Here’s today’s daily digest, designed to keep you updated with the ways the COVID-19 outbreak may affect your business.
• Late yesterday afternoon, the Department of Labor (DOL) released guidance on the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This guidance is in the form of Q&A and attempts to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs).
o The DOL FAQ is a good first step but far from conclusive, and it still leaves a lot of wiggle room on all sides; there’s still a lot of uncertainty. We expect the DOL to both continue clarifying the FFCRA through guidance and also supply regulations for complying with the law. We will keep you updated on these new developments, and if you have any questions regarding this new guidance and what it means for your business, please do not hesitate to call us at 404-531-2341.
• Stock markets jumped yesterday morning, anticipating that Congress would pass the multi-trillion economic relief bill. President Trump commented on this bill, stating he wants to do anything that will help reopen businesses and that he supports the idea of reopening businesses by Easter.
o There is hope at the end of the tunnel, and overnight reports say the several-thousand-page bill has passed. Despite all the setbacks Congress has seen this week, it looks like the bill is moving in the right direction to make money available for businesses to keep employees on their payroll and their doors open. But as we have seen, this is all speculation, and it can all be turned around in a day. Keep planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Communicate with your employees, and plan to make everything remote if your state or local government has not required your business to shut down.
• Speaking of local government shutting down, despite Governor Kemp’s order late Monday evening for only the “medically fragile” to self-quarantine, yesterday Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an order mandating all Atlanta residents stay at home unless they must go out to receive essential services or provide essential business and government services.
o This is similar to several cities and states under stay-at-home orders. It mandates that any non-essential business switch to remote work and maintain social distancing. Even essential businesses must, to the greatest extent feasible, abide with social distancing. If you have questions about whether or not your business may qualify as essential, or need clarification on what this means for your business, please feel free to give us a call at 404-531-2341.
• Other government shutdowns include North Carolina and Florida. Florida’s shutdown is slightly different than others, however, mandating a 14-day self-quarantine for those traveling from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to Florida. This is a unique and interesting governor’s order, and we will watch it to see how it plays out.
• Stay tuned for another informational webinar coming this Friday. Employment law attorneys from Barrett & Farahany (plaintiff) and Stanton Law (defense) will discuss specific workplace situations from both the employer’s and employee’s perspectives. Employers will learn how to avoid potential claims, while employees will better appreciate their employer’s mindset during these unprecedented times. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of both their respective obligations and rights and the way that clear communication and working together can help avoid costly and disruptive disputes. Details will follow. We’re obviously not scared of sending you a lot of emails. Register here!
At Stanton Law, we are glad to be one of your resources for daily updates on COVID-19’s effect on your business. If you have any questions regarding this or any other legal matter, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Atlanta employment attorneys at 404-531-2341 or online.