Alerts Archive

  • 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 ...

  • Information Current as of May 2020

    Read the full alert in Japanese here

  • Information Current as of May 13, 2020

    On May 12, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an updated Executive Order regarding continued social distancing, sanitation and other measures for businesses, and continued prohibition of Gatherings (more than 10 people if they cannot be kept six feet apart). The Order can be found here.

  • Information Current as of May 13, 2020

    Governor Kemp has issued a new executive order (the Order) that extends the state’s social distancing and other protocols to mitigate spread of the coronavirus through May 31, 2020, changes some rules for childcare programs, and sets out specific rules for summer camps. 

  • Information Current as of May 4, 2020

    On April 30, 2020, the IRS announced in Notice 2020-32 (the Notice), its position regarding the disallowance of certain otherwise allowable tax deductions for a borrower (taxpayer) that is forgiven repayment of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. While the notice is apparently contrary to the intent of Congress and not entitled to judicial deference because it was issued without prior notice and comment, the IRS nevertheless will attempt to enforce it. 

  • Information Current as of April 29, 2020

    As Georgia businesses consider reopening or expanding after Gov. Kemp’s most recent executive order, many are considering liability waivers to have clients and/or customers sign. To date, no courts have reviewed any waivers specifically in light of COVID-19, but there are some general principles available.

  • Information Current as of April 28, 2020

    Gov. Kemp’s most recent executive order (the “Order”) has specific rules for licensed child care facilities and general rules for other youth-serving organizations. The order does not change many rules, but it does put all of them in one place. If you are thinking about whether to open your program, these are the rules you will have to follow.

  • Information Current as of April 27, 2020

    On April 23, 2020, Governor Kemp signed an Executive Order allowing many Georgia businesses to resume in-person operations. The Order, which is available here, provides a framework for re-opening the state and sets forth detailed health and safety guidelines for many businesses to follow during this first phase of re-opening.

  • Information Current as of April 27, 2020

    Now that employers may start bringing employees back into the workplace or hiring new employees, they should be aware of permissible actions to avoid subjecting workers to the COVID virus.   

  • Information Current as of April 27, 2020

    As the shelter-at-home (SAH) orders for many states expire this week, companies across the country are starting to think about how and under what circumstances they will reopen. While it is early in the process, some themes have emerged. 

  • Information Current as of April 24, 2020

    Earlier this week, the Governor’s office announced that restaurants in Georgia could re-open as early as Monday (April 27) UNDER certain guidelines and protocols. The guidelines and protocols weren’t released at the time the announcement was made as the Governor’s office wanted to give time for the industry to weigh in. We have some clients who will be opening on Monday – particularly in jurisdictions that have not had many cases of coronavirus. Other ...

  • Information Current as of April 21, 2020

    Georgia will permit some non-essential businesses to reopen this week and next, subject to social distancing measures. Governor Brian Kemp announced the loosening at an afternoon press conference on Monday April 20. Other states including South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida also made announcements yesterday regarding initial moves toward statewide reopening. 

  • Information Current as of April 20, 2020

    Read the full alert in Japanese here

  • Information Current as of April 15, 2020

    Over the past several weeks the federal government has passed a number of employment related laws in an effort to minimize the harsh economic impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdowns ordered by state and local governments. Two of these are the Emergency Paid sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).

  • Information Current as of April 15, 2020

    Manufacturers, distributers and others involved in the production and supply of certain devices and drugs needed in the fight against COVID-19 are provided a higher level of protection from liability under both State and Federal law with respect to claims for loss related to the use of the products by individuals.

  • Information Current as of April 14, 2020

    The CARES Act legislated several amendments to the tax code in an effort to help businesses maintain higher levels of liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these amendments, set out in Section 2302 of the Act, allows an employer to delay the payment of the employer’s share of social security taxes. This article is an update to our previously issued law alert, “Tax Provisions in the CARES Act.”

  • Information Current as of April 10, 2020

    We have prepared this alert for our clients based primarily on questions we have received on the some of the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”).

  • Information Current as of April 10, 2020

    For those businesses that were unable to take advantage of the small business loan forgiveness program known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the CARES Act also offers another provision to help businesses obtain funding to help with expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Information Current as of April 9, 2020

    On April 6, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued FAQs in an effort to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

  • Apr 08 2020

    Under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (the “FFCRA”), employers who have fewer than 500 employees are required to provide emergency sick and family leave if an employee must take leave from work due to a coronavirus related event or condition under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 

  • Apr 08 2020

    The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across the globe, including by the millions of workers who have been laid off in the United States. The CARES Act (the “Act”) has established a temporary, federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”) program for individuals who are otherwise ineligible to receive unemployment benefits, such as gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors.

  • Information Current as of April 8, 2020

    Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provisions of the CARES Act, generally a business is eligible for a PPP loan if the business has 500 or fewer employees whose principal place of residence is in the United States, or operates in a certain industry and meets the applicable Small Business Administration (SBA) employee-based size standard for that industry

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