COVID-19 Task Force

Governor’s Office Issues New Mask Policy

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 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

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

The ARPA Extends and Expands the FFCRA Paid Leave and Tax Credit for Employers Who Opt To Use It

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 employers are required to provide the FFCRA paid ...
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OSHA Issues COVID Guidance

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

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 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

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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Modern Houses 2

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

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

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

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-1717905_1280

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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Laptop, Computer, Desktop

Technology for Community Associations in the Midst of Coronavirus

There is nothing like a global pandemic, complete with Gubernatorial Executive Orders to stay home, social distance and limit gatherings and CDC health recommendations to provide laser focus on how community associations can utilize technology. While the spotlight is on the present crisis, community associations may find that it fast forwards new and improved ways of conducting business utilizing technology ...
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Update on Section 889 restriction on government contractors use of Chinese-made telecommunications equipment and services

Update on Section 889 restriction on government contractors use of Chinese-made telecommunications equipment and services

Last week, we advised government contractors in this article about the new restrictions imposed by an interim rule and revised Federal Acquisition Regulation clauses that require contractors doing business with DoD, GSA, and NASA to certify they do not use “covered telecommunications and services” from Huawei and other Chinese companies.  We’ve learned that the Director of National Intelligence has responded to a request from DoD ...
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Expedited Trademark Registration For COVID-19 Products and Services

Expedited Trademark Registration For COVID-19 Products and Services

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the need to quickly develop medical products and services to fight the virus, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is allowing the trademark examination process for marks used to identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services to be expedited.  This program expedites the review of qualifying applications by two months.  The USPTO will also waive the ...
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Modern Houses 2

Impact of Executive Order 68 on Hampton Roads Community Associations

In response to increases in positive COVID-19 case counts in the Hampton Roads area, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 68 that places additional restrictions on certain cities and counties.  The jurisdictions subject to this order are:  Cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County, and York County (collectively, the “Eastern Region”). Of importance to community associations located ...
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New Emergency Temporary Standard Will Apply to Employers in Virginia

New Emergency Temporary Standard Will Apply to Employers in Virginia

This article is the first in a three-part series discussing the New Emergency Temporary Standards for Employers in Virginia. Click here to read Part 2 and Part 3. Governor Northam’s executive order (EO 63), tasked the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (the Board) – which “promulgates and adopts job safety and health standards, [that] employers and employees are required to comply with…”– to create ...
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