Contributed by Beverly Alfon, March 27, 2020 The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the CARES Act, and it is up for vote TODAY before the U.S. House of Representatives, with a promise of swift passage. You need to pay attention. This is about more than emergency relief. Look at page 524 of the bill, which would apply to any mid-sized business that takes a loan under this Act: “Any eligible borrower applying for a direct loan under this program shall make a good-faith certification that— …. (X) that the recipient will remain neutral in any union organizing effort for…
By Sara Zorich and Michael Wong, March 27, 2020 wage and hour For purposes of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the regular rate of pay used to calculate an employee’s paid leave is not necessarily the employee’s base wage or salary.  According to the Department of Labor (DOL) FAQs regarding the FFCRA, the pay rate for an employee’s FFCRA leave is the average of the employee’s regular rate over a period of up to six months prior to the date the employee takes the leave.  If the employee has not worked for the employer for at least…
  Friday, March 27, 2020     Just a reminder to Municipal Minute readers to subscribe to or follow Ancel Glink’s labor and employment law blog, the Workplace Report with Ancel Glink, for up-to-date information on employment-related issues relating to Covid-19.  You can check out the blog here.   You should pay particular attention to a few of our most recent blog posts that answer some of the most common questions regarding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), which you can find by clicking on the links below:…
Divorce is expensive.  Divorce with children is even more expensive.  Divorce lawyers in Chicago, Illinois can charge over $400 an hour and ask for $ 5000 retainers.  This is far outside the means of many Chicago residents.  Yet, lower income Chicago residents still need to get a divorce and resolve their family law issues.  There are many reduced-fee and no-fee divorce attorneys in Chicago, Illinois who describe this billing system by the latin term “pro bono” which means “for good.”  So, who are the Pro Bono Divorce Lawyers in Chicago? Many of the pro bono divorce lawyers in Chicago…
In this unprecedented time, Livas Law Group remains committed to putting its clients first. As government officials recommend social distancing, limitation of in-person meetings and travel, and practicing self-quarantine, we are adjusting how we go about the practice of law. Out of an abundance of caution to our employees and to the public, the leadership of the firm decided it was best for now that all employees work from their homes. The firm was properly prepared to have its office fully operational on a remote basis. Our technology allows the firm to be in contact with each other, to be…
Galderma Labs., Nestle Skin Health S.A. et al. v. Amneal Pharm. LLC et al. Docket No. 2019-1021 LOURIE, MOORE, STOLL March 25, 2020 Non-Precedential Brief Summary: DC finding of infringement of certain claims affirmed as statements made in related IPR was not prosecution history estoppel; finding of infringement of others reversed for lack of “particularized testimony”. Summary: Amneal appealed DC finding that it infringes the asserted claims of Galderma’s “Chang Patents” (US 8,206,740; 8,394,405; and 8,470,364) and the “Ashley II Patents” (US 8,603,506; US 9,241,946) relating to low-dose doxycycline formulations for treating skin disease (e.g., acne, rosacea). IPR proceedings regarding…
Government Re-Prioritizes Nursing Home Inspections and Visits Due to Coronavirus The coronavirus epidemic is pausing inspections conducted by State Survey Agencies (SSAs). The most recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance related to nursing homes and coronavirus includes a pull-back of regular CMS inspections. The federal agency said it would only conduct revisits when Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) is cited. CMS defines IJ as: “… a situation in which entity noncompliance has placed the health and safety of recipients in its care at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death. These situations must be accurately identified…
For the record, I’m not getting much sleep this week, thanks to the Department of Labor. But it’s evident the DOL isn’t getting much sleep either. Late last evening, the DOL issued a second round of Q&As (FAQs #15-37) aimed at helping employers administer emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and paid FMLA leave (FMLA+) as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf), which provides initial relief to American workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The first Q&A issued on Tuesday, March 24 focused largely on employer coverage and pay calculations. Last night, however, the DOL started getting…
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued numerous executive orders and declared a state of emergency. As the virus spreads, Illinoisans face unprecedented personal and professional challenges.  Businesses have been forced to shutdown or significantly change their operations as a consequence of Covid-19.  Moreover, it remains unclear when businesses will be allowed to resume normal operations.  Because the legal requirements related to Covid-19 are constantly evolving, and due to the health hazards associated with the virus, it is imperative for businesses to understand their legal obligations during the pandemic.  Violating legal requirements related to Covid-19…
Adding to the confusion businesses face over the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), two Illinois District Court judges recently issued orders on what is required to maintain a BIPA lawsuit in federal court. In one case, Judge Robert Gettleman remanded a BIPA lawsuit to an Illinois circuit court, concluding that the plaintiff lacked standing to pursue her claim in federal court.  In a separate case, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer dismissed a BIPA lawsuit, finding that that plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to state a claim under the Act.  These opinions seem to impose more stringent requirements on plaintiffs than…
[embedded content] 10 Things to Know When Applying for a Cannabis License Winning a cannabis license in Illinois is a game of chance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your absolute best foot forward. Over the last few months, Cannabis lawyer Tom Howard has completed dozens of cannabis applications for hopeful entrepreneurs. Today, Tom is sharing a few things he learned along the way. 10 Tips for Competitive Cannabis Licensing Prepare for Stress Winning a cannabis license requires a lot of attention and tenacity from a team of people dedicated to assisting you with your cannabis license application. This…
On March 25, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published workplace posters that small and midsize employers can use to fulfill their obligations to notify employees of their rights to expanded paid sick leave and expanded paid Family and Medical Leave Act leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). A notice is to be posted in each workplace or emailed to all workers. Here is the link for the private sector poster:  https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf. Here is the link for U.S. DOL Q & A on the new poster/Notice requirements: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-poster-questions. Should you need assistance…
On March 19, Congress approved and the White House signed into law the Family First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA”), which provides for expanded protections under the Family Medical Leave Act as well as paid sick leave to eligible employees for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. A more detailed discussion of the duties, rights and obligations of employers and employees under the FFCRA can be viewed on SFNR’s website at the link below: www.sfnr.com/insights/congress-passes-family-first-coronavirus-response-act-h-r-6201/ One of the employer obligations imposed by the FFCRA is that all covered employers provide written notice to employees of their rights under the FFCRA.  On March 25,…
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering loans to small businesses of up to $2,000,000 to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Loan proceeds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills.  The interest rate for small businesses is 3.75%.  Repayment terms are up to a maximum of 30 years.   Small businesses in all states are eligible.   More information is available at the SBA’s website:  www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 For more information or questions regarding corporate law, please contact Leonard Gambino at leonard.gambino@sfnr.com.  The post SBA
We are diligently reviewing the CARES Act for the sections that will most affect small and mid-sized businesses across the country. As we dive ever deeper into the Act, we will post individual section summaries to our web page. We know you are craving information on changes to small business loans and tax policy which could bring some relief to your business so we started with those. PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM – FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE THROUGH “FORGIVABLE” SBA LOANS The CARES Act expands eligibility for small business loans made under section 7(a) of the Small Business Act by enacting a new Paycheck…
Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice approved a new Small Claims Complaint form suite and the Motion to Appoint Special Process Server. The development of these new form suites is part of a larger initiative to make court forms easier to understand and more accessible for all Illinoisans. The forms are available for comment until May 1, 2020. Comments may be submitted through the court’s website or by emailing Kathleen Callahan at kcallahan@illinoiscourts.gov. After the public comment period ends, the Commission on Access to Justice will review the feedback and suggestions and make any necessary…