SEC Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS Compliance Deadline Unchanged Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI)—which sets forth a new standard of conduct for broker-dealers and their associated persons when making investment recommendations—was adopted by the SEC on June 5, 2019, and is scheduled to take effect on June 30, 2020. There was some question as to whether the SEC would push back the effective date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but on April 2, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a public statement that the SEC will hold to the June 30 deadline despite the ongoing emergency.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

San Francisco Enacts Emergency Ordinance: Public Health Emergency Leave

On April 7, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an emergency ordinance requiring private employers with 500 or more employees to provide public health emergency leave consistent with the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Public Health Emergency Leave ordinance (PHELO) follows San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s proclamation of a state of emergency, state and local shelter-in-place orders and Bay Area school closures in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The ordinance will go into effect as soon as it is signed by Mayor Breed.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

COVID-19 Employer Update: Implementing the FFCRA – What Employers Need to Know

This webinar, featuring Duane Morris partners Christopher Durham, Linda Hollinshead and Kathleen O’Malley, will be held on April 21, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.

In the midst of significant operational challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are now managing employee requests for emergency sick and extended family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Navigating the requirements of the FFCRA has been made more complex by the fact that the U.S. Department of Labor issued its Q & A Guidance in piecemeal fashion and the temporary rule implementing the FFCRA was issued April 1, 2020, the day the law went into effect. Employers have had little time to prepare for and contemplate their responsibilities under this new law and now must quickly get up to speed.

For more information or to register, please visit the Duane Morris Institute website.

Webinar: H-1B and Nonimmigration Visas: Lay-offs, Grace Periods and Changes in Employment Due to COVID-19

This webinar, featuring Duane Morris partners Valentine Brown, Lisa Spiegel and  Ted Chiappari, will be held on April 14, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.

This webinar will address various immigration issues organizations need to be aware of including:

• H-1B Work and Compensation Rules
• USCIS Updates to Processing
• Travel restrictions and available exceptions
• Immigration Strategy and Long term planning
• What if the US Postal Service suspends operation
• What if USCIS Service Centers Close
• Planning an adjudication for employer-sponsored green cards

For more information or to register, please visit the Duane Morris Institute website.

New York Issues Updated Guidance on the Definition of “Essential Business” and “Non-Essential Business”

On April 9, the Governor issued and updated Executive Order (202.6) to provide further guidance on determining whether a business is “Essential” (and thereby permitted to operate) or “Non-Essential” (and, thereby NOT permitted to operate).

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

$6 Billion in Student Emergency Grants via Institutions from U.S. Department of Education

On April 9, 2020, the Secretary of Education announced the availability of more than $6 billion for immediate distribution to colleges and universities to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students through the authority of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized by the CARES Act.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Katherine Brodie, please visit the Duane Morris UpdatED Blog.

What Companies Are Looking for Before You Can Come Back to Work

At some point, the biggest American companies are going to tell their employees it’s time to leave home and return to work.

That decision will be fraught with risk without widespread testing for the COVID-19 virus. For some industries, such as Wall Street banks, ubiquitous testing is essential to bringing back their workforce to offices around the globe. For other industries, such as automakers, plans are already being made to open factories as early as May.

The tension between getting up and running as soon as possible versus taking chances with the health of employees is both a moral and a legal quandry. Employers have a relatively low legal risk, but a high reputational one, if they rush people back to the office, said Jonathan Segal, an employment attorney at law firm Duane Morris who specializes in human resources and minimizing companies’ legal and business risks.

To read more of Mr. Segal’s comments, please visit the firm website. To read the full text of the article, please visit the CNBC website.

Construction and Engineering UK: Exit Strategies

It was announced on Sunday 5 April that Keir Starmer was selected as leader of the Labour Party. Whilst the current Covid-19 outbreak has no basis for political jostling, he raised a very important question, namely, what is the government’s “Exit Strategy” to eventually get us back to a sense of normality.

The point raised by Keir Starmer is of wider economic relevance. Save for key workers, most other business sector activities have come to a halt. This is largely (but not exclusively) the case for construction and engineering projects.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Vijay Bange and Tanya Chadha, please visit the Duane Morris Construction Law Blog.