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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.