March 26, 2020 
    On March 25, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unveiled its “People First Initiative” in an effort to help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues. The IRS is taking unprecedented action to ease the burden on people facing tax issues by adjusting some of its normal processes and automated collection systems through July 15, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Announces Federal Income Tax Payment Deferral March 19, 2020
    As part of the national emergency declaration related to the Coronavirus, on March 18, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17, which defers, until July 15, 2020, payment of 2019 Federal income tax previously due by April 15, 2020, up to specified allowed amounts. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Labor & Employment

  • EEOC Gives Green Light to Employers Testing Employees for COVID-19 April 28, 2020

    Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 guidance twice to address reopening of the workplace and testing employees for COVID-19. According to the new guidance, which applies to employers throughout the United States, management may require the testing of employees for the COVID-19 virus before they enter the workplace. Employers may also check employee temperatures, ask questions about whether an employee is experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus, and require employees to self-report COVID-19 infection or related symptoms. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update April 17, 2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)
    The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of relief efforts from the Federal, state, and local governments. This update will provide insight into several of these relief efforts, and discuss the effect they might have on employers coping with the impact of the Coronavirus on their business operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Requiring Employers to Provide All Essential Employees with Masks April 14, 2020
    Governor Cuomo recently signed an executive order mandating that employers provide certain employees with face coverings. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Department of Health Issues Temperature Monitoring and Return to Work Protocols after a COVID-19 Exposure or Infection April 2, 2020
    As essential business functions and operations continue in New York, employers will inevitably grapple with questions about how, when, and under what circumstances essential employees—in a non-health care setting—may be permitted to work following a suspect exposure or after recovering from the disease. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • What is the $349 Billion Paycheck Protection Plan? March 29, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. Among the programs in the Act is “Paycheck Protection Program”, which is a $349 billion boost to the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty program. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • DOL Provides More Clarity on Families First Coronavirus Response Act Leave Provisions March 29, 2020
    On March 26, 2020 the US Department of Labor (USDOL) issued a second round of questions and answers interpreting the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York State Empire State Development Corporation Updates "Essential Business" Guidance March 25, 2020
    Last week, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8, which required businesses to reduce their in-person workforce at all work locations within New York State by 100% by March 22nd at 8 p.m. Any business or entity that qualifies as “essential” or that provides “essential services or functions” is exempt from the in-person restrictions.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Federal Government Issues Informal Guidance to Speed FFCRA Tax Credits to Employers March 24, 2020
    On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued additional guidance relating to the federal tax incentives and employer compliance under the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“FFCRA”).  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Federal and State Legislation Enacted to Address Paid Sick Time and Other Leave Related to COVID-19 Updated March 22, 2020 (originally published March 19, 2020)
    On Wednesday March 18, 2020, President Trump and New York Governor Cuomo both signed into law legislation aimed at providing workers paid sick time and other leave to address absences related to the Coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Governor Announces 100% Workforce Reductions Due to Coronavirus Pandemic March 20, 2020
    Editor's Note: Access a recording of the firm's webinar: "Coronavirus: What Employers Need to Know Now" at the end of this alert. On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 requiring businesses to reduce their in-person workforce to 50%.  Shortly after the Executive Order was published, Governor Cuomo issued a verbal directive instructing all businesses and not-for-profit employers to further reduce their in-person workforce at any work location by 75% no later than Saturday, March 21st at 8:00 p.m. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NYS Offers Further Coronavirus Workforce Restrictions Guidance March 20, 2020
    On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6 requiring businesses to reduce their in-person workforce to 50%. Shortly after the Executive Order was published, Governor Cuomo issued a verbal directive instructing all businesses and not-for-profit employers to further reduce their in-person workforce at any work location by 75% no later than Saturday, March 21st at 8:00 p.m. 
  • Cuomo Issues Further Order on Workforce Reduction: Employers Now Down to Twenty-Five Percent March 19, 2020
    Yesterday, we issued an alert on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that New York businesses would be prohibited from having more than fifty percent (50%) of their workforce report to work outside of the home. See a copy of our previous alert here. Earlier this morning, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 202.6 providing further guidance on the workforce reduction requirements he had announced the day prior. The Governor’s Executive Order directs that all businesses and not-for-profit entities have until no later than March 20, at 8:00 p.m., to “reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by fifty percent.” However, Gov. Cuomo’s restrictions appear to have already been rendered obsolete by his most recent verbal directive requiring employers to reduce their in-person workforces to twenty-five percent (25%) in an effort to aid density reduction.  This announcement appears to supersede earlier direction from the Governor’s Office that fifty percent (50%) of employees would have to work from home. We expect another Executive Order will be issued on this topic in the near future. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Update: NY Businesses are Required to Keep 50 Percent of Workforce Home March 18, 2020
    During a press conference early Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that “no business can have more than 50% of their workforce report to work outside of the home.”  This mandatory workforce reduction order is a further development of the Governor’s policy of requesting employers to implement remote work programs to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  •  COVID-19 Coronavirus and Workforce Considerations for Employers March 6, 2020
    With global concern regarding novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and COVID-19 rising and cases in the United States now being widely reported, employers should consider several issues surrounding managing a potential outbreak.  Click on the title to read the full alert.

Municipal

  • New York Executive Order Modifies Real Property Tax Deadlines May 5, 2020
    On May 1, many towns published their tentative assessment roll as required by the Real Property Tax Law. However, the Governor of New York issued Executive Order 202.22 which granted an extension of time for municipalities to publish their assessment rolls. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Proposed Legislation to Aid Local Governments and Schools in the Wake of COVID-19 April 27, 2020
    It is without question that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt worldwide. Although not on the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ lawyers are seeing firsthand the fiscal impact it is having on our clients, and we are quickly mobilizing to anticipate and minimize the effects and plan for the post-pandemic future. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • $500 Billion in Direct Federal Loans Available for Local Governments April 13, 2020
    This alert describes a newly-announced Federal Reserve program to support the municipal bond market and the flow of credit and liquidity to state and local governments. Up to $500 billion in direct federal short-term lending will be made available to help these governments manage cash flow disruptions arising out of the pandemic. These loans can be directly accessed by the largest state, county and city borrowers, and indirectly accessed by smaller governmental issuers (including smaller counties and cities, as well as towns, villages and school districts), once the program is fully in place.
  • Video Conference Security Concerns Increase as NYS Suspends Article 7 In Person Meeting Requirement April 8, 2020
    On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1, which suspended the in-person meeting requirement under Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, the Open Meetings Law (OML). As a consequence of this exception to the OML, public bodies (i.e., municipalities, school districts, and public authorities) in New York State have turned to video conferencing services for holding public meetings. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act and Public Finance April 1, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was enacted to provide approximately $2.2 trillion of relief to Americans and the U.S. economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York State Exempts Municipal Construction From Blanket Ban, But Calls For Avoidance of Non-Essential Projects March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of local government construction work, including municipalities and school districts. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether non-utility municipal construction was or was not essential. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for Municipalities March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support municipalities during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Municipal Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4).
  • Coronavirus, the Open Meetings Law, and Emergency Powers: A Brief Guide for Municipal Officials March 16, 2020
    In light of the public health threat from the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, municipal officials are contemplating delaying or cancelling board meetings, including zoning boards of appeals, planning boards, advisory boards, many of which include previously scheduled public hearings. They are also reviewing their local emergency powers as they contemplate responses to the pandemic, particularly in an effort to limit large gatherings.  Click on the title to read the full alert.

OSHA

  • Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan For a Phase Two Business Reopening June 1, 2020
    Governor Cuomo has announced the second phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process. As part of that process, the State has released detailed guidance, and a safety plan template, for each industry which is part of Phase II of reopening: (1) offices; (2) real estate; (3) essential and Phase II in-store retail; (4) vehicle sales, leases, and rentals; (5) retail rental, repair, and cleaning; (6) commercial building management; and (7) hair salons and barbershops. (See the NY Forward website for a list of businesses considered part of Phase II.) Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • OSHA Updates Its Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Illnesses on Employers’ OSHA 300 Logs and Self-Reporting Obligations for Work-Related Fatalities and In-Patient Hospitalizations May 27, 2020

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Enforcement Memorandum on May 19, 2020 that updates its prior interim enforcement guidance on the recording obligations of employers for COVID-19 cases on their OSHA 300 logs. The new guidance is effective May 26 and supplants the previously issued guidance from April 10. It will remain in effect until OSHA gives further notice. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • OSHA Guidance For COVID-19 Health and Safety Plans Required for Phased Reopenings of New York Businesses May 18, 2020
    Employers in certain regions across New York began reopening on May 15 in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.31 and satisfaction of required COVID-19 metrics. Whether your business is an existing “essential business” continuing its current operations, a Phase 1 business that is reopening, or a Phase 2, 3, or 4 business preparing for a future reopening, your business will likely need to prepare a COVID-19 Reopening Health and Safety Plan. The current Phase 1 guidance states that there will be no waivers from this requirement. In developing their Plans, employers must also consider the implications of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Preparing Your Required COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for Business Reopening in New York State May 13, 2020
    Governor Cuomo announced this week the first phase of industries that can start preparing for the reopening process.  Whether your business may reopen depends on three things: (1) your business must be located in a region of the state that has satisfied the metrics for loosening restrictions; (2) the nature of your business must fall within the list of industries covered by the applicable reopening phase; and (3) you as an employer have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan in place that details the methods and procedures that will be undertaken to manage COVID-19 risks to employees and customers in the course of operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • NYS Department of Health Issues Temperature Monitoring and Return to Work Protocols after a COVID-19 Exposure or Infection April 2, 2020
    As essential business functions and operations continue in New York, employers will inevitably grapple with questions about how, when, and under what circumstances essential employees—in a non-health care setting—may be permitted to work following a suspect exposure or after recovering from the disease. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Temperature Monitoring and Return to Work Protocols in the Healthcare (Non-Telehealth) Setting after a COVID-19 Exposure or Infection April 2, 2020
    In a March 28, 2020 publication, the New York State Department of Health issued a guidance document entitled: “Health Advisory: Updated Protocols for Personnel in Healthcare and Other Direct Care Settings to Return to Work Following COVID-19 Exposure or Infection.” The updated guidance has broad application to healthcare workers beyond hospitals. It applies in “All Healthcare Settings, including but not limited to Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs), Adult Care Facilities (ACFs), End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Home Care, Outpatient Clinics, and Private Practice that is unable to deliver a service through telehealth and is required to maintain operations.” Click on the title to read the full alert.

Public Authority

  • Video Conference Security Concerns Increase as NYS Suspends Article 7 In Person Meeting Requirement April 8, 2020
    On March 12, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.1, which suspended the in-person meeting requirement under Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, the Open Meetings Law (OML). As a consequence of this exception to the OML, public bodies (i.e., municipalities, school districts, and public authorities) in New York State have turned to video conferencing services for holding public meetings. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act and Public Finance April 1, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was enacted to provide approximately $2.2 trillion of relief to Americans and the U.S. economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Real Estate Leasing

  • New York Follows Other States in Allowing Security Deposits to be Applied Toward Rent May 11, 2020
    After weeks of speculation and much public interest, New York State finally joined several other states in providing relief for renters. On May 7, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.28 (the “Order”), which allows landlords and tenants to apply tenant security deposits toward rent payments, bans late fees for the late payment of rent, and extends the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until August 20, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New Jersey Allows Security Deposits to be Used for Rent – Will New York Follow? May 4, 2020
    As states grapple with how to handle the burden on individuals impacted by COVID-19 shut downs, some lawmakers are pushing for extreme measures like a national moratorium on rent payments with rent forgiveness. Although those measures are unlikely to gain enough traction to move forward, states have begun to find other ways to provide relief to renters. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Treatment of Co-Working Arrangements During the COVID-19 Crisis April 20, 2020
    The current COVID-19 crisis has up-ended business and legal arrangements across a broad cross section of industries, locations and sizes of businesses. There have been a host of emergency federal, state and local actions to address the crisis and to stabilize business arrangements during the crisis. Among them are the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act), New York Executive Order 202: Declaring a Disaster Emergency in the State of New York, State of California Executive Order N-28-20. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act: Financial Assistance Highlights for the Real Estate Industry March 31, 2020

    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law H.R. 748, titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that includes public health spending, immediate cash relief for individuals, and loans for businesses. Notably for the real estate industry, the CARES Act provides assistance to commercial property owners, residential homeowners, landlords and tenants impacted by the pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • NYS Mandates 90 Days for Forbearance for COVID-19 Impacted Borrowers March 24, 2020
    As part of the State of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 21, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.9 (the “Order”), which, in part, temporarily modifies subdivision 2 of Section 39 of the Banking Law of the State of New York (which provides that the superintendent may issue an order directing the discontinuance of unauthorized or unsafe business conduct) to deem it an unsafe and unsound business practice for a bank to refuse to grant a forbearance for 90 days to any person or business who has a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Coronavirus Impact on Commercial Leasing Operations March 23, 2020
    As part of New York State’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.8, which creates further restrictions designed to minimize contact between individuals. Notably, starting at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, businesses and not-for-profit entities are not allowed to have any in-person workers unless they are considered “essential businesses or entities,” which are exempt from the in-person workforce restrictions. Under the Executive Order, entities that otherwise may not qualify as “essential” but that provide “essential services or functions” may operate at the level necessary to provide such service or function. Guidelines clarifying the Executive Order were promulgated by Empire State Development and are available here. These guidelines provide insight into the categories of “essential businesses or entities” and which “essential services or functions” at non-exempt businesses are exempted from the Executive Order prohibition against on-site employees. “Essential services” under this guidance include trash collection and building cleaning/maintenance. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Real Property Tax Assessment & Eminent Domain

  • New York Executive Order Modifies Real Property Tax Deadlines May 5, 2020
    On May 1, many towns published their tentative assessment roll as required by the Real Property Tax Law. However, the Governor of New York issued Executive Order 202.22 which granted an extension of time for municipalities to publish their assessment rolls. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Renewable Energy

Securities Regulation & Corporate Compliance

  • Updates to the Paycheck Protection Program April 8, 2020
    On March 30, 2020, Hodgson Russ issued an alert summarizing the basics of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Since that release, the Treasury Department issued additional guidance regarding the PPP, found here.  Below are a number of updates relevant to any business’s determination of whether and how to apply for a PPP loan. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • What is the $349 Billion Paycheck Protection Plan? March 29, 2020

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. Among the programs in the Act is “Paycheck Protection Program”, which is a $349 billion boost to the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guaranty program.

    How does the program work? – The Paycheck Protection Program, found in Title I of the Act, is a $349 billion boost to the SBA’s existing 7(a) guaranty program. These are NOT loans from the Federal Government. Instead, the Federal Government guarantees loans made by eligible lenders to eligible borrowers. The Paycheck Protection Program also expands eligibility for, and liberalizes other requirements of, the SBA 7(a) guaranty program. Perhaps most notably, the Act sets forth the possibility for these loans to be forgiven under certain circumstances. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Special Education

  • Education Practice COVID-19 Update and FAQ March 23, 2020 (originally published March 17, 2020)
    As school district leaders continue to work through the unprecedented and ever-evolving impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date legal analysis and practical guidance to assist you in making critical decisions for your school community. This document discusses, in question/answer format, some of the issues that have arisen over the past few days, with analysis that we hope will be useful to you. We will continue to add to this document and share information as it becomes available. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for School Districts, March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support the school district community during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Education Law Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4). Click on the title to read the full alert.

State & Local Tax

  • COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update April 17, 2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)
    The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of relief efforts from the Federal, state, and local governments. This update will provide insight into several of these relief efforts, and discuss the effect they might have on employers coping with the impact of the Coronavirus on their business operations. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Covid-19: FAQs for New York Tax and Residency Considerations April 3, 2020

    As of the writing of this alert, New York City is, unfortunately, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. As the State and City scramble to deal with this unprecedented pandemic, state and local taxes may be the furthest thing from the minds of those who typically spend significant time in the Empire State. Nevertheless, there will come a time when it will be necessary to calculate your 2020 state and local tax liability. Actions taken now will likely impact that calculation. In light of this, the attorneys in Hodgson Russ’s State and Local Tax Practice Group have put together the following FAQs to respond to some of the New York residency-related questions we’ve encountered during these extraordinary times. We are still early in this outbreak, and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (“Tax Department”) hasn’t specifically addressed any of these issues yet. So the information below should be considered to be our current “best guess” on the topic and subject to change. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Telecommuting During and After COVID-19: What Every Employer Should Know April 1, 2020
    Last month, the TaxStringer published our article, The Multistate Tax Implications of a Mobile Workforce, on various tax considerations facing employers with an increasingly mobile workforce. How the world has changed in just a few weeks!

Tax Dispute Resolutions

  • IRS Notice 2020-23 Provides Additional Deadline Extension Relief April 10, 2020
    On April 9, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-23, which amplifies relief set forth in multiple recently issued IRS notices by providing additional relief to taxpayers affected by COVID-19. The Notice also provides the IRS with additional time to perform certain actions. Here are some of the highlights of Notice 2020-23. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS People First Initiative Provides Administrative Collection and Other Relief March 26, 2020 
    On March 25, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unveiled its “People First Initiative” in an effort to help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues. The IRS is taking unprecedented action to ease the burden on people facing tax issues by adjusting some of its normal processes and automated collection systems through July 15, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • IRS Announces Federal Income Tax Payment Deferral March 19, 2020
    As part of the national emergency declaration related to the Coronavirus, on March 18, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17, which defers, until July 15, 2020, payment of 2019 Federal income tax previously due by April 15, 2020, up to specified allowed amounts. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Tax-Exempt Organizations

  • IRS Postpones Due Date for Form 990 Series Returns April 16, 2020

    The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) recently issued Notice 2020-23 and related guidance which postpones the due date for a wide variety of federal tax returns, forms, schedules and tax payments. This alert will discuss the significance of Notice 2020-23 for tax-exempt organizations. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Non-Profit Organizations and the CARES Act: Can Non-Profits Take Advantage of the Financial Assistance Programs? April 3, 2020

    Like for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations are struggling with many of the same financial difficulties during this uncertain time. Some non-profits have several employees and largely depend on grants or donations to stay afloat. Some have hundreds of employees and provide programs or other services, many of which may or may not be considered essential services under the various state-mandated Coronavirus lockdown directives. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • COVID-19 Developments for Tax-Exempt Organizations/Non-Profits March 30, 2020
    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Coronavirus”), a variety of relief efforts have been enacted, many of which may impact tax-exempt organization and non-profit clients. This update will discuss certain of these relief efforts, detailing their status as of Monday, March 30, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Torts, Insurance & Products Liability

  • The Coronavirus and Your Insurance Coverage Questions April 17, 2020

    As the global crisis stemming from the coronavirus pandemic continues, losses to businesses and other entities continue to mount. Stay-at-home orders, restrictions on the operations of non-essential businesses, and other government action are dealing significant damage to economic activity. The virus itself is also sickening hundreds of thousands of individuals. 

    The long term business and liability impacts of these measures are a matter of conjecture at this point. But organizations may be able to mitigate some of these negative impacts through their existing insurance. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Do I Have Insurance for My Coronavirus Losses? March 19, 2020
    Businesses should review their commercial package policies or property insurance policies to determine if they potentially have coverage for some of the actual, or anticipated, losses. Most commercial property insurance policies include coverage for lost profits resulting from “property damage.” Click on the title to read the full alert.

Trusts & Estates

  • IRS Notice 2020-23 Provides Additional Deadline Extension Relief April 10, 2020
    On April 9, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-23, which amplifies relief set forth in multiple recently issued IRS notices by providing additional relief to taxpayers affected by COVID-19. The Notice also provides the IRS with additional time to perform certain actions. Here are some of the highlights of Notice 2020-23. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • NY Executive Order Allows Estate Planning Documents to be Executed Virtually April 8, 2020
    On April 7, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.14, which provides necessary flexibility for individuals to execute estate planning documents while still practicing social distancing. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • A Time for Reflection: Estate Planning During a Market Downturn March 25, 2020
    The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented public safety and economic turbulence.  In response, the U.S. government is aiming to counter the economic fallout by slashing federal interest rates and proposing trillion dollar stimulus packages.  While all Americans are certainly anxious in light of the economic instability, as former President John F. Kennedy once said: “In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity.” Click on the title to read the full alert

Wage & Hour

  • DOL Provides More Clarity on Families First Coronavirus Response Act Leave Provisions March 29, 2020
    On March 26, 2020 the US Department of Labor (USDOL) issued a second round of questions and answers interpreting the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Click on the title to read the full alert.