The legal and regulatory implications of COVID-19 for businesses are complex and evolving. With experienced attorneys across all industries, we are here to advise on a comprehensive range of legal issues – from employment concerns to hospitality needs to tax updates. Below are links to Whiteford articles and resources that provide important guidance for responding to the pandemic. This list is being continuously updated as more articles from our firm become available.
In light of the current state of affairs surrounding COVID-19, community association managers and boards of directors are facing challenges not typically encountered in their day-to-day roles. Our Whiteford professionals have addressed the following questions for our clients in hopes these answers will assist in easing how to deal with this particularly difficult, ever-changing situation.
In light of the rapid developments related to the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”), enacted as part of the CARES Act, we have addressed a number of frequent questions for clients and others, which we have identified and responded to here to assist with determining whether a PPP loan is a good fit for your business.
A side effect of the current global pandemic is the skyrocketing popularity of video-teleconferencing services. Among them, Zoom is a rockstar. Per its own estimates, Zoom grew its user base from 10 million to over 200 million, and counting, in the span of two months.
As directors and officers of corporations across the country take action in an attempt to steer their companies in a positive direction and mitigate long-lasting impacts, decision-making and the proper exercise of fiduciary duties can require an increased focus on the financial health of a company. Understanding fiduciary duties, to whom they are owed, and how to exercise them properly is critical for directors and officers to avoid personal liability.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a series of executive orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including an order temporarily authorizing the use of remote notarizations throughout the state (Executive Order No. 20-03-30-04), thus allowing Maryland residents to obtain essential notary services without having to leave their homes. Subject to guidance issued by Maryland Secretary of State, Governor Hogan’s order temporarily waives the in-person requirement for notarizing documents in Maryland for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
In light of the current state of affairs surrounding COVID-19, employers are facing challenges not typically encountered in their day-to-day roles. Our Whiteford professionals have addressed questions for our clients in hopes these answers will assist in easing how to deal with this particularly difficult, ever-changing situation.
During this unprecedented global pandemic, much of our attention has appropriately focused on the physical protection of medical professionals from COVID-19. But, in the coming months and years, the focus will shift toward the legal protections afforded to medical professionals treating [suspected] patients of COVID-19.
Medical professional liability laws vary by state. Generally, immunities are afforded to providers through legislative measures. In a time of emergency, such as the current pandemic, these immunities can be executively ordered.
The Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently issued bulletins with important guidance for health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OCR has recognized that, during the COVID-19 national emergency, health care providers may seek to communicate with patients, and provide so-called “telehealth” services, through remote communications technologies. Some of these technologies, and the manner in which they are used by HIPAA-covered healthcare providers, may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules. However, in light of the national emergency, the OCR said that it will not impose penalties against covered health care providers for the lack of a HIPAA business associate agreement (“BAA”) with video communication vendors, or any other noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules that relates to the good faith provision of telehealth services during the COVID-19 nationwide public health crisis.
The Coronavirus has impacted and changed business operations for community associations. The changes continue to occur on a daily basis and are affected based on new orders and guidance issued by federal, state, and local government. Accordingly, the below guidance is applicable as of March 30, 2020, until and unless further orders are issued impacting this guidance.
An executive summary of select tax, unemployment and other key provisions contained in the $2 trillion bill entitled ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ (or “CARES Act”) passed by the Senate on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
On Friday, March 27th, the House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was previously passed by the Senate. The wide-ranging statute contains a host of provisions that will be importance to employers, including with respect to low-interest loan programs and other forms of financial relief.
The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the daily operation of the courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The courts in these jurisdictions have issued standing orders in response to the pandemic.
Just after midnight on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the ‘‘Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ or the ‘‘CARES Act’’ (H.R. 748) after days of intense negotiations. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives quickly passed the bill and President Trump signed it into law.
While governments throughout the world, including the federal government and state governments in the United States, are implementing strategies for controlling the spread and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the economic fallout from the pandemic is being felt on a global scale as well as locally in Virginia. Forced closings of businesses and schools, employees working remotely and general concerns and uncertainty about the pandemic combine to create novel challenges for businesses.
With everyone’s attentions devoted to the COVID-19 crisis and the disruptions it has caused to the normal rhythms of business and personal affairs, it should come as no surprise that criminals and scammers are seeking to take advantage of the situation.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 53 (“EO-53”) implementing a variety of state-wide “shutdown” measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Northam, through EO-53, ordered a number of private business to close from 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. on April 23, 2020.
To date, the governors of a growing number of states have issued orders implementing a variety of state-wide “shutdown” measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Such orders vary from state to state and range from limiting certain gatherings and activity (including the closure of select businesses) to a full “shelter in place” order.
We are increasingly receiving inquiries from clients who want to know if they can stop paying rent under their commercial real estate leases as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations. The answer, not surprisingly, is that it depends on the specific language set forth in the tenant's commercial real estate lease as well as the applicable law in the jurisdiction that governs the lease and the landlord/tenant relationship.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's (“SBA”) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program provides low interest loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus.
The small business or private non-profit must have its principal office located in a state that has been declared a disaster area, which, currently, include D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Loans under the EIDL program are for up to $2,000,000 with interest rates capped at 3.75% for small businesses, and 2.75% for private non-profits. Loan proceeds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of Coronavirus’s impact.
The COVID-19 novel virus has caused an unprecedented interruption in business, the full impact of which will remain unknown for at least months to come. Businesses are now operating in uncharted territory, with many forced by government mandate to close temporarily or operate under abnormal conditions in order to slow the spread of the disease. Whiteford Taylor & Preston understands that the “new normal” for businesses moving forward will be anything but normal. Even with the promise of help from the federal government, businesses will face many obstacles in coming back from this economic catastrophe. We are here to help businesses whose outlook is uncertain as well as those facing a more serious risk of closure.
On March 18th, the U.S. Senate approved the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was recently passed by the House of Representatives. The legislation now awaits signature by the President. Among a host of measures relating to health services and other forms of aid, the Act contains two new laws creating employee leave rights that will apply to a broad spectrum of employers. Under the terms of the new statute, these employee leave provisions will take effect within 15 days of the law being enacted. Below is brief overview of the key provisions of those two components of the Act.
We have received inquiries about the possible extension of tax payment and tax filing deadlines in response to Covid-19, as well as some misstated rumors. This client alert is intended to clarify the current state of tax payment and filing deadlines at the federal level and at the Maryland level.
Spring and summer are the primary months for many associations to hold their annual meetings and special conferences. For many associations, this single event is their largest source of non-dues revenue. It can be a disaster if the event is curtailed or cancelled.
In response to the CDC's warnings, businesses need to take action now. Action should include establishing a coronavirus business response action plan and adopting new policies that would go into effect in the event of a pandemic.