Alerts Archive

  • 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.

  • Nov 12 2020

    The City of Atlanta recently adopted a new ordinance – called by some “Renter’s Choice” – requiring landlords, in certain circumstance, to provide residential tenants with choices about how they pay security deposits.

  • Information Current as of November 5, 2020

    On October 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a Notice in the Federal Register seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collect information about PPP borrowers who received a PPP loan in excess of $2 million. The Notice states collection of information by the SBA would be done through the requirement that those certain PPP Borrowers complete a questionnaire (note: there is one for for-profit entities and one for ...

  • Nov 02 2020

    Everywhere you turn, you hear a consistent message: go vote! Whether it’s the NFL, large corporate brands, or candidates, everyone is talking about the importance of voting.

    You and your business may want to join in and encourage people and employees to vote. But elections are an area full of regulations, so be sure that you don’t accidentally break the law by trying to do something good. Here are three important things to know.

  • Information Current as of October 20, 2020

    On October 6, 2020, Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., Chief Judge for the Northern District Court of Georgia, held that an insurer was not obligated to cover losses two Georgia eateries sustained when they shuttered their dining rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judge Thrash’s opinion is the first of its kind from any court in Georgia.

  • Oct 16 2020

    Early voting is underway with many states seeing unprecedented voter turnout. Because it may take longer for employees to vote in person than in years past, all managers should be aware of the employer’s policy and the state laws related to employee time off for voting.

  • Information Current as of October 12, 2020

    On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a 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, 2020 (“Deferral Order”).

  • Information Current as of October 6, 2020

    On October 2, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a Procedural Notice to provide information concerning required procedures for a “change in ownership” of an entity that has received a paycheck protection program (PPP) loan.  Prior to issuance of this Procedural Notice, the SBA regulations that govern PPP loans did not expressly address asset acquisitions/sales or even provide a detailed definition of “change of ownership” for ...

  • Information Current as of September 3, 2020

    Until recently, “Day Camps” in Georgia could only operate during school breaks. Governor Kemps’s August 15, 2020, Executive Order expressly suspended that application requirement for some programs for the duration of Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency. Further, the most recent Executive Order repeated that suspension and expressly stated that Day Camps that provide “Supervision” and/or a physical location for children five (5) years of ...

  • Information Current as of September 3, 2020

    On August 8, 2020, President Trump directed his administration to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures resulting from financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, his Executive Order (EO) states that the administration will take all legal measures needed to prevent this activity. In order to prevent the further spread of the virus, the EO tasks the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control ...

  • Information Current as of September 2, 2020

    In 1955, Canada used an 18-month polio vaccine trial period to set up a compulsory vaccination program. Facing the same health crisis and given the same time period, the U.S. Federal government chose a limited role in engaging State governments to prepare for and distribute the vaccine. Many claimed the U.S. Federal government’s failure to work with the States to prepare and lead in the 1950s led to distribution problems of the polio vaccine, with many poor ...

  • Sep 01 2020

    On August 26, 2020, the SEC announced that it was amending the definition of “accredited investor” to expand its coverage in several ways. The SEC adopted a final rule that will take effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. 

  • Aug 24 2020

    Working mothers who return to the workplace following childbirth and wish to pump breast milk received enhanced legal protection on August 11, 2020 when Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed new legislation requiring employers to provide paid lactation breaks and private locations at the worksite for employees to express breast milk. The new law, known as “Charlotte’s Law” and codified at O.C.G.A. § 34-1-6, eliminates an employer’s discretion as to whether ...

  • Aug 10 2020

    On August 5, 2020, Governor Kemp signed into law the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act. This was one of the final bills to pass out of the legislature on the last day of the 2020 Legislative Session. The Act was written and considered in response to concerns of small businesses throughout Georgia regarding potential legal liability for COVID-19 claims against owners as the economy re-opens in Georgia. The law applies to any COVID-19 claim arising on or after ...

  • Information Current as of August 3, 2020

    Mandatory vaccination laws were first enacted in the early 19th century, beginning with Massachusetts’ smallpox vaccination law in 1809. Generally, courts have ruled that the policing power of States absolutely includes reasonable regulations, such as vaccinations laws, established by State legislatures to protect public health and safety. State vaccination laws are mostly applied to children for school or childcare enrollment or employees of certain ...

  • Information Current as of July 27, 2020

    The United States is now approximately four months out from when states and localities began to shelter-in-place due to the serious health concerns of COVID-19. Many employers initially scrambled to determine whether to furlough or terminate their employees, while others implemented work-from-home policies and procedures. Although most states have moved into phases two or three of reopening, the ever-growing number of positive COVID-19 cases presents ...

  • Information Current as of July 27, 2020

    Based on previous guidelines and advice, many business owners are telling employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, to not return to work until they test negative. Sometimes, this means waiting weeks and even months. There are numerous reasons contributing to the problem. First, some patients test positive for weeks after full recovery and no longer being contagious. Second, scheduling a test is getting harder and results are taking longer and longer ...

  • Jul 22 2020

    Taxpayers holding investments in foreign financial assets or with foreign financial institutions may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of realizing that they have failed to report their holdings on their federal income tax returns or have otherwise failed to report these holdings in accordance with federal law. Several options are potentially available to such taxpayers to come into compliance with their reporting obligations. The most beneficial ...

  • Information Current as of July 6, 2020

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) surprised everyone recently with guidance urging that all decisions for school this coming year “start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” The guidance recognized concerns about COVID-19, but cited “mounting evidence” that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic and less likely to have severe problems from the virus. It also noted that “children may be less likely to ...

  • Information Current as of April 10, 2020

    Both the state of Georgia and the CDC have released guidance to help school authorities “determine their plans and strategies for reopening schools” in the fall, whatever of the status of the pandemic. While neither document is binding, they will be important in establishing the standard of care for both independent and public schools. The guidelines focus on the ability to open buildings and allow students to move freely, based on the degree of potential ...

  • Information Current as of July 1, 2020

    On June 26, 2020, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act as one of the final bills to pass out of the legislature on the last day of the 2020 Legislative Session. The Act was written and considered in response to concerns of small businesses throughout Georgia concerning potential legal liability for COVID-19 claims against owners as the economy re-opens in Georgia. While this law has not yet been signed by the Governor, it ...

  • Information Current as of June 29, 2020

    On June 26, 2020, the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) regarding the circumstances that closure of summer camps, summer enrichment programs, or other summer programs qualifies an employee for leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). A FAB provides guidance to the Wage and Hour Division investigators and staff on enforcement positions and clarification of policies or ...

  • Jun 23 2020

    On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination and harassment. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority decision, explained, “When an employer fires an employee for being homosexual or transgender, it necessarily intentionally discriminates against that individual in part because of sex [in violation of Title VII].” Almost ...

  • Information Current as of June 23, 2020

    Read the full alert in Japanese here

  • Information Current as of June 11, 2020

    In anticipation of a vaccine for the COVID-19 this fall, it is a good time to revisit the vaccinations requirements in your State and determine if your institution/business will be obligated to require COVID-19 vaccination of your daycare or student population and/or possibly your staff/employees. In review of Georgia law, vaccinations are required for all children entering school or attending a daycare center.  Georgia law allows two exceptions to ...

  • Information Current as of June 11, 2020

    Providers of childcare services are undoubtedly still trying to navigate the current COVID-19 climate. While many childcare providers experienced some degree of shutdown from March through May of this year, others have remained open – in part – due to the need of parents and guardians who have continued working outside of the home. Now that states are reopening at varying speeds, childcare providers are making decisions about whether and at what level to operate ...

  • Information Current as of June 5, 2020

    On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act which was previously approved by the House of Representatives on May 28, 2020. The Flexibility Act was written and considered in response to concerns raised by Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan borrowers. While this law has not yet been approved by the President, it is expected to be signed without change. Once signed by the President, we anticipate the Small Business ...

  • Information Current as of June 3, 2020

    The COVID-19 disaster has caused significant financial losses for many businesses and their owners. Whether a business is owned by a sole proprietor, or by a Limited Liability Company, Partnership, or S Corporation treated as pass-through entity for income tax purposes, or by an entity taxable as a C Corporation, there are opportunities for the business and/or its owner(s) to use current year business and investment losses to obtain refunds of taxes paid in prior ...

  • Information Current as of May 29, 2020

    Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has issued two executive orders governing Georgia childcare and camping programs, dated May 21, 2020 and May 28, 2020. Together, the two orders extend the new rules through June 15, 2020, allow more children and staff in groups, and allow overnight camps beginning May 31. 

  • Information Current as of May 26, 2020

    On May 22, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of Treasury, issued an interim final rule on review procedures and related borrower and lender responsibilities with respect to Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. This interim final rule provides information to borrowers who have received a PPP loan as to what to expect in the SBA’s review of an individual PPP loan and/or audit of a PPP loan. Additionally, the ...

  • Information Current as of May 26, 2020

    On May 22, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of Treasury, issued an interim final rule (regulations) on the forgiveness process, requirements and considerations with respect to Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. This interim final rule provides information to borrowers on forgiveness and is in line with the guidance contained in the Loan Forgiveness Application published on May 15, 2020.

  • Information Current as of May 26, 2020

    Because of required closures and other challenges facing businesses during this pandemic, many tenants are unable to meet lease obligations and/or asking for concessions from landlords. Rather than wasting precious resources arguing about whether the tenant’s performance is excused based on force majeure, frustration of purpose or other legal concept, consider strategizing with your tenant to come to a mutually acceptable solution. When developing a ...

  • Information Current as of April 18, 2020

    Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provisions of the CARES Act, generally a business is eligible for a PPP loan if the business, together with its affiliates, has 500 or fewer employees or operates in a certain industry and meets the applicable Small Business Administration (SBA) employee or revenue based size standard for that industry. Using the SBA permitted size standards, in some circumstances, a business (when considered together with its ...

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