As we navigate the personal and professional disruptions imposed by COVID-19, now and in the future, Weston Hurd is a resource for guidance, advice, and counsel. Our team of attorneys is monitoring the many legal issues that are arising and will continue to arise as a result of the pandemic. Please refer to Weston Hurd’s Coronavirus Resource Page for information on topics that may be of assistance and support.
11/5/21 – OSHA Temporary COVID-19 Standard Contains Some Surprises On November 5, 2021, OSHA’s emergency workplace COVID-19 safety rule will be published and effective. Employers with more than 100 employees will have 30 days to comply. The emergency rule contains several mandatory requirements, few exceptions, typical recordkeeping requirements and some surprising obligations. Read more in this update written by Weston Hurd partner Jonathan Good.
10/8/21 – COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates in Ohio: Legal or Actionable? In very few legal scenarios is there a clear cut, black and white answer, and this is especially true when it comes to workplace policy decisions that directly affect employees. When you add in the variable of an employee’s health and medical history, things can become complicated very quickly. Read more in this update written by Weston Hurd partner Matthew Seeley.
8/18/21 –– OSHA Retaliation Claims in the Age of COVID – Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant uptick in the number of OSHA retaliation actions premised on the alleged failure of an employer to follow applicable local, state, or federal guidelines regarding COVID-19. There are numerous steps employers can take both before and after OSHA complaints have been filed. Weston Hurd partner Matthew Seeley explains in this update.
3/12/21 – Additional Help for SBA Borrowers Offered by the Continued Loan Payment Subsidies – The subsidy of Small Business Administration loan repayments offered by the CARES Act has been extended by the newly enacted Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits and Venues Act. Read more in this update written by Weston Hurd partner Dana Rose.
2/18/21 – Employer-Mandated COVID-19 Vaccines – Employers can mandate that employees be vaccinated for COVID-19 with certain caveats. Read more about this topic in this update written by Weston Hurd partner Dana Rose.
12/22/20 – Congress Trumps IRS and Confirms Tax Deductions for Expenses Paid with PPP Loans – On December 21, 2020, the United States Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”). President Trump is expected to sign the Act. Significantly, the Act specifies that business expenses paid with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are tax-deductible. This supersedes IRS guidance that such expenses could not be deducted if the taxpayer reasonably anticipated the loan would be forgiven. – Read more about the Act in this update written by Weston Hurd partners – Sam Lauricia and Matt Miller.
9/21/20 – New Ohio COVID Immunity Law – Written by Weston Hurd partner Dana Rose is an overview of House Bill 606 which became law on Monday, September 14, 2020 and provides legal immunity to individuals, schools and businesses from claims in connection with COVID-19.
6/4/20 – Business Interruption and the Civil Authority Insurance Coverage – This update written by Weston Hurd attorneys Patrick Cannell and Joshua Miklowski provides an overview of the various lawsuits filed in May 2020, in both Ohio state and federal courts, which involve insured business owners’ claims for insurance coverage for losses connected with the closing of their respective businesses as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, this update includes an overview of the business interruption legislation introduced in Ohio, under Ohio House Bill No. 589, as well as in the federal system, under the Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Act of 2020 and Never Again Small Business Protection Act of 2020.
5/21/20 – Complete Cessation of Business Required For Business Interruption Claims – In a case of first impression in Ohio, with potentially wide application to COVID-19 business interruption claims, Weston Hurd’s Randy Taylor and Ron Rispo secured a favorable ruling regarding the undefined term “necessary suspension”, as it relates to a claim of lost business income coverage under an insurance policy.
5/19/2020 – PPP Loan Forgiveness Application – On May 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced its long-awaited forgiveness rules through the release of the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application. Weston Hurd Partner Matt Miller weighs in on the 11-page application process and accompanying instructions that detail eligible and non-eligible costs for loan forgiveness and how forgiveness amounts are calculated.
4/30/2020 – Understanding the SBA’s New PPP Certification Guidance – Weston Hurd Partner Matt Miller discusses borrower requirements, need for certification, and key takeaways from the new guidance which reinforces that borrowers should carefully analyze and be prepared to demonstrate to the SBA the need for a PPP loan.
3/26/2020 – “Senate Passes Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act as Part of Coronavirus Response Act” – Weston Hurd Partner Matt Miller provides a preliminary summary of unique provisions relevant to small business loans.
3/25/2020 – Here is the official Department of Labor poster regarding the new COVID-19 leave laws. Covered employers are required to post in a conspicuous place where employees can see it. Click “download” to obtain a copy.
3/25/2020 – “COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available for Certain Non-Profit Organizations, as well as For-Profit Businesses” – Weston Hurd Partner Dana Rose provides information on the U.S. Small Business Administration program of economic injury disaster loans to private non-profits, as well as for-profit businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3/24/2020 – “Coronavirus Employment FAQs” – Weston Hurd Partner Jon Good addresses frequently asked questions as employers navigate Ohio’s new emergency laws and statewide orders pertaining to essential businesses.
3/23/2020 – Unforeseeable circumstances – such as the outbreak of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) – that prevent a party from fulfilling its contractual duties may fall under the force majeure clause of that contract. However, a great deal depends on the nature of the event and its impact on the specific contract and its performance by the parties. Learn more about this topic in “COVID-19 and Force Majeure” written by Weston Hurd Partner Matthew Miller. Download a pdf copy of the article here.
3/23/2020 – In “Business Interruption Coverage – Lawmakers and Insurance Industry Weigh-In”, Weston Hurd attorney Joshua Miklowski monitors the latest development on this topic when a bipartisan group of U.S. Congressional lawmakers and four major insurance trade associations exchange letters on March 18 pertaining to commercial business interruption coverage for policy holders.
3/23/2020 – “Coronavirus, Project Interruption, and Contractual Obligations” – Weston Hurd Partner Frederick Bills on Ohio’s Stay-at-Home Order and how now is an important time for design professionals to review and reconsider contractual provisions accounting for unforeseeable circumstances and resulting project interruption.
3/20/2020 – “Temporary Expansion of FMLA and Paid Sick Leave” written by Weston Hurd Partner Jon Good addresses two key components of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – the temporary expansion of FMLA and the immediate provision of paid sick leave to certain employees. The Act was passed by the Senate and signed by the President on March 18, 2020. Download a pdf copy of the article here or view the article by clicking the link:
3/19/2020 – “Business Interruption Coverage and the Coronavirus” written by Weston Hurd Partner John Farnan addresses the timely topic of a business owner’s insurance policy. Download a pdf copy of the article here:
COVID-19 PRESENTATIONS AND NEWS
12/18/20 – Manufacturing Works addressed “Covid-19 Testing Options – Keeping Your Employees Safe and Your Business Compliant” with panelists including Weston Hurd partner Jon Good, representatives from the State of Ohio’s Pandemic Response Team and University Hospitals. Among the items discussed: EEOC guidance and compliance, CDC guidance, and workplace questions involving Covid exposure, sick leave, and testing. View the program by clicking: COVID-19 Testing Options: Keeping Your Employees Safe and Your Business Compliant – YouTube
9/22/20 – Setting forth the insurers’ position on business interruption claims arising from the coronavirus was the subject of today’s presentation by partners John Farnan and Dan Richards at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association virtual Insurance Law Seminar. Along with John and Dan’s insurer perspective in “First Party Property Damage Coverage for ‘Business Interruption’ Claims ‘Debate’” was the policyholder perspective presented by attorneys from Brouse McDowell.
5/11/20 and 5/21/20 – Employment attorneys Jon Good, Jack Kluznikand Warren Rosman presented Handling the Restart – Considerations for Employers When Reopening. Their presentation to members from ACEC-Ohio (May 11) and Manufacturing Works (May 21) discussed various concerns and considerations as Ohio businesses start the important process of reopening and employees begin the process of returning to work.
5/21/20 – Dan Richardsspoke as one of two panelists from OACTA at a summit on the status of civil litigation and jury trials in Ohio in the wake of COVID-19. The program included presentations and discussions from the Ohio Supreme Court Task Force on Civil Jury Trials, a panel of judges from across Ohio, and panels from OACTA and the OAJ .
5/13/20 – David Patterson was a speaker at an ACEC webinar on “COVID-19 Related Issues–Insurance and Risk Management.” Dave was joined by representatives from Oswald Insurance. Their presentation covered professional liability, workers’ compensation, business interruption, EPL, and directors and officers.
4/23/20 – Weston Hurd partners John Farnan and Dan Richards spoke to nearly 100 attendees at an OACTA (Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys) webinar on the important and timely subject of “Business Interruption Coverage and the Coronavirus.” Their presentation covered topics including business interruption cases, COVID-19 coverage issues, 2006 ISO Virus Exclusion, Civil Authority Coverage, and proposed legislation.
4/16/20 – Dan Richards served on a panel of three Managing Partners for a Townhall discussion on Law Firm Responses to COVID-19 hosted by Lee Fisher, the Dean of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. The Zoom event was sponsored by the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association.
4/14/20 – Weston Hurd Managing Partner Daniel Richards was a panelist at the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Interactive Town Hall on“Emergency Ohio Legislation & Administrative Orders Regarding COVID-19.”Panelists and participants discussed the statutes & orders and addressed tolling provision questions.
4/6/20 – Crain’s Cleveland‘s legal affairs section features a Q&A discussion with six newly installed Managing Partners including Dan Richards. Crain’s asked the attorneys to weigh in and share their insights on various issues in order to collect a range of perspectives. Dan shares his thoughts on topics ranging from the impact of COVID-19 to emerging trends and challenges in legal services. https://www.crainscleveland.com/Legal_Affairs_Survey_Results?utm_source=weekly-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200405&utm_content=article8-headline.
3/26/20 – Weston Hurd Partners Fred Bills and Jon Good spoke at a Manufacturing Works-sponsored webinar on Business Continuity During COVID-19. Fred discussed contract language and obligations and force majeure and Jon spoke about the new employment laws – EFMLA and Emergency Paid Sick Leave. They were joined on the webinar with three representatives from Oswald Insurance.
OHIO COURTS – COVID-19 UPDATES
The Ohio Judicial Conference has compiled a comprehensive list of all the general orders issued by individual courts across the state to date. A link to the web site can be found by clicking: