On March 31, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a “robust” mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with $349 billion in much-needed capital pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program, established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and

With special thanks to Teresa Michaud and Sara Pitt for contributing.

Revised Health Orders were handed down yesterday across the Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Berkeley Counties), intended to “clarify, strengthen, and extend” the terms of the prior shelter-in-place orders. Each supersedes its prior order, and provides that the county order is intended to implement more stringent county-level restrictions, to complement the “baseline statewide restrictions” set by Governor Newsom’s Executive Order. In addition, where a conflict exists between the county order and any state public health order, “the most restrictive provision controls,” unless the State Health Officer formally determines that a given provision is a public nuisance.

Under the new orders, “Essential Businesses” remain “strongly encouraged” to remain open, but should maximize the number of employees working from home, and may only require employees to work on-site if their duties cannot be performed from home.

Most importantly, the revised county orders require that businesses that include an essential component, along with non-essential components, must (to the extent feasible) scale down their operations to the essential business component only. In addition, “Essential Businesses must follow industry-specific guidance issued by the Health Officer related to COVID-19.”


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We hope that you, your families and colleagues are safe and doing well. We know these are difficult and challenging times for everyone, including US employers.  As always, we are here to help you navigate the complexities of our current — and quickly changing — environment.

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The EEOC recently updated its Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act Guidance, first published in 2009, to specifically address the COVID-19 pandemic. The updated guidance is here.

Significantly, the EEOC confirms that the COVID-19 pandemic meets the “direct threat” standard for employee medical examinations and disability

At noon today, San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Marin, and Contra Costa counties extended their Shelter-In-Place Orders until at least May 1, 2020. The original Shelter-In-Place Orders were set to expire on April 7. The joint press release may be found here.

These Orders require all individuals ordered to shelter in place in their residences and for businesses to cease all activities at facilities located within the listed counties and with certain exceptions for: (1) “Essential Businesses” (as defined by the Orders); and (2) “Minimum Basic Operations” for businesses that do not qualify as “Essential Businesses.” The Shelter-In-Place Orders now remain in effect through “at least May 1, 2020,” with the term “at least” indicating further extensions are likely.

The intent of the Orders is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. Although each of the seven Bay Area counties issued a separate Order, the substantive terms of the Orders are the same. Information about California’s separate, state-wide Shelter-In-Place Order may be found here.

What Businesses are Covered by the Orders?


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As a further update to our post here, on Thursday, the DOL issued an additional 22 FAQs on FFCRA, addressing required certifications for leave, healthcare coverage during leave, intermittent leave, teleworking, and several other topics. In a major and unexpected twist, DOL takes the position that FFCRA leave is not available if an employer

Predictions about the spread of COVID-19 through significant parts of the population and its effects on American life are staggering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 54,000 confirmed cases in the United States. As countries across the world implement new, extraordinary measures in an attempt to contain the coronavirus, which

The Department of Labor just published its first round of guidance on the FFCRA, including two fact sheets and a FAQ explaining key provisions of the paid sick leave and paid child care requirements:

The DOL also published sample FFCRA posters that federal and private employers are required to post in the workplace, as well as a FAQ on how and where to post them. Notably, emailing the posters to remote workers satisfies the posting requirements.

Importantly, DOL has elected to make the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA effective April 1, 2020, instead of the anticipated April 2 date. The DOL also announced a 30-day suspension on enforcement actions if employers attempt in good faith to comply with the FFCRA.


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