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Larkin Hoffman Briefings

Larkin Hoffman Briefings

By Larkin Hoffman
Welcome to Larkin Hoffman series of podcasts discussing issues affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Our attorneys will address corporate, employment, real estate, construction, franchise, bankruptcy, insurance, litigation, and other matters in this series. The podcasts are 15 minutes long and can be heard at your convenience. Over the next few weeks, there will be several podcasts on developing matters.
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CapWatch: Minnesota’s Special Session Begins Without an End in Sight

Larkin Hoffman Briefings

Data Breaches: How Employers Can Protect Themselves from the Fallout
Cyberattacks on employers’ systems or on third parties with whom employers do business are in the rise across the country. Employers need to take a hard look at their current systems to avoid a data breach that affects their employees. In this podcast, Phyllis Karasov and Chris Young discuss how employers can plan for the potential fallout from a data breach, minimize the accompanying financial and operational disruption, and properly communicate with employees and other affected parties when the increasingly inevitable data breach occurs.
September 7, 2021
Earmarks are Back: Are you Eligible?
Both chambers of Congress are currently making plans to resurrect earmarks as part of the $1.4 trillion in discretionary spending approved every year. The House plan calls for the resurrection of earmarks in the form of “Community Project Funding.” The Senate has not yet announced its plan but both chambers are in negotiations to implement the earmark revival in a transparent and responsible way.   Our most recent podcast will dive deeper into who is eligible and what they need to do to qualify for funding. The Larkin Hoffman government relations team is ready to assist those interested in preparing proposals for program funding and to guide the projects through the entire process at the Capitol.
March 18, 2021
The Changing Landscape of Union Organizing During the Pandemic and the New Biden Administration
Union organizing is down as compared to previous years, but that does not mean employers should believe that support for labor unions has decreased.  NLRB records indicate that the number of representation petitions filed in 2020 is dramatically down from each of the previous four years.  This reduction in representation petitions can be attributed to the challenges for union organizers to personally meet with employees, as well as the fact that for many employees, their primary focus has been on retaining their jobs, looking for jobs, and keeping food on the table.  Joining a union may not be the highest priority for many employees.
January 11, 2021
To Require Vaccines or Not: That is the Question
We are all waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine. When we have a vaccine,  can an employer require that applicants and employees be vaccinated against COVID-19?  Employers have a legitimate desire to keep their workplaces safe and to protect their employees from contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.   Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine discuss the practical and legal issues associated with an employer mandatory vaccination program.
September 10, 2020
Still no deal after second special session; legislature looks towards August primary
This week Margaret Vesel and Matthew Bergeron recap the Minnesota legislature‘s second special session and the ongoing negotiations over a capital investment bill, a tax bill, and a supplemental appropriations package. They also turn their attention towards the August 11 primary election and discuss a number of key races to watch.
August 3, 2020
A Summer of Special Sessions: Is July’s Special Session the Last Chance for a Deal on Bonding, COVID-19 Relief & Police Reform?
Margaret Vesel and Matthew Bergeron recap the Minnesota Legislature’s week-long June special session and preview the upcoming special session scheduled for July 13, 2020.  They discuss the ongoing negotiations over law enforcement reform, capital investment, and bonding and examine how the seemingly unrelated issues are interconnected when it comes to finding a “comprehensive deal.”
July 8, 2020
Todd Freeman Explains New SBA Enhancements on Loan Forgiveness for Most PPP Borrowers
On June 16th, SBA release an updated loan forgiveness application that reflected provisions of the PPP Flexibility Act.  This guidance indicates a significant change in how borrowers may qualify for loan forgiveness and criteria in selecting the 8-week vs 24-week covered period.  This podcast will update the factors borrowers consider as well as identify the opportunities and pitfalls arising out of this guidance.
June 24, 2020
CapWatch: Minnesota’s Special Session Begins Without an End in Sight
Margaret Vesel and Matthew Bergeron discuss the start of the Minnesota Legislature’s unique special session, including legislative votes to end Gov. Walz’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency and the myriad of policy and spending issues to be addressed in the coming week.
June 15, 2020
Welcome to the CapWatch Podcast
Larkin Hoffman’s Director of Government Relations  Margaret Vesel and attorney Matthew Bergeron sit down to discuss the end of Minnesota’s 2020 legislative session and preview the likely special session coming in June. They discuss the political dynamics at the Minnesota Capitol and give an overview of the policy and spending issues being discussed by Minnesota lawmakers.
June 15, 2020
Todd Freeman and Dan Kadlec Explain How the Recent PPP Flexibility Act Affects You
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was enacted on June 4th as a means of providing relief to PPP borrowers as to requirements that were considered to be onerous.  The podcast will review the provisions of the Act and identify potential opportunities and pitfalls created by the Act.  Just as PPP borrowers’ management of their employees and payrolls were heavily influenced by the loan forgiveness provisions of the CARES Act, this new Act may cause borrowers to revisit these issues and projections of loan forgiveness and repayment.
June 8, 2020
Paul Smith and Chris Yetka Discuss Why Covid-19 Losses May Well Be Covered under Your Business Interruption Insurance Policies
COVID-19 and the stay at home mandates have had a devastating impact on the business community. Many business owners are looking to their business interruption and other insurance to cover the losses but finding insurers are asserting various coverage issues and exclusions. Paul Smith and Chris Yetka shine a light on what to look for in your policies before you give up on financial help from insurers. This episode of Larkin Hoffman Briefings will discuss the various strategies all businesses should employ when assessing their insurance coverage.
May 26, 2020
Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine Discuss Re-opening a “Safe” Workplace: OSHA, ADA and More
Employers are legally required to make their workplaces “safe” for their employees and customers.  What does “safe” mean, given that no employer can guarantee a virus-free workplace?  What are the rules on screening employees, taking temperatures, and refusing to allow employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 into the workplace?  This session will talk about how to make the workplace safe, OSHA guidance, how to handle employee requests for reasonable accommodation for medical conditions that place them at higher risk if they become infected with coronavirus, whether employees should be required to sign waivers and more.
May 26, 2020
Todd Freeman Explains the Favorable (along with some troubling) Updated Guidance from the SBA on the Forgiveness of PPP Loans
On May 18th, the SBA issued guidance on PPP loan forgiveness in the form of an application for such forgiveness. This podcast reviews and analyzes this guidance describing both opportunities and pitfalls. The SBA just released an application for loan forgiveness as the form of guidance on this area of issues. While some new issues were created, many areas of uncertainty have been clarified.
May 20, 2020
Re-Opening A Business the Right Way: Tips to Avoid Pitfalls
Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine discuss the matters employers need to consider when re-opening businesses after the Covid-19 shutdowns.  Recalling only some employees, screening employees before they enter the workplace and dealing with employees who refuse to return to work are among the issues discussed.
May 7, 2020
Navigating State and Local Governments During a Pandemic: How Continuing Government Action on Major Issues Can Impact Your Investments
Peter Coyle and Jacob Steen discuss the land use, government relations and regulatory environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They share examples of how Larkin Hoffman has been able to assist clients in overcoming the unique challenges presented by a statewide stay-at-home order and discuss the ways that the global pandemic has shaped the local land use and zoning approval process.
April 30, 2020
Unemployment and a Returning Workforce: How the CARES Act Can Increase Unemployment Benefits
Many employers are recognizing the financial strain on their employees as they begin to plan for their businesses' future in these unprecedented times. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) contains a number of provisions that make it easier to receive unemployment insurance benefits and increases the amount of unemployment benefits which laid off and underemployed employees can receive. The CARES Act also allows self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and employees who are not otherwise eligible, to receive unemployment benefits. Employment attorneys Phyllis Karasov and Alex Beeby discuss these changes and provide insight into the support which the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is giving laid-off employees, employees whose hours or wages are reduced, and self-employed individuals and independent contractors.
April 29, 2020
Phyllis Karasov and Mary Komornicka Discuss Employee Benefit Features in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
Larkin Hoffman employment law specialist Phyllis Karasov and employee benefits specialist Mary Komornicka discuss the new employee benefit features in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in our latest COVID-19 Briefing series podcast. The CARES Act allows employers to make changes in its Section 401(K) and 403(b) plans to assist employees who are experiencing financial stress due to the current pandemic. The Act also provides for modifications to health insurance benefits and a waiver of the minimum distribution rules for retirement plans, through December 31, 2020.  Karasov and Komornicka will provide overall guidance on these provisions.
April 24, 2020
Tom Flynn and Patrick Cole Discuss Bankruptcy and Business Contingency Planning
Could changes to Chapter 11 bankruptcy be the answer to many businesses' financial worries in our COVID-19 world? Attorneys Tom Flynn and Patrick Cole explain what your options for financial relief are under the law in the latest edition of the Larkin Hoffman COVID-19 Podcast Briefings. Discover what actions to take now on government relief programs, staff planning, policy review, and business development to stay ahead of the curve. Follow the link below to listen now.
April 24, 2020
Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine Discuss Difficult Questions Facing Employers Under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act
In this podcast, Larkin Hoffman employment law specialists Phyllis Karasov and Dan Ballintine answer some of the tough questions employers face under the new Families First Coronavirus Relief Act ("FFCRA").  Under the FFCRA, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide paid leave to employees who cannot work due to pandemic-related issues such as sickness and care of children whose schools have closed.  Congress passed the FFCRA quickly in the face of the pandemic, leaving many questions relating to implementation of the law unanswered.  Aided by the Department of Labor's recently-issued temporary rule under the FFCRA, Karasov and Ballintine provide general guidance on some of the difficult questions their clients, and likely many other employers, face under this new law.
April 20, 2020
Todd Freeman and Dan Kadlec Provide Guidance on Managing PPP Proceeds to Maximize Loan Forgiveness
Your business has successfully applied for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program. You either have received the loan proceeds or are awaiting receipt of the proceeds. This podcast addresses the management of the proceeds to ensure proper use of them and maximize the amount of proceeds that may be forgiven. Given the complex interplay among the various sets of rules for use, forgiveness, reduction in forgiveness and relief from reduction in forgiveness, compiling pertinent information to develop a game plan for these proceeds will not only allow you to maximize use and forgiveness, but also provide guidance on the support that you may provide to your workforce funded by this government program.
April 16, 2020
Bill Griffith and Tim Rye Discuss Land Use and Real Estate Issues Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis
Bill Griffith and Tim Rye discuss Land Use and Real Estate Issues Affected by the pandemic. In particular, they will address The pandemic's impact on value for property taxes The timing of property tax payments, appeals and extensions The timing for potential tax relief due to value changes or appeals Economic stimulus – Minnesota Essential Investment Bill Low interest loans, government guaranties, bonds, debt restructuring Other forms of relief, such as utility payments, payroll reimbursement Everyone is managing issues arising from COVID-19. Larkin Hoffman attorneys are engaged daily with clients to remove barriers critical to their ongoing operations, and perhaps even their survival.
April 9, 2020