COVID-19 Task Force

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Legal Alert: New Vaccination Requirements for Federal Contractors

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced an ambitious plan to increase COVID-19 vaccinations. On that same date, he signed an Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors (“EO”). The EO requires that (1) by November 14, 2021, all new federal contracts and contract-like instruments solicited on or after October 15, 2021, and (2) by October 15, 2021, all extensions or ...
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Virginia’s Permanent COVID Standard Has Been Revised, Again

Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has made additional changes to Virginia’s safety standard on COVID in the workplace, the Permanent COVID Standard. In July 2020, Virginia became the first in the nation to issue workplace safety rules regarding COVID-19, with its emergency temporary standard. DOLI revised the emergency temporary standard and made it permanent in January 2021, with the Permanent COVID Standard. Now, ...
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Legal Alert: Biden’s Plan Will Expand Vaccination Requirements

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced an ambitious plan to increase COVID-19 vaccinations. Here are the highlights of this plan with the greatest impact on private-sector employers: Vaccine Mandate for Businesses with 100+ Employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully ...
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Employers Likely Not Liable for Vaccine-Related Injuries to Employees

*This article was authored with the assistance of Summer Associate, Albert Gutiérrez. Albert is pursuing his JD at the University of Richmond School of Law. - Vaccine mandates are the subject of much discussion and controversy in nearly every industry, both in America and abroad.  As protests rage across the country, many workers question the ability of employers to mandate vaccinations.  We covered that issue in ...
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Yes, private employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccines — and it’s becoming more common, lawyer says

<< Interview by Elizabeth Moore for The Virginian-Pilot. >> Face masks and COVID-19 vaccines have been politicized, but the law regarding what an employer can require of employees is clear. Months ago, the outlook for return to life and work was optimistic. Now, the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 creates a unique situation for businesses that have begun the transition back to in-person work ...
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Governor’s Office Issues New Mask Policy

Last month, Governor Northam made news when he announced that the Virginia mask mandate had been lifted for fully vaccinated people, but the devil is in the details. On May 14, 2021, the Governor’s office set forth its updated policy by issuing Executive Order (“EO”) 79 replacing EO 72, effective May 28, 2021.  This EO updates mask guidance to align with Center for Disease Control ...
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Positive Economic News from the Construction Industry as the effects of COVID-19 Pandemic decrease

Positive signals in the construction industry; the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index through April 2021 indicates a strong rebound as the effects of COVID-19 continue to subside. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the country reporting on activity of “work-on-the-boards.” The data is compiled by the American Institute ...
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Community Associations Legal Alerts: Ending of Certain Public Health Restrictions Effective May 28, 2021

Effective May 28, 2021, certain public health restrictions that have been in place for well over a year will end.  Executive Order Number 79 (“EO79”) terminates the Seventh Amended Executive Order Number 72 and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine (“EO72”) on May 28, 2021.  EO79 can be found here and EO72 can be found here. For Virginia community associations this means that amenities, such ...
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The ARPA Extends and Expands the FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credit for Employers Who Opt To Use It

ARTICLES Author(s) Related Practices Related Articles By: Share This Article Buried in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the massive COVID relief bill signed into law on March 11, 2021, is a provision allowing employers to continue to provide, voluntarily, Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave and claim the corresponding tax credits through September 30, 2021. As the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, no ...
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OSHA Issues COVID Guidance

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (“OSHA Guidance”). The OSHA Guidance is similar to the Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (“Virginia Standard”) recently approved by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (“VOSH”) Program. This firm previously wrote about the Virginia ...
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Hindsight is 2020 – A Look Back at Impact of COVID-19 on Community Associations Focuses Efforts Moving Forward

Since March 2020, society has learned how to navigate through and adjust to many upheavals and changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is certainly true for community associations conducting business and carrying out routine operations. Looking back on what was an extraordinary year due to the pandemic provides clarity for Virginia community associations about where to focus in 2021 and the future.  Governmental Orders ...
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The FFCRA Paid Leave is Dead (Unless You Liked It)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid leave provisions have expired. The law, which was effective from April 1 through December 31, 2020, required businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and emergency family medical leave (EFMLA) in limited coronavirus-related circumstances, and provided businesses with a refundable tax credit for the leave provided. The Consolidated Appropriations ...
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Paycheck Protection Program after the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act

NOTE—The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act amend the CARES Act, and this Article updates the information in the following Articles previously published: Paycheck Protection Program Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, March 31, 2020 SBA Issues Interim Final Rule for the Paycheck Protection Program, April 3, 2020 Update on ...
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Circuit Court Upholds Rule Requiring Residents to Sign Assumption of Risk Form As a Condition to Using Certain Common Areas During the Pandemic

A Charlottesville Circuit Court held that a rule promulgated by a Virginia property owners’ association requiring residents to sign an assumption of the risk form prior to using certain common areas was reasonable.  See Norman v. Foxchase Owners’ Assoc., Inc., Case No. CL20-1481 (Albemarle Cnty., Oct. 30, 2020).  From what can be gleaned from a relatively short, but instructive, letter opinion, the case involved the ...
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Circuit Court Upholds Rule Requiring Residents to Sign Assumption of Risk Form As a Condition to Using Certain Common Areas During the Pandemic

A Charlottesville Circuit Court held that a rule promulgated by a Virginia property owners’ association requiring residents to sign an assumption of the risk form prior to using certain common areas was reasonable.  See Norman v. Foxchase Owners’ Assoc., Inc., Case No. CL20-1481 (Albemarle Cnty., Oct. 30, 2020).  From what can be gleaned from a relatively short, but instructive, letter opinion, the case involved the ...
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COVID-19 and Retirement Plan Fiduciary Obligations

COVID-19 and Retirement Plan Fiduciary Obligations

Under ERISA, the federal law that regulates retirement and 401(k) plans, plan fiduciaries are required to prudently administer the plan, select and monitor plan investments and sufficiently diversify plan assets to minimize the risk of large losses.  When third parties are retained to assist with these duties, they may become co-fiduciaries, but the employer retains fiduciary oversight responsibility to monitor the selection and performance of ...
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Virtually Impossible: Eleventh Circuit’s Denial of Non-Parties Attending Arbitration Hearings Via Video or Telephone

In the age of COVID, it is a rarity for hearings, oral arguments, client meetings, or any other legal proceeding to be held in-person. Instead, lawyers, judges, arbitrators, and all other legal figures are relying on their computers and telephones to keep the dockets moving. With the relative ease of logging into a hearing or meeting online, it is important to verify whether certain matters ...
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COVID-19 and the CARES Act – Partial Termination Relief for Retirement Plans

Many employers have had to terminate or furlough employees in 2020 due to COVID-19.   Under IRS rules, a partial termination of a retirement or 401(k) plan may occur when there is a significant reduction (generally more than 20%) in plan participation due to employer-initiated terminations or layoffs during the plan year.  If a partial termination occurs, affected participants (those who are terminated) become 100% vested ...
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Simplified PPP Forgiveness Procedure for Loans of $50,000 or Less

Simplified PPP Forgiveness Procedure for Loans of $50,000 or Less

NOTE:  This article updates the information in the following Articles previously published: PPP Loan Forgiveness, April 29, 2020 Additional PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidelines, June 2, 2020 PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, After the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, June 24, 2020 On Friday, October 9, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released guidelines for a simpler loan forgiveness process for Borrowers with Paycheck Protection ...
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Construction Industry Economics Respecting COVID-19 Mixed But Positively Trending

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from American Institute of Architects (AIA) member firms located throughout the United States reporting on construction project activity the AIA refers to as “Work-on-the-Boards” (projects in the planning and design processes).  The data is compiled by the AIA’s Economics & Research Group, using a first-hand survey index from architectural firms as ...
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