COVID-19

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.

A Message from Our Managing Partner, Marty Fletcher

Zoom-Users Beware! Reports of Significant Privacy and Data Security Flaws (April 7)

Paycheck Protection Program Loans - Your Questions Answered (April 7)

NEWLY UPDATED: COVID-19 Community Association FAQs - You've Asked... (April 7)

COVID-19 and the Need for Directors and Officers to Consider Increased Oversight (April 6)

Remote Notarizations Lift Barriers for Shut-In DMV Residents (April 3)

CARES Act Loans and Grants Available to Nonprofits Now (April 2)

COVID-19 Labor & Employment FAQs - You've Asked, We've Answered (April 2)

COVID-19 and Medical Professional Liability (March 31)

“Stay at Home Orders” and Community Association Operations and Staff (March 31)

OCR Issues Guidance About Sharing Patient Info and Telehealth Communications... (March 31)

Need to Cancel an Off-site Church Event or Lease Due to COVID-19? (March 30)

CARES Act Impact on Qualified Retirement Plans and Individual Retirement... (March 27)

CARES Act Provides Further Guidance for Employers As to Paid Leave... (March 27)

The CARES ACT - New Financial Resources for Small Businesses... (March 27)

A Section-by-Section Primer on Key Provisions in the $2 Trillion Federal... (March 27)

COVID-19 and the Courts (March 27)

COVID-19 Cyber Scams: Protect Your Organization (March 25)

Coronavirus and Contract Enforcement in Virginia (March 25)

Executive Order 53 - Understanding How Your Virginia Business is Impacted... (March 24)

NEWLY UPDATED: Extended Tax Deadlines - Details Matter (March 23)

Is Your Business an "Essential Business" During Your State's Shutdown? (March 23)

Financial Help for Nonprofits in the State of Maryland Given COVID-19 (March 23)

COVID-19 and Commercial Real Estate Leases (March 20)

SBA Loan Program for Businesses Economically Impacted by Coronavirus (March 20)

Business Debt Recovery and Restructuring Assistance (March 19)

Extended Tax Deadlines – Details Matter (March 18)

Congress Enacts New FMLA and Paid Sick Leave Requirements (March 18)

Coronavirus and Upcoming Events – Risk Management (March 9)

Coronavirus Client Alert (March 3)

Client Alert: COVID-19 Community Association FAQs - You've Asked, We've Answered

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.

Client Alert: COVID-19 and the Need for Directors and Officers to Consider Increased Oversight

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.

Client Alert: Remote Notarizations Lift Barriers for Shut-In DMV Residents

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.
 

Client Alert: COVID-19 Labor & Employment FAQs - You've Asked, We've Answered

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.

Client Alert: COVID-19 and Medical Professional Liability

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.

Client Alert: OCR Issues Guidance About Sharing Patient Information and Telehealth Communications during Pandemic

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.

Client Alert: “Stay at Home Orders” and Community Association Operations and Staff

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.
 

Client Alert: COVID-19 and the Courts

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.

Client Advisory: Coronavirus and Contract Enforcement in Virginia

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.
 

Client Alert: COVID-19 Cyber Scams: Protect Your Organization

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.

Client Alert: Is Your Business an "Essential Business" during Your State's Shutdown?

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.

Client Alert: COVID-19 and Commercial Real Estate Leases

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.

Client Alert: SBA Loan Program for Businesses Economically Impacted by Coronavirus

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.

A Message from Our Managing Partner, Marty Fletcher

In a very short time, the impact of the coronavirus on businesses, communities and families has been unprecedented.  Like you, we all hope for a quick resolution of this crisis. 

Client Alert: Business Debt Recovery and Restructuring Assistance

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.
 

Client Alert: Congress Enacts New FMLA and Paid Sick Leave Requirements in Response to COVID-19

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.

Client Alert: Extended Tax Deadlines – Details Matter

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. 

Client Advisory: Coronavirus and Upcoming Events – Risk Management

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.

Client Alert: Coronavirus

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.