The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that a force majeure clause in a commercial lease partially excused a restaurant tenant from paying rent during the period of the Illinois state executive order restricting dine-in restaurant operations. This decision is one of the first to test the application of a force majeure clause in the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, May 29, Duane Morris’ Chicago office provided meals to healthcare workers on the front lines at Saint Anthony Hospital. This is part of our firm wide initiative Meals for Healthcare Heroes. This program is funded by donations from Duane Morris attorneys and staff and is meant to honor and support the Healthcare workers and support local restaurants. On-site delivery from Wishbone Chicago included Duane Morris employees Jamie Brown and Sally Wagner. This is the first of fifteen Meals for Healthcare Heroes events Duane Morris’ COVID-19 Strategy Team will be hosting nationwide.
On May 20, 2020, Chicago City Council passed two ordinances intended to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: a COVID-19 anti-retaliation ordinance and an amendment to the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, which provides employers with a six-month delay to the implementation of the private litigation rights provision of the ordinance.
The City of Chicago City Council committee with responsibility for employer-related issues has advanced two separate ordinances intended to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The full City Council is expected to vote on both of these proposed ordinances on May 20, 2020. Watch for our follow up report after the City Council vote for further developments and additional compliance tips. Continue reading Employment Law and COVID-19: Things to Watch→
On April 23, 2020, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that he is extending the state’s stay-at-home order with modifications. This new order will go into effect on May 1, 2020, and continue through May 30, 2020.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has withdrawn its April 16, 2020, emergency rule that would have established that all first responders and front-line workers asserting a workers’ compensation claim before the commission based on exposure to COVID-19 would be rebuttably presumed to have been exposed to the virus through their work.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal, state and local governments, through both legislative and executive means, have enacted or ordered a broad array of financial measures to mitigate the adverse economic effects experienced by businesses and nonprofit entities.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, which will identify and explain the economic programs established by both the federal government, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago to help ease the financial effects of COVID-19, please visit the firm website.
In an effort to protect essential workers during the COVID-19 health crisis, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has issued an emergency rule. Effective April 16, 2020, all first responders and front-line workers asserting a workers’ compensation claim before the commission based on exposure to COVID-19 will be rebuttably presumed to have been exposed to the virus through their work and for their claim to have been caused by that exposure.
This list is current as of April 14, 2020 (4:00 p.m. EST) and is and Update to an earlier Alert we posted on April 3rd. Please note that these closure orders are changing almost daily so please make sure you are checking the applicable state in question when considering a closure question.
Cannabis operators, like all other businesses, are searching for new ways to reach their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cannabis businesses have been generally treated as “essential” under the various state orders that have otherwise closed businesses and ordered people to stay at home. Even though they have been permitted to operate, it is not business-as-usual for these operators as they grapple with CDC workplace restrictions and guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
As a result of these restrictions, state regulators and cannabis business have begun implementing new policies and procedures such as curbside pick-up, expanded delivery zones and increased use of contactless payment methods. While these changes are viewed as temporary, if properly implemented, cannabis businesses may be able to show regulators that these expanded policies should continue after the crisis has passed. This difficult time presents an opportunity for cannabis retailers to expand their reach and help bolster support for more online ordering, home delivery and other delivery methods.