vorys coronavirus task force
coronavirus task force
Employment Law


Michigan Enacts COVID-19 Business Immunity and Employee Protection Laws | 10/23/2020
On October 22, 2020, Michigan enacted four COVID-related laws that provide protections to businesses and to employees.  Read more.


New Law Provides COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for California Employees
| 9/25/2020

On September 9, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1867, which requires private employers with 500 or more employees nationwide to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave benefits to qualifying employees. Read more.

Ohio Enacts Broad COVID-19 Immunity Legislation
| 9/15/2020

The Ohio General Assembly enacted Amended Substitute House Bill 606 which is meant to address – and limit – potential liability that business in Ohio may face if employees or customers contract COVID-19 in their workplace or business.  On September 14, 2020, Governor DeWine signed the legislation. Read more.

Court Strikes Down Key Parts of DOL’s Rule on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
| 8/7/2020

The State of New York sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) claiming that the portions of the DOL's Final Rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) violated the FFCRA by unduly restricting the statute’s intended coverage. On August 3, 2020, in State of New York v. Department of Labor, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the State and vacated the requirements. Read more.

Ohio Requires Facial Coverings Statewide
| 7/23/2020

Beginning on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., a statewide mask mandate will go into effect for those living in all 88 Ohio counties. According to Governor Mike DeWine, “requiring masks statewide will make a significant difference and will be key to making sure other counties do not progress to a higher level of increased spread." Learn more.


Refusing to Return to Work May Not Make Ohio Employees Ineligible for Unemployment Compensation | 6/24/2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently signed Executive Order 2020-24D, which provides several circumstances that will now constitute “good cause” for refusing suitable work during the pandemic.  Read more.


Pending Ohio Legislation Provides Immunity from COVID-19 Claims and Presumptions of Employee Injury from COVID-19 | 6/8/2020

As businesses in Ohio reopen and employees return to work, employers are concerned about potential liability if their employees or customers contract COVID-19 in their workplace or business.  Two bills pending in the Ohio General Assembly are meant to address – and limit – that potential liability.  Read more.

Returning To Work:  Are COVID-19 Waivers A Good Idea? | 6/4/2020
Now that employees are returning to work and businesses are reopening their doors to customers, many businesses are searching for ways to limit liability relating to potential COVID-19 infections.  To that end, some employers are considering whether to require COVID-19 liability waivers for their employees, customers, contractors, and other visitors to their facilities.  Read more.

Virginia Employers Must Contend With More Than COVID-19 When They Get Back To Work (Part II) | 5/29/2020

As employers begin to reopen their businesses and employees start to return to work, Virginia employers will need to contend with a significant expansion of the Virginia Human Rights Act.  Read more.


Virginia Employers Must Contend With More Than COVID-19 When They Get Back To Work (Part I)
| 5/27/2020

As employers begin to reopen their businesses and employees start to return to work, Virginia employers will need to contend with several new workplace laws (in addition to confronting the myriad workplace changes wrought by COVID-19).  Read more.


OSHA Issues New Guidance on Recording Cases of COVID-19 | 5/22/2020

On May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued two “updated” enforcement memos on injury reporting and OSHA’s enforcement response.  OSHA’s guidance on these issues has shifted over time, and these newest iterations take effect on May 26, 2020.  Read more.

More Considerations for Restaurant and Bar Reopenings in Ohio
| 5/20/2020

On May 14, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health released its Dine Safe Ohio Order, formalizing the rules for restaurant and bar reopenings that it announced in a press conference on May 7.  The Order reiterated most of the material set forth in that press conference and the informational releases issued in connection with that press conference, while expanding on and providing additional context.  Read more.

Paying Employees for Temperature Checks | 5/19/2020

A state may require or recommend that employees conduct daily COVID-19 symptom assessments, which may include taking their temperature.  The question many employers are asking is whether employees must be paid for their time spent waiting for and undergoing a temperature check.  Read more.

EEOC Suspends EEO-1 Reporting for 2020 | 5/12/2020

The EEOC has announced that, in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the agency is suspending the collection of EEO-1 data for 2020.  Read more.

Ohio Announces Opening Dates For Salons and Barbershops | 5/11/2020

Governor Mike DeWine announced the first stage of Ohio’s plan to reopen hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops and tanning facilities on May 15, 2020.  The order did not include guidance as to gyms or workout facilities.  Read more.

Treasury Relents on Employee Retention Tax Credit for Health Benefits Provided to Unpaid Employees
| 5/8/2020

Following bipartisan pressure from members of both Houses of Congress and from employer groups, the IRS and Treasury have released additional guidance reversing the position taken in their recent FAQs.  Read more.

Ohio Announces Opening Dates For Restaurants and Bars | 5/8/2020

Governor Mike DeWine announced the first stage of Ohio’s plan to reopen restaurants and bars shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.  He drew a careful distinction between seating areas, which are reopening subject to the conditions below, and open congregating areas, which are not reopening as a part of this stage. Read more.

IRS Releases FAQs with Additional Guidance on the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit | 5/4/2020

The IRS has issued FAQs providing additional guidance on several aspects of the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit. This alert summarizes a number of the key topics addressed in these FAQs.  Read more.

Pennsylvania Employers Must Now Notify Employees of Unemployment Availability
| 4/21/2020
In response to the economic toll of the COIVD-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania has enacted new notification requirements in its unemployment compensation law.  Read more.


The EEOC Provides Further Guidance on Managing Disability and Accommodation Issues in the Age of COVID-19 (Part II) | 4/15/2020
In this alert, we summarize the EEOC’s most recent guidance on employers’ ADA obligations concerning disability-related inquiries and confidentiality with respect to COVID-19.  Read more.


Claiming Federal Relief Tax Credits and Deferring Payroll Tax Payments
| 4/14/2020

As with all aspects of Federal COVID-19 relief, guidance on claiming federal tax credits and deferring payroll tax liability is rapidly evolving and is subject to change.  This alert provides an outline of guidance on these issues as of the date of this alert.  Read more.

The EEOC Provides Further Guidance on Managing Disability and Accommodation Issues in the Age of COVID-19 (Part I) | 4/14/2020
The EEOC made clear in a recent webinar that “in this extraordinary time, the laws enforced by the EEOC -- Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act -- continue to apply."  Read more.


Alternatives to Laying Off Employees: Benefits Available for Ohio Employees with Reduced Hours
| 4/9/2020
As employers grapple with the economic effects of COVID-19, reductions in hours and furloughs present difficult-but-effective cost reduction strategies.  Read more.

Visa Status Extensions Without Travel | 4/8/2020

With international travel coming seemingly to a halt, employers may be concerned about visa status expirations for their employees who typically extend their status through travel or the consulate, including those in E, Blanket L-1, and TN visa status.  Read more.

Immigration Consequences of Salary Reduction, Furloughs and Layoffs 
| 4/6/2020
The Department of Labor and the U.S. and Citizenship and Immigration Services have yet to issue any special guidance or relax any statutory or regulatory requirements regarding the treatment of nonimmigrants amid COVID-19 workplace implications.  Read more.

IRS Issues Guidance on Required Documentation Necessary to Obtain Tax Credits on Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA Leave Requests
| 4/2/2020

The IRS has released guidance specifying what documentation is needed for employers to receive the tax credits that will fund the paid leave required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).   Read more.


The CARES Act Provides a Number of Tax Benefits to Businesses | 3/31/2020

The CARES Act provides for a refundable tax credit available to certain employers for wages paid during periods of partial or complete shutdown, or significant decline in gross receipts, resulting from COVID-19.  Read more.


The CARES Act Impact on Employee Benefit Plans | 3/28/2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was enacted on March 27, 2020 and contains many provisions that affect employee benefit plans.  Read more.


For Ohio Employers: Ohio Workers' Compensation COVID-19 Update
| 3/25/2020

This alert provides some information related to workers' compensation issues in Ohio amid the COVID-9 pandemic, including information from the Ohio Industrial Commission and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Read more.


U.S. Employment and Immigration Update | 3/20/2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had made three additional announcements related to employment related immigration laws.  Read more.


The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know
| 3/19/2020
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was approved by Congress and signed by President Trump. There are a number of provisions in the law that will directly impact many employers.  Read more.

Ohio Expands Access to Unemployment Benefits in COVID-19 Cases
| 3/16/2020

On March 15, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order expanding unemployment benefits for employees whose workplaces are shutdown or who are quarantined as a result of COVID-19.  Read more.


Managing Wage-Hour Issues in the Age of the Coronavirus Pandemic | 3/16/2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance on wage-hour concerns under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vorys labor and employment attorneys highlighted the key considerations raised in that guidance in an alert.  Read more.


Ohio Industrial Commission Suspends Workers’ Compensation Hearings, Transitions to Conference Calls
| 3/13/2020

The Ohio Industrial Commission announced today that all workers’ compensation hearings will be suspended from Monday, March 16 to Tuesday, March 17, 2020.  Beginning Wednesday, March 18, the Commission will begin conducting some hearings by telephone.  Read more.


Managing OSHA Issues in the Age of the Coronavirus Pandemic
| 3/13/2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Act covers most private sector employers in addition to some public sector employers.  While employers in certain industries are familiar with their obligations under the Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently reminded all covered employers of their obligations to provide a safe and healthy workplace in light of COVID-19.  Read more


Managing Disability and Accommodation Issues in the Age of the Coronavirus Pandemic
| 3/12/2020

The last pandemic was the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. At that time, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The EEOC has directed that its 2009 guidance applies to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Vorys has prepared relevant questions and answers based on that guidance and the fact that COVID-19 is now a pandemic.  Read more.


Certain Colorado Employers Must Provide Emergency Paid Sick Leave | 3/12/2020

On March 11, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment issued emergency temporary rules that require certain employers to provide paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms who are being tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).  Read more.



Employee Benefits


Treasury Issues Guidance on Elective Deferral of Employee Social Security Tax Withholding
| 8/31/2020
On August 28, 2020, the U.S. Treasury released Notice 2020-65 implementing President Trump's memorandum to enable employers to defer withholding and payment of employees’ share of social security taxes. Read more.

Deferring Social Security Tax Withholding
| 8/11/2020

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Treasury to expand a tax deferral opportunity to the employee’s share of the social security tax and to further explore turning the employee deferral into a waiver. Read more.


Can’t Find an In-Person Notary to Witness a Spousal Consent? IRS Provides Relief to Retirement Plans | 6/5/2020

The IRS temporarily waived the physical presence requirement for spousal consent to participant benefit elections in a qualified retirement plan.  Read more.

New Guidance Published for Cafeteria Plan Elections and High Deductible Health Plans | 5/22/2020

On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33.  Notice 2020-29 provides employers with more flexibility for mid-year changes under cafeteria plan as well as permits the extension of grace periods and carryovers of unused 2019 FSA amounts through the end of 2020.  In addition, the notice extended the guidance in IRS Notice 2020-15 that clarified that HDHPs may, prior to satisfying the deductible, cover telehealth and reimburse medical care and services and items purchased related to testing and treatment of COVID-19 back to January 1, 2020.  Read more.

Treasury Relents on Employee Retention Tax Credit for Health Benefits Provided to Unpaid Employees
| 5/8/2020

Following bipartisan pressure from members of both Houses of Congress and from employer groups, the IRS and Treasury have released additional guidance reversing the position taken in their recent FAQs.  Read more.

Deadline Extensions and COBRA Update
| 5/8/2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a Joint Notice extending the time frames for a wide range of group health plan participant related events.  In addition, DOL issued new model general and election notices employers may use to satisfy the notice requirements under COBRA.  Read more.

IRS Releases FAQs with Additional Guidance on the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit
| 5/4/2020

The IRS has issued FAQs providing additional guidance on several aspects of the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit. This alert summarizes a number of the key topics addressed in these FAQs.  Read more.

Claiming Federal Relief Tax Credits and Deferring Payroll Tax Payments | 4/14/2020

As with all aspects of Federal COVID-19 relief, guidance on claiming federal tax credits and deferring payroll tax liability is rapidly evolving and is subject to change.  This alert provides an outline of guidance on these issues as of the date of this alert.  Read more.

The CARES Act Provides a Number of Tax Benefits to Businesses | 3/31/2020

The CARES Act provides for a refundable tax credit available to certain employers for wages paid during periods of partial or complete shutdown, or significant decline in gross receipts, resulting from COVID-19.  Read more.

The CARES Act Impact on Employee Benefit Plans | 3/28/2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was enacted on March 27, 2020 and contains many provisions that affect employee benefit plans.  Read more.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know | 3/19/2020
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was approved by Congress and signed by President Trump. There are a number of provisions in the law that will directly impact many employers.  Read more.


Health Care


Ohio Issues Indoor Visitation Order for Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes | 10/9/2020

On October 8, 2020, two weeks after Governor DeWine announced it during a COVID-19 press conference, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) posted the new order for indoor visitation for “homes” as defined under Ohio Revised Code 3721.01, including residential care/assisted living facilities and nursing homes.   Read more.

HHS Quietly Renews Public Health Emergency Declaration
| 10/8/2020

Effective October 23, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary has again renewed its declaration that a Public Health Emergency (PHE) exists in connection with COVID-19.  The PHE declaration, previously renewed on July 23 and set to expire later this month, is now expected to continue in effect through January 21, 2021, unless HHS determines sooner that the conditions giving rise to the PHE declaration are no longer present. Read more.

New HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund General Distribution Targets Behavioral Health Providers
| 10/6/2020

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will distribute an additional $20 billion from the Provider Relief Fund, which was created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act). Read more.

Crash Course Compliance: Top 5 Things Every Company Should Know About U.S. Drug and Device Regulation | 9/9/2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have recently expanded or transitioned into the manufacture and distribution of products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including face masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), and hand sanitizer. This alert highlights five key points every company should understand in preparing for the next stage of compliance, with a particular focus on gauging and minimizing legal risk.  Read more.


New Executive Order Requires Agency Action on Telehealth, Rural Health Care | 8/4/2020

On August 3, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing various federal agencies to take steps advancing the adoption and availability of telehealth. Read more.

HHS Renews Public Health Emergency Declaration
| 7/24/2020
On Thursday, July 23, 2020, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar officially renewed the declaration that a Public Health Emergency (PHE) exists in connection with COVID-19.  
Read more.

HHS Announces Targeted Allocations of Provider Relief Funding for Medicaid and CHIP Providers, Safety Net Hospitals | 6/10/2020

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two more targeted allocations of provider relief funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Read more.

HHS CARES Act Relief Funding Guidance Addresses Provider Compliance Obligations, Highlights Potential FCA Risk | 6/5/2020

CARES Act funding offers much-needed relief for many providers, accepting it means certifying compliance with the related Terms and Conditions – including the requirement that provider relief payments will be used to reimburse the recipient only for “health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.” Providers of all types have been grappling with the meaning of these phrases. If the interpretation of these concepts is later found to be inappropriate, health care providers could face substantial financial liability, including under the False Claims Act (FCA).  Read more.


Have You Relied on the Stark Law Blanket Waivers? Now is the Time to Act. | 5/27/2020

The COVID-19 Stark Law waivers issued in March came at a time where health care providers faced impossible challenges – shortages of essential practitioners, practices struggling to remain afloat, the need to secure new, temporary service locations.  Relying on these waivers, providers may have quickly implemented new arrangements or amended existing arrangements, but have they done enough to ensure their arrangements are blanketed in waiver protection?  Read more.

OMHAS Reopening Guidance Requires Universal Screenings, New and Updated Policies and Procedures | 5/20/2020

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) has published guidance for behavioral health providers preparing to restart in-person services, which (among other things) outlines a variety of policies and procedures that providers should have in place.  Read more.

Life After COVID-19 - What About Unified Hospital Medical Staffs?
| 5/12/2020

Establishing and maintaining a unified medical staff is not without its challenges and hurdles.  This Health Care Alert outlines some considerations health systems should evaluate when contemplating a unified medical staff structure.  Read more.

CMS Issues QSO Explaining Interim Final Rule on Reporting of COVID-19 Cases by Nursing Homes
| 5/8/2020

On May 6, 2020, CMS issued Quality, Safety, and Oversight (QSO) letter 20-29-NH, explaining the Interim Final Rule’s new COVID-19 reporting and notification requirements.  Read more.

CMS Publishes Anticipated Rules for Reporting of COVID-19 Cases by Nursing Homes
| 5/5/2020

On April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule with comment period that, among other things, adds new COVID-19-related reporting requirements to the Medicare Conditions of Participation for long-term care facilities. Read more.

ODM Seeks Federal Approval to Waive Regulatory Requirements, Amend State Plan
| 4/21/2020

On April 14, 2020, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) submitted a request for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve a State Plan Amendment (SPA) and waivers of specified regulatory requirements, including certain requirements applicable to Section 1115 waiver services.  Read more.

New NIH Process for Evaluation of Antibody Tests May Offer Increased Confidence, Protection for Providers | 4/20/2020
On April 18, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published an official statement confirming that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will soon begin conducting performance evaluations for serological, or antibody-based, diagnostic tests for COVID-19.  Read more.


Ohio Orders Nursing Homes, Residential Care Facilities, and Licensed Developmental Disabilities Facilities to Notify Residents, Sponsors, and Guardians of COVID-19 Cases
| 4/16/2020

A new ODH order requires all nursing homes, residential care facilities, and licensed facilities that provide residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities to notify the residents, the residents’ sponsor, and/or the residents’ guardians of positive or probable cases of COVID-19 within the facility.  Read more.


Despite New Regulatory Flexibilities, Risks Persist for Companies Transitioning to Production, Sale, and Importation of Face Masks and Respirators | 4/14/2020

As widespread shortages of face masks and N95 respirators needed to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic persist, manufacturers, brokers, and other companies across the nation are looking to retool their operations for the production and sale of these crucial items.  Read more.


HHS Issues Sweeping Relief for Potential Stark Law Concerns in Battling COVID-19
| 4/1/2020

On March 30, 2020, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services issued 18 blanket waivers of sanctions under the physician self-referral law (Stark) to provide vital flexibility for physicians and providers in the fight against COVID-19. Read more.

Ohio Enacts COVID-19 Related Health Care Measures
| 3/31/2020
This Health Care Alert includes a brief overview of the provisions of the recently signed HB 197, Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, that impact Ohio health care providers. Read more.


The CARES Act Provides Health Care Industry Unprecedented Funding, Regulatory Flexibilities | 3/27/2020
The wide-reaching CARES Act provides significant additional support to the health care industry inundated by the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily in the forms of new funding and regulatory relief. Read more.

Texas Announces Series of Additional Health Care Measures in Response to COVID-19 including Mandatory Reporting by Physicians
| 3/25/2020

The Texas Medical Board has released emergency rules to effectuate Governor Abbott’s Executive Order to expand hospital bed capacity.  Read more.


FCC Allows Certain COVID-19 Related Health Care "Robocalls" | 3/25/2020

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a declaratory ruling which permits certain health care entities and government officials to communicate information about COVID-19, including any mitigation measures, without first obtaining prior express consent. Read more.


The Impact of Emergency Telehealth Rules on OMHAS Certified Behavioral Healthcare Providers
| 3/23/2020

The emergency rules issued by the Ohio Department of Medicaid for telemedicine impact community behavioral healthcare services provided by Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) certified providers.  Read more.


Ohio Releases Emergency Rules Increasing Access to Telehealth
| 3/20/2020

Emergency rules, issued early this afternoon by the Ohio Department of Medicaid, expand and enhance access to telehealth services. Read more.


Ohio Medicaid to Release Emergency Rules to Expand Access to Telehealth
| 3/19/2020

On March 19, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced he will be issuing an executive order authorizing the Department of Medicaid (ODM) to promulgate emergency rules which will expand access to telehealth. Read more.


Congress Enacts “Phase II” Coronavirus Response Legislation Impacting Testing Coverage and Reimbursement | 3/19/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expands coverage for and reimbursement of coronavirus testing and related services by state and federal health care programs, private insurers, and self-insured group health plans.  Read more.

Changes Affecting Telehealth Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
| 3/19/2020

In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government and states have reviewed requirements affecting the ability of health care providers to use and receive reimbursement for the provision of services via telemedicine.  Read more.

Regulators Issue COVID-19 Guidance for Health Care Providers | 3/12/2020

The Vorys health care team is continuously monitoring developments in this area and has prepared the following summary of key resources for health care providers.  This list is not exhaustive and, as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, updated and additional guidance is being issued by state and federal agencies, as well as private industry leaders and stakeholders.  Read more.


Immigration


Significant Movement in October Visa Bulletin Will Allow Many to File Adjustment Applications | 10/2/2020
The Department of State has released the October Visa Bulletin.  With October being the beginning of the federal government’s new fiscal year, and with COVID-19 and associated visa and travel bans leading to a reduced usage of immigrant visa numbers, there was significant movement in the priority dates.  Noteworthy among this movement was substantial jumps for Indian nationals in all employment-based categories, and in the EB-1 category for Chinese nationals. Read more. 


Presidential Proclamation Suspends Entry of Certain Nonimmigrants, Extends Suspension of Immigrants, Through December 31, 2020 | 6/23/2020

On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of certain nonimmigrant visa holders from June 24, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Read more.

I-9 Flexibility Extended for Another 30 Days to July 19, 2020
| 6/7/2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on June 16, 2020 that it will extend the previously announced policy to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification process (Form I-9) to July 19, 2020Read more.

Premium Processing to Resume in Phases Starting June 1, 2020 | 5/29/2020

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 29, 2020 that it will resume Premium Processing service for eligible nonimmigrant visa petitions (Form I-129) and immigrant visa petitions (Form I-140).  Read more.

Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Immigrants for 60 Days | 4/23/2020

On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending the entry of certain immigrants into the United States for 60 days.  The proclamation goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. (EST) on April 23, 2020.  Read more.

Visa Status Extensions Without Travel 
| 4/8/2020

With international travel coming seemingly to a halt, employers may be concerned about visa status expirations for their employees who typically extend their status through travel or the consulate, including those in E, Blanket L-1, and TN visa status.  Read more.


Immigration Consequences of Salary Reduction, Furloughs and Layoffs  | 4/6/2020
The Department of Labor and the U.S. and Citizenship and Immigration Services have yet to issue any special guidance or relax any statutory or regulatory requirements regarding the treatment of nonimmigrants amid COVID-19 workplace implications.  Read more.

I-9 Requirements Relaxed under COVID-19 Outbreak | 3/23/2020
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).  Read more.


U.S. Employment and Immigration Update | 3/20/2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had made three additional announcements related to employment related immigration laws.  Read more.

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions to Canada | 3/16/2020

While Canada is currently designated a Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions), certain restrictions are being put into place by the Canadian government regarding international visitors entering Canada, including visitors from the United States.  Read more.


Federal and State Relief Efforts


Ohio Enacts Broad COVID-19 Immunity Legislation
| 9/15/2020

The Ohio General Assembly enacted Amended Substitute House Bill 606 which is meant to address – and limit – potential liability that business in Ohio may face if employees or customers contract COVID-19 in their workplace or business.  On September 14, 2020, Governor DeWine signed the legislation. Read more.


PPP Update: Congress Passes PPP Bill Providing Flexibility to Borrowers | 6/8/2020
On June 5, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the Flexibility Act), which made some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act).  Read more.


PPP Guidance Update: SBA Releases Loan Forgiveness Application for Borrowers | 5/18/2020

On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application form for borrowers to submit to the lender servicing their PPP loan, along with instructions for the Application.  Read more.

PPP Guidance Update: SBA Creates Limited Safe Harbor for Borrowers who have Received Less than $2,000,000 | 5/14/2020

The SBA and the Treasury updated the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs on May 13, 2020, creating new guidelines surrounding the requirement in the PPP loan application that a borrower certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant” (the Need Certification). Read more.

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program Update
| 5/5/2020

On April 30, 2020, the United States Federal Reserve issued additional guidance for the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP).  Among other things, this Guidance expanded and clarified portions of the MSLP as it was initially outlined on April 9, 2020.  Read more.

PPP Guidance Update: SBA Tells Borrowers that They May Have to Give Their Loan Money Back
| 4/27/2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury updated the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Frequently Asked Questions on April 23 and suggested that certain businesses that have already obtained PPP loans should repay their loan in full by May 7 if they cannot demonstrate that as of the date of application, the loan was necessary. Read more.

Congress Passes Bill Extending Small Business Loan Programs and Providing Emergency COVID-19 Response Funding 
| 4/23/2020
Following weeks of negotiations, today Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act providing a relief from the widespread economic injury caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Read more.

Federal Reserve Follows SBA’s Lead, Expands PPP Loan Access for Bank Insiders | 4/23/2020

On April 17, the Federal Reserve Board announced an interim final rule that temporarily relaxes lending restrictions on member banks who make Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to businesses owned by certain bank insiders.  Read more.


Claiming Federal Relief Tax Credits and Deferring Payroll Tax Payments
| 4/14/2020

As with all aspects of Federal COVID-19 relief, guidance on claiming federal tax credits and deferring payroll tax liability is rapidly evolving and is subject to change.  This alert provides an outline of guidance on these issues as of the date of this alert.  Read more.


Federal Reserve to the Rescue of Main Street4/10/2020

The Federal Reserve has continually promised to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses to counter the economic impact of COVID-19 and to promote a swift economic recovery.  Read more.


Private Non-Profit Eligibility for FEMA Public Assistance Funding | 4/8/2020

Although geared primarily to non-federal governmental entities, the FEMA Public Assistance program also provides funding to eligible private non-profit organizations for "emergency protective measures" to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.  Read more.

Ohio Economic Development Agencies Engaged in COVID-19 Relief Efforts | 4/8/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted both our health and our economy, and JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) are helping businesses cope.  Read more.


The CARES Act Relief for Residential Landlords and Tenants
| 4/3/2020

The CARES Act provides relief for residential mortgage holders—both individuals and multifamily borrowers—and tenants, as well as credit reporting protection. Read more.

Overview of State Relief Efforts in Response to COVID-19 | 4/2/2020

A number of states have enacted legislation, implemented relief programs, or made available state resources to further assist businesses in combating mounting economic hardships.  This alert summarizes the state-specific relief efforts in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, D.C.  Read more.

The CARES Act Provides a Number of Tax Benefits to Businesses | 3/31/2020

The CARES Act provides for a refundable tax credit available to certain employers for wages paid during periods of partial or complete shutdown, or significant decline in gross receipts, resulting from COVID-19.  Read more.


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Signs COVID-19 Related Legislation | 3/30/2020

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 197 into law on March 27, 2020, a bill that had passed unanimously in the Ohio General Assembly.  The legislation covers a variety of issues.  Read more.


The CARES Act Impact on Employee Benefit Plans
| 3/28/2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was enacted on March 27, 2020 and contains many provisions that affect employee benefit plans.  Read more.

The CARES Act Provides Health Care Industry Unprecedented Funding, Regulatory Flexibilities | 3/27/2020
The wide-reaching CARES Act provides significant additional support to the health care industry inundated by the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily in the forms of new funding and regulatory relief. Read more.


The CARES Act Extends Deadline for Payment of 2020 Employer and Self-Employment Social Security Tax | 3/27/2020

The CARES Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, dramatically extends the deadline for employers to make social security tax payments on 2020 payroll.  Read more.


Senate Passes Phase III of the Federal Coronavirus Relief Legislation | 3/26/2020

Following days of often tense negotiations, the United States Senate has passed the third phase of federal coronavirus relief legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), which will provide $2 trillion in economic aid to individuals and businesses impacted by the coronavirus public health emergency.  Read more.


Overview of Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills | 3/20/2020

Since the first known case of COVID-19 in the United States was discovered in late January, the federal government has taken several steps (with more planned) to both fight the spread of the disease and blunt its economic impact on the American economy. Learn more about each of these measures in this alert.



Taxation


Deferring Social Security Tax Withholding | 8/11/2020

On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Treasury to expand a tax deferral opportunity to the employee’s share of the social security tax and to further explore turning the employee deferral into a waiver. Read more.


PPPFA Eliminates Restriction on Ability of PPP Loan Recipients to Defer 2020 Employer Social Security Tax Payments | 6/8/2020
Employers with PPP loans forgiven are now fully eligible to take advantage of Employer Social Security Tax deferral.  Read more.


Treasury Relents on Employee Retention Tax Credit for Health Benefits Provided to Unpaid Employees | 5/8/2020

Following bipartisan pressure from members of both Houses of Congress and from employer groups, the IRS and Treasury have released additional guidance reversing the position taken in their recent FAQs.  Read more.

IRS Releases FAQs with Additional Guidance on the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit | 5/4/2020

The IRS has issued FAQs providing additional guidance on several aspects of the CARES Act Employee Retention Tax Credit. This alert summarizes a number of the key topics addressed in these FAQs.  Read more.

IRS Concludes That Employer Expenditures Eligible for PPP Loan Forgiveness Are Not Deductible
| 5/1/2020

On April 30 the IRS issued Notice 2020-32, which concludes that where an employer obtains forgiveness of an amount of a PPP loan, the employer may not claim a tax deduction for the eligible expenditures resulting in such forgiveness.  Read more.

Claiming Federal Relief Tax Credits and Deferring Payroll Tax Payments | 4/14/2020

As with all aspects of Federal COVID-19 relief, guidance on claiming federal tax credits and deferring payroll tax liability is rapidly evolving and is subject to change.  This alert provides an outline of guidance on these issues as of the date of this alert.  Read more.

IRS Postpones Due Date for Filing and Payment of Federal Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes, Expands Extension of Other Filing Deadlines | 4/13/2020
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the due date for certain taxpayers filing Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and/or making payments of federal estate and generation skipping transfer tax is automatically extended until July 15, 2020.  Read more.


Ohio Tax Compliance: The Tax Commissioner Has Not Extended All Filing Due Dates | 4/10/2020

In this State and Local Tax Alert we outline the tax filing due dates for certain Ohio tax filings over the next 30 days.  Read more.

IRS Postpones Due Date for Filing of Gift Tax and Estate and Trust Income Tax Returns and for Payment of Tax | 4/3/2020

The IRS has announced that the due date for filing Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and making payments of federal gift and generation-skipping transfer tax is automatically postponed to July 15, 2020.  Read more.


The CARES Act Provides a Number of Tax Benefits to Businesses | 3/31/2020

The CARES Act provides for a refundable tax credit available to certain employers for wages paid during periods of partial or complete shutdown, or significant decline in gross receipts, resulting from COVID-19.  Read more.


The CARES Act Extends Deadline for Payment of 2020 Employer and Self-Employment Social Security Tax
| 3/27/2020

The CARES Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, dramatically extends the deadline for employers to make social security tax payments on 2020 payroll.  Read more.


COVID-19 State-by-State Real Property Tax Impacts | 3/24/2020

The Vorys real property tax team is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on property tax filings and deadlines.  Many jurisdictions are taking various steps to respond to shut downs and other delays.  Read more.

Treasury Issues New Notice on Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines, Eliminating Prior Caps | 3/23/2020

A complete summary of Treasury’s current guidance on the extension of federal income tax payment and filing deadlines is included in this Federal Tax Bulletin. Read more.

Treasury Extends April 15 Deadline For Making Tax Payments and Filing Tax Returns | 3/20/2020

The Treasury released Notice 2020-17, which extends the due date for making federal income tax payments that are due on April 15, 2020. Read more.


Real Estate, Construction and Economic Development Incentives


Temporary Access to TIF Funds for Municipalities and Townships
| 6/29/2020

Among other things, Ohio S.B. 4 authorizes municipalities to temporarily divert unencumbered payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to fund any public safety or road and bridge maintenance cost not eligible to be paid with funds received via the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  Read more.

Ohio Economic Development Agencies Engaged in COVID-19 Relief Efforts | 4/8/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted both our health and our economy, and JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) are helping businesses cope.  Read more.

Commercial Landlords And Tenants Unite! CARES Act Forgivable Paycheck Protection Program Loans, EIDL Grants and More
 | 4/6/2020

A unique opportunity exists for commercial landlords and tenants to collaboratively communicate to maximize access to—and use of—available forgivable and other attractive, federal loans.  Read more.

The CARES Act Relief for Residential Landlords and Tenants | 4/3/2020

The CARES Act provides relief for residential mortgage holders—both individuals and multifamily borrowers—and tenants, as well as credit reporting protection. Read more.


What to Do With Your Incentive Agreements in This Challenging COVID-19 Times
| 3/23/2020

In this time of broad government actions due to a declared pandemic emergency, it is important to examine your incentive agreements to understand the potential risks your company faces if your company is unable to perform key obligations.  Read more.


Government Action as a Force Majeure Defense in Construction Contracts
| 3/18/2020

In the event of government action due to a declared emergency such as a pandemic, performance under construction contracts may become delayed or impossible.  For example, government action may directly or indirectly delay or prohibit timely access to services such as inspections, permit granting, application review, plan review, or document recording. Read more.



Economic Relief for Businesses/Organizations


SBA Clarifies PPP Rules for M&A Transactions | 10/28/2020
On October 2, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released SBA Procedural Notice Control No. 5000-20057 (Procedural Notice) regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans and changes in ownership. Read more.

U.S. Dept. of Education Issues Interim Final Rule Governing Eligibility for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants, Effective Immediately | 6/17/2020

June 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule giving the force of law[1] to its interpretation of the term “student” as used in Section 18004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Read more.

PPP Guidance Update: SBA Releases Loan Forgiveness Application for Borrowers
| 5/18/2020

On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application form for borrowers to submit to the lender servicing their PPP loan, along with instructions for the Application.  Read more.

PPP Guidance Update: SBA Creates Limited Safe Harbor for Borrowers who have Received Less than $2,000,000 | 5/14/2020

The SBA and the Treasury updated the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs on May 13, 2020, creating new guidelines surrounding the requirement in the PPP loan application that a borrower certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant” (the Need Certification). Read more.

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program Update
| 5/5/2020
On April 30, 2020, the United States Federal Reserve issued additional guidance for the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP).  Among other things, this Guidance expanded and clarified portions of the MSLP as it was initially outlined on April 9, 2020.  Read more.

IRS Concludes That Employer Expenditures Eligible for PPP Loan Forgiveness Are Not Deductible | 5/1/2020

On April 30 the IRS issued Notice 2020-32, which concludes that where an employer obtains forgiveness of an amount of a PPP loan, the employer may not claim a tax deduction for the eligible expenditures resulting in such forgiveness.  Read more.

SBA Releases Fourth Interim Final Rule Clarifying PPP Eligibility for Private Equity Firms and Hedge Funds 
| 4/27/2020

On April 24, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released its fourth Interim Final Rule titled “Business Loan Program Temporary Changes: Paycheck Protection Program – Requirements – Promissory Notes, Authorizations, Affiliation, and Eligibility” (Rule 4).  Read more.

PPP Guidance Update: SBA Tells Borrowers that They May Have to Give Their Loan Money Back
 | 4/27/2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury updated the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Frequently Asked Questions on April 23 and suggested that certain businesses that have already obtained PPP loans should repay their loan in full by May 7 if they cannot demonstrate that as of the date of application, the loan was necessary. Read more.

Congress Passes Bill Extending Small Business Loan Programs and Providing Emergency COVID-19 Response Funding 
| 4/23/2020
Following weeks of negotiations, today Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act providing a relief from the widespread economic injury caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Read more.

Claiming Federal Relief Tax Credits and Deferring Payroll Tax Payments | 4/14/2020

As with all aspects of Federal COVID-19 relief, guidance on claiming federal tax credits and deferring payroll tax liability is rapidly evolving and is subject to change.  This alert provides an outline of guidance on these issues as of the date of this alert.  Read more.

Federal Reserve to the Rescue of Main Street
4/10/2020

The Federal Reserve has continually promised to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses to counter the economic impact of COVID-19 and to promote a swift economic recovery.  Read more.

Ohio Economic Development Agencies Engaged in COVID-19 Relief Efforts | 4/8/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted both our health and our economy, and JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) are helping businesses cope.  Read more.

The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program: Overview for Participating Lenders | 4/2/2020

On March 31, 2020, the SBA and the Treasury Department released initial guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing further key details regarding how the SBA plans to administer the loan program.  Read more.

The CARES Act Makes Available Economic Relief for Midsize and Large Businesses | 3/30/2020

The CARES Act created a more broadly applicable emergency relief fund that should result in loans for medium and large businesses impacted by COVID-19.  Read more.


Congress Creates the Paycheck Protection Program Through the SBA to Provide Loans and a Loan Forgiveness Program to Eligible Entities Impacted by COVID-19
| 3/30/2020

Under an expansion of the SBA’s traditional loan program, the government will provide or 100% guarantee loans made to eligible persons or entities over the next several months in an effort to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19.  Read more.


COVID-19, Private Investors and the CARES Act Do Investor Backed Companies Get Left Out in the Cold? | 3/30/2020

This alert provides answers to some of the preliminary questions private equity, family office, fundless sponsor and venture capital firms, along with their portfolio companies, might be asking as they consider applying for a loan under the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program.  Read more.



Government and Court Closings and Other Modified Procedures


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 10/26/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know
| 10/20/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know
| 10/12/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know
| 10/5/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Want to Expedite your COVID-Related Patent or Trademark Application? | 9/23/2020

In an effort to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced various programs to expedite certain patent and trademark applications specifically directed to COVID-19 treatments and prevention.  Read more.

Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 9/21/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 9/14/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know
| 9/8/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 8/31/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 8/24/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 8/17/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 8/11/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.


Patent Office Updates you Need to Know
| 8/4/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.

Patent Office Updates you Need to Know | 7/21/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Learn more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates
| 7/7/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates
| 6/29/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates
| 6/16/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates
| 6/9/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates
| 6/2/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

USPTO to Grant Further Relief for Certain Patent-Related Fees and Deadlines | 5/28/2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced on an official notice that it will grant further relief for certain patent-related fees and deadlines.  Read more.


COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates | 5/26/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates | 5/18/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates | 5/11/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world. Read more.

COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates
| 5/5/2020
As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world. Read more.

COVID-19 Global Patent and Trademark Office Updates | 4/29/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.


COVID-19 Global Patent and Trademark Office Updates | 4/20/2020

We are keeping our clients up to date on the latest updates from various patent and trademark offices around the world.  Read more.

Update: Changes to IP Operations Worldwide
| 4/8/2020

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled an updated list of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  Read more.


Patent and Trademark Office Extends Filing and Payment Deadlines for COVID-Related Causes  
| 4/1/2020

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced on March 31, 2020 that certain patent and trademark filing and payment deadlines have been extended in response to delays caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.  Read more.


COVID-19 Patent and Trademark Filing Impacts | 3/30/2020

In these unforeseen and unique circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to keep our clients abreast of how patent and trademark offices around the world are handling deadlines and other issues.  Read more.

Access to Courts Will Be More Limited in the Coming Weeks | 3/24/2020

As part of the government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, state and federal courts around the country are adjusting their operations.  Read more.


COVID-19 State-by-State Real Property Tax Impacts | 3/24/2020

The Vorys real property tax team is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on property tax filings and deadlines.  Many jurisdictions are taking various steps to respond to shut downs and other delays.  Read more.



Government Isolation and/or "Shelter in Place" Orders


Ohio Announces Opening Dates For Salons and Barbershops 
| 5/11/2020

Governor Mike DeWine announced the first stage of Ohio’s plan to reopen hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops and tanning facilities on May 15, 2020.  The order did not include guidance as to gyms or workout facilities.  Read more.

Ohio Announces Opening Dates For Restaurants and Bars | 5/8/2020

Governor Mike DeWine announced the first stage of Ohio’s plan to reopen restaurants and bars shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.  He drew a careful distinction between seating areas, which are reopening subject to the conditions below, and open congregating areas, which are not reopening as a part of this stage. Read more.


Harris County, Texas Under “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order
| 3/25/2020
On March 24, 2020, County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a “Stay Home, Work Safe” order for Harris County and the city of Houston.  The Order went into effect at 11:59pm on March 2 and will remain in effect until 11:59pm on April 3.  
Read more.


Overview of Ohio Department of Health “Director’s Stay at Home Order” | 3/23/2020
Ohio's "Stay Home Order" requires all persons in Ohio to stay at their place of residence except when engaged in certain defined “Essential Activities,” “Essential Governmental Functions,” or to participate in “Essential Businesses and Operations."  Read more.


Ohio Department of Health Director Issues "Stay at Home Order" | 3/22/2020
Today, March 22, 2020, Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued a Director’s "Stay at Home Order." Read more.

DHS Issues Advisory “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response” | 3/21/2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published a memorandum regarding “essential critical infrastructure workers” Read more.


Shareholder Litigation, Risk Mitigation & Avoidance 


Continuity Planning in the COVID-19 Era | 6/17/2020

As companies continue to adjust to the realities of working from home and remotely connecting with their employees, customers, and management, the once-theoretical consideration of business continuity planning became a reality that had to be addressed immediately.  Failure to adequately plan, and to sufficiently monitor those initial plans, can subject directors to potential liability for breaching their fiduciary duties.  Read more.

Monitoring and Oversight in the COVID-19 Era
| 5/20/2020

A board’s core duties to employ reasonable and effective oversight of management and business operations are even more important in this unique COVID-19 era.  Beyond potentially harming the company’s business value and reputation, failure to adequately monitor corporate risks can expose directors to personal liability for breach of fiduciary duty.  Read more.

Virtual Board Meetings And Risk Mitigation During COVID-19 | 4/20/2020

Having addressed how to conduct hybrid or virtual-only shareholder meetings, corporate boards now must consider virtual board meetings in this COVID-19 era, and decide how to mitigate the additional legal risks they present.  This alert considers three key questions concerning virtual board meetings in the COVID-19 world. Read more.



Environmental


Re-Opening Your Building? Consider Flushing Your Water System Using Ohio EPA’s Guidance! | 5/6/2020

The Ohio EPA recirculated guidance previously published in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Health on the importance of flushing water systems in facilities that were previously left vacant. Read more.

New U.S. EPA Guidance for Site Field Work Decisions Impacted by COVID-19 | 4/13/2020
On April 10th, U.S. EPA published an interim guidance memorandum titled “Site Field Work Decisions Due to Impacts of COVID-19."  Read more.


Thinking About Delaying Environmental Compliance Due to COVID-19? Think Carefully! | 3/23/2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve day by day, we recommend carefully reviewing each of your facilities’ environmental-related permits, orders, and other compliance obligations.  Read more.



Transportation and Logistics


FMCSA Extends and Expands COVID-19 Emergency Declaration | 4/9/2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended and expanded its emergency declaration that was set to expire on April 12.  Read more.

3PLS, CARRIERS, AND SHIPPER’S JOIN TOGETHER CARES Act Forgivable Paycheck Protection Program Loans, EIDL Grants and More  | 4/8/2020

Federally available, potentially fully forgivable loans are available to eligible 3PLs, carriers, and shippers alike.  Read more.

FMCSA Publishes Updated Drug and Alcohol Testing Guidance | 3/27/2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) issued updated guidance on drug and alcohol testing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more.

3PL Employment Issues to Consider in the Wake of COVID-19 |
3/27/2020
As 3PLs adapt to the impact that COVID-19 continues to have on their business and as employers and employees adjust to teleworking, there are myriad employment issues and new laws that must be considered.  Read more.

FMSCA’s National Emergency Declaration: Issues to Consider | 3/25/2020

3PLs must exercise caution when considering FMSCA’s National Emergency Declaration to provide hours-of-service relief to commercial drivers transporting emergency relief in response to COVID-19.  First, emergency relief is specific to certain kinds of freight.  Read more.

3PLs and Motor Carriers Recognized as Essential Businesses, Adapt to Changing Regulations | 3/24/2020

State "Stay at Home" and "Shelter in Place" orders related to COVID-19 have, thus far, deemed 3PLs and their carrier partners as essential businesses, whose work is necessary.  Read more.



Privacy and Data Security


Senators Propose the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act
| 5/7/2020

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, John Thune, Jerry Moran, and Marsha Blackburn recently announced their plan to introduce the COVID-19 Consumer Data Protection Act, seeking to provide Americans more transparency and control over the collection and use of “covered data” during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Read more.

Cyberattacks on the Rise During the COVID-19 Pandemic | 4/20/2020

In the last month, cyberattacks have exploited the unique challenges that businesses face due to increased teleworking.  Read more.


CCPA Update: Zoom Application Facing Several CCPA-Related Class Action Lawsuits
| 4/14/2020

Popular video communications platform Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom), is facing several class action lawsuits alleging violations of the CCPA and other privacy claims.  Read more.


Remote Work Increases Data Security Risks
| 4/13/2020

Email use, bring your own device (BYOD) programs, and telecommuting have always raised privacy and security concerns, but with tens of millions of Americans suddenly working from home those issues have taken on new urgency.  Read more.



Insurance


Ohio Department of Insurance Guidance Regarding Extension of Financial Filing Deadlines and Procedural Requirements as a Result Of COVID-19 | 4/17/2020 

The Superintendent of the Ohio Department of Insurance has determined that, in some cases, compliance with certain financial filing deadlines and procedural insurance requirements may not be possible.  Read more.


Ohio Department of Insurance Guidance Regarding Issuing Temporary Resident Agent Licenses During State Of Emergency
| 4/16/2020 

On April 15, 2020, the Ohio Department of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-08 which states that the Superintendent of the Department has determined that it is in the public interest to issue temporary resident agent licenses, due to the Stay at Home Orders issued by the Director of the Ohio Department of Health.  Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues Product Filing Guidance for Property and Casualty Insurers Introducing Premium Relief Initiatives During COVID‐19 Emergency
| 4/13/2020 
A number of property and casualty insurers contacted the Ohio Department of Insurance seeking premium relief for their policyholders. These insurers stated that they have fewer claims from their policyholders which supports a short‐term reduction in premiums.  Read more.

How Ohio’s COVID-19 Related Legislation Impacts Insurers | 4/1/2020 

A provision in Ohio House Bill 197 provides relief to persons holding licenses issued by Ohio agencies that are set to expire during the COVID-19 emergency. Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues FAQs Regarding Bulletin 2020-03 Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility for Ohio Employees | 3/31/2020 
Based upon questions the Ohio Superintendent of Insurance received regarding Bulletin 2020-03, the Superintendent has issued a set of FAQs.  Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues Bulletin 2020-07: Property and Casualty, Life, and Long Term Care Insurance Premium Payments During State of Emergency | 3/30/2020 

The Ohio Superintendent of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-07 and ordered and directed, effective March 30, 2020, that all insurers (Insurers) issuing property and casualty, life, and long term care insurance policies in the State of Ohio provide their insureds with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums during the state of emergency.  Read more.


First COVID-19 Business Insurance Coverage Case Filed in Louisiana | 3/26/2020 
The first, in what will undoubtedly be many insurance coverage cases related to COVID-19, was filed on March 16th in New Orleans, Louisiana civil district court. Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues Bulletin 2020-03 Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility for Ohio Employees | 3/25/2020 

The Ohio Superintendent of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-03 and ordered and directed all health plan issuers, and other entities transacting the business of insurance in the State of Ohio, or that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Superintendent, to comply with new requirements during the COVID-19 state of emergency.  Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues Bulletin 2020-04 Temporary Suspension of Pharmacy Audits During Declared State of Emergency | 3/25/2020

The Ohio Superintendent of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-04 and ordered all third party administrators, including pharmacy benefit managers, health insurance companies, and other entities licensed pursuant to the laws of Ohio relating to insurance  to suspend pharmacy audits during this state of emergency.  Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues Bulletin 2020-05 COVID-19 Testing and Treatment: Out-of-Network Coverage | 3/25/2020

The Ohio Superintendent of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-05 that applies to all health plan issuers, including insurance companies, health insuring corporations, MEWAs, non-federal governmental health plans, and other entities transacting the business of insurance in the State of Ohio, or that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Superintendent, that reimburse the costs of health care services under a health benefit plan in Ohio. Read more.

Ohio Department of Insurance Issues Bulletin 2020-06 Coverage for Individuals with Expired Driver Licenses | 3/25/2020

The Ohio Superintendent of Insurance issued Bulletin 2020-06 and ordered all insurers providing automobile insurance policies in the State of Ohio to temporarily suspend certain actions that they would otherwise be permitted to take due to the expiration of the driver license of a named insured or other covered family member. Read more.



Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations


COVID 19: Various Relief Measures Enacted to Benefit Tax-Exempt Organizations | 4/17/2020
Various relief efforts have been enacted to benefit tax-exempt organizations, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). Read more.


Private Non-Profit Eligibility for FEMA Public Assistance Funding | 4/8/2020

Although geared primarily to non-federal governmental entities, the FEMA Public Assistance program also provides funding to eligible private non-profit organizations for "emergency protective measures" to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.  Read more.



Financial Institutions 


Federal Reserve Follows SBA’s Lead, Expands PPP Loan Access for Bank Insiders | 4/23/2020

On April 17, the Federal Reserve Board announced an interim final rule that temporarily relaxes lending restrictions on member banks who make Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to businesses owned by certain bank insiders.  Read more.

The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program: Overview for Participating Lenders | 4/2/2020

On March 31, 2020, the SBA and the Treasury Department released initial guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing further key details regarding how the SBA plans to administer the loan program.  Read more.


Options for Annual Shareholder Meetings | 3/25/2020

With the vast uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the immediate challenges that Ohio’s financial institutions must confront, especially at this time of year, involves how to handle their annual shareholder or member meetings.  Read more.


eCommerce


Coronavirus Crisis Driving Increased eCommerce Demands – Brands Need To Adapt Accordingly | 3/24/2020

As an ever-increasing number of consumers are forced into lock down, there has been a marked spike in the number of people turning to eCommerce as the channel of choice (and necessity) for their retail purchases.  Brands will need to adapt. Read more in this blog post from Vorys eControl.



vorys coronavirus task force