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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). Therefore, 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

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Construction Alert - March 28, 2020

State Updates Construction Essential Work Guidance, Amends Single Employee Exemption
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.

Tax Alert - March 27, 2020

Trump Signs CARES Act – Federal Tax Law Changes
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.

Environmental Alert - March 27, 2020

USEPA Issues Guidance on Enforcement and Compliance as a Result of COVID-19
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 Alert - March 26, 2020

Environmental Compliance Considerations for Businesses in the Wake of COVID-19
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. If these concerns arise, businesses need to be mindful of their obligations – whether arising from permits, registrations, facility plans, consent orders, and/or general regulatory requirements – and what their responsibilities may be in light of the on-the-ground circumstances, including potentially applicable regulatory waivers or exemptions that may apply, and the need to seek appropriate relief. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Labor & Employment Alert - March 25, 2020

New York State Empire State Development Corporation Updates "Essential Business" Guidance
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.

Healthcare Alert - March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Impact on New York Hospitals and Health Care Workers
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.

Tax and Labor & Employment Alert - March 24, 2020

Federal Government Issues Informal Guidance to Speed FFCRA Tax Credits to Employers
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.

Banking & Finance Alert - March 24, 2020

NYS Mandates 90 Days for Forbearance for COVID-19 Impacted Borrowers
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.

Real Estate Alert - March 23, 2020

Coronavirus Impact on Commercial Leasing Operations
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.

Corporate Alert - March 23, 2020

Commercial Contracts in the Time of Coronavirus
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.

Litigation Alert - March 22, 2020

New York Governor Issues Executive Order Extending Statutes of Limitations, Service, and Other Legal Deadlines in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic
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.

Tax Alert - Updated 3/23/2020 (originally published March 21, 2020)

COVID-19 Federal, State and Local Tax Employer Relief Efforts Update
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.

Labor & Employment Alert - March 20, 2020

NYS Governor Announces 100% Workforce Reductions Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
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.

Healthcare Alert - March 20, 2020

New York Executive Order Lifts Regulatory Obstacles to Fighting Coronavirus
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.

Labor & Employment Alert - March 19, 2020

Cuomo Issues Further Order on Workforce Reduction: Employers Now Down to Twenty-Five Percent
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.

Corporate Alert - March 19, 2020

Do I Have Insurance for My Coronavirus Losses?
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.

Labor & Employment Alert - Updated 3/22/2020 (originally published March 19, 2020)

Federal and State Legislation Enacted to Address Paid Sick Time and Other Leave Related to COVID-19
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.

Federal-International Tax Alert - March 19, 2020

IRS Announces Federal Income Tax Payment Deferral
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.

Employee Benefits Alert - March 19, 2020

COVID-19 Employee Benefit Plan Developments
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.

Labor & Employment Alert - March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Update: NY Businesses are Required to Keep 50 Percent of Workforce Home
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.

Telehealth Alert - March 18, 2020

CMS Expands Use of Telehealth to Address COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
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).

Municipal Alert - March 17, 2020

The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for Municipalities
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).

Education Alerts - March 17, 2020

The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for School Districts
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.

Education Practice COVID-19 Update and FAQ - Updated 3/23/2020 (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.

Municipal Alert - March 16, 2020

Coronavirus, the Open Meetings Law, and Emergency Powers: A Brief Guide for Municipal Officials
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.

Employee Benefits Alert - March 16, 2020

IRS Issues HDHP Coronavirus Relief
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.

A Message from our Managing Partner - March 13, 2020

Hodgson Russ Preparedness for the Coronavirus
With COVID-19 now a global pandemic, we are reaching out to our clients and friends to summarize actions being taken by Hodgson Russ in response. The firm’s highest priorities are to protect the health of our colleagues, clients and the people close to them; and maintain the highest level of professional service to our clients and community stakeholders. Click on the title to read the full alert.

Security Alert - March 13, 2020

Coronavirus E-mail Scams
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.

Healthcare Alert - March 9, 2020

Coronavirus Appropriations Act Eases Restrictions on Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement during Emergency
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.

Labor & Employment Alert - March 6, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus and Workforce Considerations for Employers
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.