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Coronavirus Insights: What You Should Know

COVID-19 is impacting businesses in unexpected ways. View our coronavirus insights for information on what organizations should know about the virus’s evolving effects — from travel and visa restrictions to delayed SEC filing deadlines, new data security concerns, supply-chain shortages, employer challenges around sick time and other leave laws, and myriad other issues confronting every sector of the US and global economy.

Coronavirus Insights Center

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Thought Leadership

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March 27, 2020 | News

In an article published by Fortune, Mintz Member and Founding Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice Susan J. Cohen was quoted on the effect of delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and other legal ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for businesses that rely on immigrant workers.

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March 27, 2020 | Blog

The COVID-19 global pandemic presents unique legal and practical challenges for companies across all industries, including with respect to privacy and cybersecurity risks and protections. Join Mintz, ML Strategies, and one of our industry partners, The Crypsis Group, for a webinar addressing these critical issues and the dynamic and evolving cybersecurity threats.

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March 27, 2020 | Blog

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous travel bans and “shelter in place” orders which have been recently announced, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will extend certain filing deadlines by 60 days.

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March 27, 2020 | Blog

Congress has now passed the CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT OR CARES ACT – Federal government’s Phase III response to the health and economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump has pledged to sign the Act into law immediately.

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March 27, 2020 | Blog

On March 25, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a temporary policy relating to enforcement of regulatory requirements for face masks and respirators during the COVID-19 crisis. Since the public health emergency began, the United States has experienced a shortage of masks, respirators, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) which are critically needed for health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients in all states. FDA previously created emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for NIOSH-approved disposable respirators for use in health care settings and imported non-NIOSH-approved disposable respirators, but the temporary enforcement policy represents an attempt to open the manufacturing, importation, and distribution flood gates to make more masks and respirators available as quickly as possible.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

While many companies around the world are coping with a global pandemic, some are facing additional challenges in light of a looming deadline triggered by the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). Citing #covid19 concerns, a coalition of more than 60 such companies made a plea this week to California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra (“AG”) to delay the AG’s enforcement of the CCPA.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

Due to the national emergency declaration resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, several states have closed and/or restricted services at DMV offices, precluding millions of people from applying for a REAL ID. Accordingly, on March 26, 2020, Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, announced that the deadline for enforcement of the REAL ID Act would be extended by one year to October 1, 2021.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

On March 23, 2020, the New York Senate proposed legislation that would forever waive rent payment obligations and mortgage payment obligations due from certain residential tenants and small business commercial tenants for 90 days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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March 26, 2020 | Alert

Read about the SEC's new Guidance on Manual Signatures Required under Rule 302(b) of Regulation S-T as a Result of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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March 26, 2020 | Alert

Read about the SEC’s extension of conditional relief from filing deadlines and mailing obligations as a result of COVID-19 to July 1, 2020.

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March 26, 2020 | Alert

Read about the SEC’s guidance on disclosures, including those related to COVID-19 and financial reporting issues, as well as on securities trading in light of the pandemic.

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March 26, 2020 | Alert

This alert discusses what companies outsourcing critical business process functions to India should do in light of the Indian government’s order that telecom, IT, and other technology companies should, as far as possible, work from home.

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March 26, 2020 | News

In an article published by Law360, Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice Scott Ford was quoted on uncertainty regarding Massachusetts’ civil case docket, as state courts grapple with shutdowns and cancellations amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

Adding another layer of complexity to sensitively marketing in the COVID-19 environment, YouTube announced on March 11 that it will permit certain creators to monetize (i.e., enable ads on) content relating to coronavirus. Companies and brands should review their approach in this pandemic, including refining YouTube content exclusion parameters and policing their ad environments, if they do not wish to risk association with potentially undesirable videos.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

While many companies around the world are coping with a global pandemic, some are facing additional challenges in light of a looming deadline triggered by the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). Citing #covid19 concerns, a coalition of more than 60 such companies made a plea this week to California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra (“AG”) to delay the AG’s enforcement of the CCPA.

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Updated March 26, 2020 | Blog

New York State issued guidance on March 20th detailing answers to many frequently asked questions about the newly implemented COVID-19 quarantine leave law. In short, employers are immediately obligated to provide certain paid/unpaid leave (with duration and pay status varying based on the employer’s size), job protection, and expanded paid family leave and disability benefits to employees who are subject to a government-issued order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

In response to the nationwide COVID-19 emergency, state boards of pharmacy across the country are authorizing waivers of specific provisions of pharmacy laws and implementing policies to address potential staffing shortages and emergency dispensing of pharmaceuticals. Here's a high-level overview of the various actions being taken by state boards of pharmacy.

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March 26, 2020 | Blog

In response to the growing COVID-19 crisis, an increasing number of state and local governments will be issuing Executive Orders that mandate the closure of private businesses and require citizens to “stay home” or “shelter in place.” Several jurisdictions, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, are trying to mitigate the downstream economic impact of such Orders by limiting or banning commercial evictions during the pendency of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) into law. As employers try to keep up with the ever-changing legal landscape in the face of the novel coronavirus, numerous questions are arising from employers regarding what this new federal law means for their workforce. On March 23, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance regarding the FFCRA. However, numerous questions remain unanswered. Below we provide answers to additional questions we are receiving, or anticipating receiving, from our clients. We will continue to update this list regularly as more questions and information emerge regarding the FFCRA.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

While the FDA is working tirelessly to review possible vaccines, treatments, and cures, Americans should avoid endangering their health or lives by self-medicating. Per the FDA, self-medicating with any new product on the shelf (real or virtual) could not only lead to adverse effects but also could interfere with crucial medications. We are closely monitoring whether Congress will take specific actions on these increasingly prevalent issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

On March 23, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts issued COVID-19 Order No. 13 (the “Order”) requiring all businesses and organizations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” (“Essential Services”) to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of 12:00 noon on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until 12:00 noon on April 7, 2020.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, so too have concerns about collaboration between competitors attempting to address unmet needs due to this national emergency. Shortages of medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and health care services pose questions of whether stakeholders can join forces in order to provide these much needed services and supplies.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

On March 23, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which goes into effect on April 2, 2020. Here are the takeaways from the guidance.

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Updated March 25, 2020 | Blog

On March 23, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which goes into effect on April 2, 2020. Here are the takeaways from the guidance.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

Two weeks ago, on March 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to seven companies that allegedly made false or deceptive claims about their products’ ability to treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The agencies warned the companies that their health claims lacked credible supporting evidence and emphasized the FDA does not recognize a vaccine, drug, or treatment for the disease.

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March 25, 2020 | Blog

As authorized by Section 1135 of the Social Security Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will extend temporary Medicare billing privileges to physicians and non-physician practitioners via telephone and that it will expedite pending enrollment applications submitted by all other providers and suppliers, including DMEPOS. CMS made the announcement on March 13th and followed up with the publication of FAQs related to enrollment relief earlier this week.

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March 24, 2020 | Alert

This alert reviews executive orders by New York Governor Cuomo and administrative orders by the New York State courts that have stayed residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures in New York.

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March 24, 2020 | News

Mintz Member Katharine Beattie and Associate Corbin Carter were quoted extensively in an article published by EHS Today on legal considerations, best practices, and suggested policies for employers permitting telework to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

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March 24, 2020 | Alert

On Friday, March 20, 2020 the CFTC announced its third wave of temporary no-action relief to market participants from compliance with certain regulatory requirements that are difficult or impossible to comply with in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This alert reviews new no-action letters from DSIO providing temporary relief to a major insured depository institution (IDI) and to commodity pool operators as well as additional NFA temporary no-action relief to CPO members.

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March 24, 2020 | Blog

Two weeks ago, on March 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to seven companies that allegedly made false or deceptive claims about their products’ ability to treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The agencies warned the companies that their health claims lacked credible supporting evidence and emphasized the FDA does not recognize a vaccine, drug, or treatment for the disease.

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March 24, 2020 | Blog

As part of the “New York State on PAUSE” response to the COVID-19 outbreak, on March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.8 requiring a 100% reduction of the in-person workforce of all non-essential businesses in New York State. While the reduction of in-person workforce is broad reaching, the essential services exception serves to allow landlords to continue providing basic security, janitorial service, and other services truly needed for maintaining and operating their buildings. Furthermore, landlords and tenants should be able to maintain the IT infrastructure needed for remote work, provided they are doing so in a manner that otherwise comports with the NY State on Pause requirements.

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March 24, 2020 | Blog

Given the possible health impacts of COVID-19, maintaining access to health care and insurance coverage is front of the mind for just about everyone. Continuation coverage under COBRA offers employees a route to continue job-based coverage in the event of job loss or reduction of hours.

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March 24, 2020 | Blog

With the advent of COVID-19, countries around the world are facing a novel challenge that affects them in unprecedented ways economically, socially, and otherwise. From a public health perspective, now perhaps more than ever before, authorities are interested in understanding more about the movement patterns of those within their borders, including where certain individuals have traveled to, who they have met with, and where they are located now.

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March 24, 2020 | Blog

On March 16, 2020, the City and County of San Francisco issued an order requiring all individuals in San Francisco County to “shelter in place” from March 17, 2020 through April 7, 2020. The surrounding Bay Area counties (e.g. Santa Clara County, Alameda County, etc., etc.) also issued orders largely mirroring San Francisco’s directive.

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March 24, 2020 | Blog

In the past couple of days, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) each issued warnings about fraudulent schemes relating to COVID-19. While we are all taking precautions to stay safe and #flattenthecurve -- with many under orders to shelter in place -- scammers are preying on fears and insecurities and hawking test kits and vaccines for the virus. These scams are reminders to trust our medical professionals and access them when we feel sick and to think twice when something sounds too good to be true.

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March 23, 2020 | Blog

In response to the growing COVID-19 crisis, an increasing number of state and local governments will be issuing Executive Orders that mandate the closure of private businesses and require citizens to “stay home” or “shelter in place.” Several jurisdictions, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, are trying to mitigate the downstream economic impact of such Orders by limiting or banning commercial evictions during the pendency of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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March 23, 2020 | Blog

As the United States continues to develop its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of members of the National Guard will be activated to help deal with the threat. Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker activated 2,000 of the state’s National Guardspeople to aid the COVID-19 fight. As states assess how to use the National Guard to assist with the current state of emergency, service members will be called on to serve in increasing numbers.

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March 23, 2020 | Blog

This morning, Massachusetts Governor Baker issued Covid Order No. 13 which mandates that, starting Tuesday, March 24th at 12 P.M., all non-essential businesses and other organizations “shall close their physical workplaces and facilities (“brick-and-mortar premises”) to workers, customers, and the public,” due to evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. This directive also orders that, in furtherance of Massachusetts’s COVID-19 response efforts, all non-essential businesses and organizations “are encouraged to continue operations where they are able to operate through remote means that do not require worker, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by this Order.”

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March 23, 2020 | Blog

This alert covers Governor Cuomo’s executive order allowing corporations in New York to hold virtual-only shareholders meetings in light of COVID-19.

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March 23, 2020 | Blog

On Monday, March 23rd, the Baker Administration issued a stay at home advisory, along with an order (COVID-19 Order No. 13) requiring businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their doors starting March 24th at noon until April 7th at noon.

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March 23, 2020 | Advisory

This alert covers the March 23 order by Governor Charlie Baker requiring business closures and prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

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March 23, 2020 | Alert

This alert reviews a March 20 FCC declaratory ruling clarifying that COVID-19–related texts qualify as emergency exceptions under TCPA.

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March 23, 2020 | News

In an article published by HR Daily Advisor, Mintz Associate Kristen Marotta was quoted on legal considerations for human resources professionals and employers, specifically compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as they navigate the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)’s impact on the workplace.

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Updated March 23, 2020 | Blog

Late last week, New York Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.8 which mandates that, starting Sunday, March 22nd at 8 P.M., all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities “shall reduce the[ir] in-person workforce at any work locations by 100%.” This sweeping directive also orders that, in furtherance of New York’s COVID-19 response efforts, all businesses “shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize.”

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March 23, 2020 | Blog

Companies with employees in multiple European locations may well be feeling challenged both in keeping up with public health-driven guidance – and more recently, mandates – relating to the SARS-COV2 risks in the workplace. On top of extraordinarily urgent efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus while maintaining as much business continuity as possible, companies have legitimate concerns about their data protection obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and national employment laws.

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March 22, 2020 | Blog

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that for the three month period from March 17, 2020 to June 17, 2020, it will provide a temporary exemption to certain federal contracting requirements. The exemption is related to work under federal construction and service/supply contracts to provide COVID-19 relief.

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March 22, 2020 | Blog

As the United States continues to develop its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of members of the National Guard will be activated to help deal with the threat. Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker activated 2,000 of the state’s National Guardspeople to aid the COVID-19 fight. As states assess how to use the National Guard to assist with the current state of emergency, service members will be called on to serve in increasing numbers.

Read more
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March 21, 2020 | Blog

Late Thursday evening California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 (the “Order”), which directs all California residents to stay home in light of the developing COVID-19 public health crisis. The Order states that except as necessary to continue the operations of businesses in the 16 “Critical Infrastructure” industries, all residents should leave their residence only as necessary for food or medical needs.

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March 21, 2020 | Blog

In recognition of the widespread disruptions the COVID-19 crisis is posing to planned and ongoing clinical trials at sites throughout the United States (and global clinical sites), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued on Wednesday, March 18 a guidance describing potential considerations for adjusting trial processes and, potentially, protocols and statistical analysis plans to mitigate any difficulties meeting trial objectives due to interference from the virus and related social and governmental restrictions.

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Updated March 20, 2020 | Blog

We provide the following information to assist our clients to keep track of some of the most salient Coronavirus-related immigration changes and developments:

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March 20, 2020 | Blog

401(k) plans must, by law, limit the circumstances under which plan money can be withdrawn by active employees. However, 401(k) plans can (and most do) allow in-service withdrawals in the event of an employee’s financial hardship. The COVID-19 pandemic is guaranteed to have financial repercussions for many 401(k) participants, and hardship distributions may provide a financial bridge to better times.

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March 20, 2020 | News

Member and Founding Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan J. Cohen was featured in HR Dive's Mailbag series, which answers human resources professionals’ questions about all things work. In the article, Ms. Cohen addressed how employers should review and complete Form I-9 documents while working remotely to further reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

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March 20, 2020 | Advisory

This article reviews guidance issued Friday, March 13, 2020 by the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance to help public companies manage their upcoming annual meeting processes in light of COVID-19.

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March 20, 2020 | Blog

In the midst of the upheaval caused by social distancing and related efforts to minimize and contain COVID-19-related risks, we have been monitoring steps taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs), and federal courts to adapt to these circumstances. Any steps taken are sure to affect ongoing government investigations and related proceedings and how we, as defense counsel, approach them.

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