Jun 15, 2020

Supreme Court Rules Title VII Covers LGBTQ Workers

New Federal Discrimination Law

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a major federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex includes a prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. That is, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), protects workers from discrimination based on certain protected class statuses, including sex, but until this Supreme Court decision, federal courts differed on whether Title VII protections extended to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This Supreme Court decision resolves the conflicts between federal courts and establishes that employers… Read more

Jun 12, 2020

Main Street Lending Program Update. June 8, 2020 Amendments: Requirements Relaxed for Borrower Eligibility and Greater Flexibility for Repayment. Program to be Open “Soon.”

Coming Soon Image

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on May 29, 2020 that the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program was “days away” from providing loans through its Main Street program for small-and medium-sized businesses. As it turns out, on June 8, 2020, the Federal Reserve adopted further changes to the three Main Street Loan Programs, with amendments to the terms sheets for the Main Street New Loan Facility, the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility and the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (which were last updated on April 30, 2020), as well as an amendment to their FAQ (which had been last updated… Read more

Jun 10, 2020

New York Forward Loan Fund – New York State’s Financial Aid to Reopening Businesses

COVID Reopening Sign

On Tuesday, May 25 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State has established a new loan program to assist COVID 19 impacted small businesses, nonprofits, and small landlords. The program, called the New York Forward Loan Fund (the “NYFLF”), is a $100 million fund intended to help these impacted small businesses cover the costs associated with re-opening,   after the NYS on PAUSE COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift to allow regions to move thru the various phases of re-opening. NYFLF is intended for (1) small business and non-profits with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and a gross income of… Read more

Jun 10, 2020

Employer Guidelines for New York Reopening: Phase 2

Reopening NY

The State of New York is now in Phase 2 of reopening, except for New York City, which is still Phase 1. The status of reopening, by region and industry, can be found here. Phase 2 business that are reopening include office-based businesses and entities in the following sectors: Professional services, nonprofit, technology, administrative support, and higher education administration. For businesses that are in Phase 2, the state has issued reopening guidelines for employers and employees, found here and here. The guidelines contain mandatory rules as well as best practices, and as explained below, employers must affirm that they have reviewed… Read more

Jun 8, 2020

Department of Labor Provides Guidance on Offering Private Equity Investments in Defined Contribution Plans

abstract photo of private equity

On June 3, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an information letter setting out circumstances under which the DOL will not object to the selection by a fiduciary of a defined contribution plan of an investment fund that includes, as part of its underlying investments, investment in private equity. This letter also outlines many of the factors a plan fiduciary would consider in deciding whether to include a private equity component in a defined contribution plan. Background on Private Equity Investments.  Many defined benefit plans (primarily very large plans) have had investments in private equity investments for quite some time. … Read more

Jun 4, 2020

IRS Temporarily Authorizes Spousal Consents for Retirement Plan Elections to be Notarized or Witnessed Electronically

Photo of notary public stamp

On June 3, 2020, the IRS announced that, through the end of the year, spousal consents for retirement plan elections may be notarized or witnessed electronically. Background.  Various retirement plan elections may be made electronically.  However, if the election requires the consent of the participant’s spouse, such as designating a non-spouse beneficiary or electing a form of benefit under a pension plan other than a spousal survivor benefit, the spouse’s consent must be either notarized or witnessed by the plan representative.  Under existing IRS regulations, the spousal consent was required to be in the “physical presence” of the notary or… Read more

Jun 3, 2020

HHS Issues Last-Minute Notice Applying Today’s June 3 Deadline to Providers Who Have Not Yet Received Second Payments from Provider Relief Fund

Photo of Dr with Medicare

Beginning on April 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent out General Distribution payments to Medicare participating providers. Other providers anticipate receiving a second payment, while some providers who HHS deemed ineligible for a second payment have submitted appeals which remain pending. On June 2, HHS issued a notice stating that the June 3 deadline for submitting financial information (including federal income tax returns and March and April lost revenues) through the General Distribution portal applies not only to providers who have actually received two payments from the General Distribution, but also to providers who are… Read more

Jun 1, 2020

Main Street Lending Program: FAQ provided. Powell says program is “days away” from providing loans.

FAQ Blocks

As we had reported previously, on April 30, 2020, the Federal Reserve updated and revised term sheets for three programs, the Main Street New Loan Facility, the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility and the Main Street Priority Loan Facility, which comprise their joint “Main Street Lending Program” that is intended to provide additional financing for small-and medium sized businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On May 27, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston provided further updates in connection with the Main Street Lending Program. The update included a revised version of the Main Street Lending Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)… Read more

Jun 1, 2020

The Supreme Court Rules that Participants Cannot Sue Over Mismanagement of Defined Benefit Plan Asset Investments

Gavel in front of USA flag

Earlier today (June 1, 2020), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Thole v. U.S. Bank N.A. that individual participants in a defined benefit pension plan lack standing to sue the fiduciaries of that plan over alleged mismanagement of plan asset investments. Basis for Lacking Standing to Sue.  The case involved two participants who alleged that certain fiduciaries of their defined benefit pension plan had mismanaged the investment of plan assets through self-dealing and breaching their fiduciary duties.  The Court ruled that the individual participants lacked standing to bring this suit because (i) they had received all of the past monthly… Read more

May 26, 2020

California Dramatically Expands Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Employees Diagnosed with COVID-19

COVID Worker's Comp Claim

On May 6, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, immediately creating a major change in how claims of work-related COVID-19 suffered by employees in California will be handled. The Executive Order can be found here. While employees typically must prove that they were injured on the job to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, Executive Order N-62-20 creates a rebuttable presumption that an employee who tests positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus at work if the following conditions are met: The employee tested positive for or was diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of performing labor or services… Read more