Alerts Archive

  • Information Current as of September 10, 2021

    On September 9, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden announced Path Out of the Pandemic, a new COVID-19 Action Plan, mandating vaccines for employees of large private employers, federal contractors and most healthcare employers. The plan is a six-pronged strategy that President Biden stated in a White House speech is because his “patience is wearing thin” with Americans not getting vaccinated.

  • Aug 31 2021

    On July 13, 2021, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) published Interim Final regulations entitled “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part One” (“Regulations”) which go into effect on September 13, 2021.  The Regulations implement provisions of the No Surprises Act which, effective plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, protect plan participants from surprise bills and balance ...

  • Aug 03 2021

    The No Surprises Act was signed into law December 27, 2020, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to protect participants in health benefit plans from surprise medical bills for emergency and non-emergency medical care, including air ambulance services. The No Surprises Act applies to employer-sponsored group health plans, including self-funded plans, fully insured plans, and grandfathered plans. It does not apply to HRA plans (or other ...

  • Jun 28 2021

    On June 11, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB76 into law. SB76 creates Florida Statute section 489.147 (contractor prohibitions) and amends Florida Statute section 626.854 (public adjuster prohibitions), both of which apply to residential homeowners.

  • Jun 21 2021

    The Georgia legislature recently updated the state’s mandated reporter law, adding new definitions and responsibilities effective January 1, 2022. Georgia’s complex web includes more than traditionally-understood abuse or neglect. The new law imposes a responsibility to report such things as abandonment, prenatal abuse, and emotional abuse, and specifically includes temporary caretakers. Most of the statute’s previous requirements remain in ...

  • Information Current as of May 19, 2021

    On May 17, 2021 the Department of Labor hosted a WebEx Presentation on the ARPA COBRA Premium Subsidy. At the end of the Presentation two Senior Benefits Advisors held a Question & Answer session resulting in the following clarifications.

  • Information Current as of April 30, 2021

    On March 1, 2021, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a decision impacting both residential and commercial landlords/property owners. The ruling has a potentially broad impact, and is especially noteworthy for landlords in the current pandemic environment. 

  • Information Current as of April 29, 2021

    On April 16, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFP) issued a new pandemic-related Interim Rule applicable to those who act as “debt collectors.” The Interim Rule goes into effect on May 3, 2021. The CFP Interim Rule amends Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), by requiring a new form of notice from the debt collector in connection with the eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent issued by the Center for ...

  • Information Current as of April 27, 2021

    We want to alert clients that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) has extended the COVID Health National Health Emergency until July 20, 2021.

  • Information Current as of April 14, 2021

    We want to alert clients to the availability of Model COBRA Subsidy Notices and Frequently Asked Questions (the FAQs) issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 7, 2021 in connection with the 100% COBRA premium subsidy available from April 1 until September 30 for group health plan participants who  have lost their coverage due to an involuntary termination of their employment or a reduction in hours. The COBRA premium subsidy applies to any group health plan ...

  • Information Current as of April 1, 2021

    We want to alert clients to the provision in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which creates a 100% COBRA premium subsidy available from April 1 until September 30 for group health plan participants who have lost their coverage due to an involuntary termination of their employment or a reduction in hours. The COBRA subsidy applies to any group health plan subject to the federal COBRA laws as well as to group health plans subject to state “mini-COBRA” laws. Thus it ...

  • Information Current as of March 30, 2021

    While there have been several legal challenges to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nationwide moratorium on residential evictions for non-payment of rent, on March 29, 2021 the CDC extended the moratorium through June 30, 2021. As many are aware, the moratorium prohibits eviction of covered persons (see prior law alert here for more details) for non-payment of rent while the moratorium is in place. Full payment of all past due and current rent due ...

  • Mar 22 2021

    On March 27, 2021, the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act (“The Act”) is set to take effect. The Act was passed with bipartisan support in an effort to curb the underage use of electronic nicotine delivery systems or “ENDS,” better known as Vape products. The Act amends the language of previously enacted shipping regulations on cigarettes and tobacco to now include Vape products such as e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, e-cigars, vape pens ...

  • Information Current as of March 17, 2021

    The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), which President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021, contains hundreds of billions of dollars in spending for schools, colleges, and universities through the already existing Education Stabilization Fund. For child care programs, the bill provides more money for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. For K-12 schools, the bill adds more funds to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund ...

  • Information Current as of March 15, 2021

    To curb the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) into law on Thursday, March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion economic stimulus includes over $28.6 billion designated as direct aid to restaurants, a program known as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).  Roughly a year after restaurants first faced unprecedented COVID-19 restrictions, and just in time for spring and reopenings ...

  • Information Current as of March 15, 2021

    The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Biden last week. The bill provides $1.9 trillion in funding for programs that will affect nearly every aspect of the American economy.

    ARPA authorizes the expenditure of billions to expand or extend existing coronavirus relief and stimulus measures passed in 2020 as part of the three packages previously aimed at pandemic relief (FFCRA, CARES Act, and December ...

  • Information Current as of March 15, 2021

    President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARP”) into law on March 11, 2021. ARP provides “Crisis Support for Unemployed Workers” affected by the pandemic by extending the availability of the following types of unemployment assistance:

    Type

    Purpose

    Change

    Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation(“FPUC”)

    To supplement the weekly amount of existing state benefits by adding $300 per week from the federal government. (FPUC was ...

  • Information Current as of March 12, 2021

    After being the focus of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (EAA) of the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 (CAA), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is only a small part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that the president signed on March 11. The ARP adds $7.25 billion in additional funding to PPP but does not extend the PPP's current application period or ...

  • Information Current as of March 12, 2021

    The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Rescue Act”), which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11th, extends payroll tax credits for eligible employers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and allows employers to provide additional emergency paid leave to eligible employees on a voluntary basis.

    Tax Credit Extension

    FFCRA required private employers with less than 500 employees and certain public sector employers to ...

  • Mar 11 2021

    Optimism is warranted, but as the country and the world progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, substantial uncertainties abound. Those uncertainties include bridging the gap for landlords, renters, and utility providers seeking to maintain a most basic social need – roofs over renters’ heads. Renters around the country are on the brink of eviction and the demand for rental assistance programs throughout American communities is soaring ...

  • Information Current as of March 10, 2021

    On December 27, 2020, funding for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program (Program) was signed into law with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to update answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Program. On February 28, 2021 and March 5, 2021, the SBA updated the frequently asked questions, which can be found here. Below are highlights of certain parts of the updated FAQs ...

  • Information Current as of March 9, 2021

    On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department in conjunction with the Small Business Administration (SBA) posted an updated set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) concerning the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These FAQs are tied to the changes and continuation of the PPP loan program enacted under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). The updated FAQs reflect changes or clarifications made to existing FAQs mainly to assist Second Draw ...

  • Mar 02 2021

    Lawyers have been trained to avoid using a general warranty deed when representing a client in a real estate transaction or when conveying property between related entities or individuals. In instances of dissolution, merger, a transfer from individuals to a majority owned entity or a transfer between other related parties, where there is not a concern of a claim to title, a Quit Claim Deed is erroneously believed to be the type of deed of choice. While not intending to ...

  • Information Current as of February 24, 2021

    Congress is currently considering legislation that would enact the American Rescue Plan outlined by President Biden when he took office last month. Last Friday evening, a House committee released the first draft of a consolidated 600 page bill. The bill expands, extends, or creates several measures designed to address lingering issues with the pandemic and economy.

  • Feb 17 2021

    In our previous alert about the likely increase in the federal minimum wage under the Biden Administration, we shared our view that an incremental increase from the current $7.25 per hour was more likely than an immediate and nationwide jump to $15. We also highlighted that the majority of U.S. states already have a minimum wage that is higher than the federal $7.25, with some states already implementing a goal of $15 in the coming few years. At least 11 other capitalist ...

  • Feb 03 2021

    On December 27, 2020 funding for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program (Program) was signed into law with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). You can find a summary of the Program here. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has since provided answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Program. Below are brief summaries of the FAQs to assist potential applicants in considering the Program and preparing to file, if ...

  • Jan 27 2021

    As part of the Florida legislature’s effort to raise awareness of human trafficking – labor and commercial sex trafficking – it passed legislation requiring “public lodging establishments” to post signage regarding human trafficking in a conspicuous location accessible to employees. While subject to some exclusions, public lodging establishments include apartment buildings along with other property types.

  • Information Current as of January 21, 2021

    Late last year, Congress authorized funding including $15 billion in grants through the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant Program to provide assistance to businesses or specified representatives involved in performance, entertainment and museum arts. The funding was approved as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and will be administered through the Small Business Administration (SBA), which as of January 20, 2021 is not yet accepting ...

  • Information Current as of January 21, 2021

    A week before his inauguration, President Biden released his “American Rescue Plan” in which he envisaged an increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of his stimulus bill to address the pandemic. It’s worth remembering that ideas do not necessarily become law, given the realities of negotiation and compromise. That said, increasing the minimum wage – even if it is not to $15 - is more likely than ever before to become a reality now given ...

  • Jan 20 2021

    For the past two decades, lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) have increased more than 200%. One reason for this rise has been the broad construction of the FLSA’s protections that have been imposed by the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the federal courts, creating a challenge for employers to prove that an employee, even one that is highly paid, falls within one of the FLSA’s overtime exemptions.

  • Information Current as of January 19, 2021

    As of January 1, 2021, gyms and fitness centers in Georgia have different obligations to maintain under Governor Kemp’s latest Executive Order. The latest Order, which was renewed on January 15 for two weeks, requires gyms and fitness centers to implement additional measures to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19, namely, those supporting a new Post-Exposure Quarantine Protocol (PEQP) that affects individuals and many businesses in Georgia.

  • Jan 19 2021

    On December 11, 2020, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). An earlier version of the CTA was passed by the House of Representatives in October 2019 and it was included in the National Defense Authorization Act.

  • Information Current as of January 11, 2021

    Eligible borrowers who would like to obtain or increase their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding will be able to act as early as this week, due to recent action by Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). On December 27, 2020, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (EAA) (included within the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) became law. On January 8, 2021, the SBA announced that the portal to accept ...

  • Information Current as of January 11, 2021

    As noted in the alert, “Georgia Governor Institutes Post-Exposure Quarantine Requirements for Certain Businesses,” Governor Kemp issued a new Executive Order (covering January 1 - 15, 2021) that imposes a new Post-Exposure Quarantine Protocol (PEQP) under certain circumstances, including in relation to children’s camps. Children’s “Camp” is defined by the Order to apply to any entity offering organized sessions of supervised recreational ...

  • Information Current as of January 11, 2021

    On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) became law. The CAA includes the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (the Act), which extends and expands the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) enacted by the CARES Act. Thus, thanks to the CAA, eligible employers may still have CARES Act tax credits available to them in 2021 that otherwise would have expired at the end of 2020, or for which they otherwise would not have been ...

  • Jan 08 2021

    As the Biden administration takes office, significant additions to federal employment laws are on the horizon. Adjustments may include increased scope of federal discrimination laws, higher minimum wages, paid sick leave, modified requirements for federal contractors, enhanced enforcement investigation by OSHA and the EEOC, and cutbacks in non-compete restrictive covenants in addition to a new environment for union activity under the PRO Act.  Now that ...

  • Jan 07 2021

    The election of two Democratic senators from the state of Georgia secures a Democratic majority in both houses of the U.S. Congress, which greatly enhances President-Elect Biden’s and the Democrats ability to achieve their agenda on a host of issues, including pursuing extensive changes in the country’s labor relations and employment laws.

  • Information Current as of January 4, 2021

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was signed into law on December 21, 2020. The Act extended timeframes related to the Presidential Memorandum and Executive Order whereby the President directed the Secretary of the Treasury to allow for the deferral of the employee-portion of payroll taxes withheld under IRC Section 3101(a) (6.2% for Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) on wages earned during the period of September 1, 2020 through December 31 ...

  • Jan 04 2021

    A lender that forecloses a security deed on Georgia real property, realizes at the public sale a price less than the debt, and wants to pursue the borrower for the deficiency, must go before a court in a “confirmation action.”  If the judge “confirms” the foreclosure sale by finding that the lender followed the rules and that the foreclosure brought the fair value for the property, then the lender may legally go against the borrower for the deficiency. The Georgia ...

  • Information Current as of January 4, 2021

    In response to surging case numbers and crowded hospitals, Governor Kemp last week updated the requirements of the statewide Executive Order for the first time in several weeks. The update explicitly adopts a quarantine requirement for Georgians exposed to COVID-19 and imposes an obligation on certain businesses regarding such persons. The requirement does not apply to all businesses in Georgia, and it imposes different requirements on different kinds of ...

  • Information Current as of December 31, 2020

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became law on April 1, 2020, as a measure to try to address the effect of the pandemic on businesses and employees. It required certain employers (generally those with fewer than 500 employees) to provide their employees with paid sick leave for a number of reasons related to COVID-19. Employers could seek payroll tax credits to offset, dollar-for-dollar, the cost of providing the sick leave. The obligation on the ...

  • Information Current as of December 31, 2020

    On March 27, 2020, Congress signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law to provide financial relief to Americans suffering from the economic fallout of COVID-19. The CARES Act contained tax benefits regarding early withdrawals from employee retirement accounts. These retirement benefits were not extended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA of 2021) that took effect this week.

  • Information Current as of December 28, 2020

    The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law by President Trump on December 27. Section 276 of the Act clarifies the tax treatment of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which is a welcomed clarification by many. The clarification is effective as of March 27, 2020, the enactment of the CARES Act. The Act also provides for similar treatment of PPP loans and other financial assistance provided for in both the CARES ...

  • Information Current as of December 28, 2020

    The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law by President Trump on December 27. Section 502 of the Act extended the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order of September 4, 2020 which temporarily halts residential evictions for failure to pay rent until January 31, 2021. The original order is discussed in more detail in a law alert from September 3rd ...

  • Information Current as of December 23, 2020

    The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was passed by Congress on December 21, 2020 and the Act is waiting to be signed into law by President Trump. The Act creates a second loan opportunity within the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), called a “PPP second draw” loan for businesses that are smaller (300 or fewer employees) or harder-hit. 

  • Information Current as of December 23, 2020

    Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 on December 21, 2020, which is now waiting to be signed into law by President Trump. Certain sections of the Act provide for changes to the existing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that are beneficial to borrowers. The changes or clarifications generally (1) increase the uses and forgivable expenses for PPP loan proceeds, (2) clarify who can qualify as a seasonal employer and the PPP loan amount that can be ...

  • Information Current as of December 21, 2020

    As of December 13, 2020, Georgia was shipped roughly 84,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has 470,000 Healthcare workers and nursing home residents in the State. In Georgia, waves of vaccinations are to be distributed as follows: 1) Healthcare Workers, Nursing home residents; 2) Essential workers – Teachers and First Responders; and 3) Pre-existing conditions, 65+. It is anticipated that it might take several months to get through wave one. This is a similar ...

  • Dec 21 2020

    Are you ready to Zoom this holiday season? Sure you may be using GoToMeeting or Skype, but no matter the format, video is here to stay. Let’s talk about getting your game on for video gatherings.

  • Information Current as of December 14, 2020

    Despite substantial comments received from many associations and other parties, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved use of the originally issued Loan Necessity Questionnaire (one for for-profit entities and one for non-profit entities) for PPP borrowers who received a loan of $2 million or more. Please see our original alert on the Questionnaire here, which raises significant concerns about the Questionnaire. 

  • Dec 09 2020

    On August 5, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law Senate Bill 443 (SB443) modifying the existing garnishment code. These modifications are effective starting January 1, 2021.

Date published