COVID-19 Update: FAQ and Other Information for Clients

Articles Tagged with COVID-19

The courts have, in turn, opened their ears (and maybe their hearts, too) to the plight of American businesses that have suffered on a truly historic scale.

Drawing of business meeting, participants wearing masks
In the October 15, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “Business-Interruption Claims in the COVID-19 Era: Litigators Find Hope.

While the coronavirus itself may be novel, business interruption insurance lawsuits are not. Accordingly, in the initial wave of lawsuits arising from the pandemic, both business owners and courts throughout the country seemed trapped in a fixed mindset about this new type of case. Reeling from loss and damage, business owners assumed that since their businesses had been interrupted by COVID-19, their claims had merit. Courts, meanwhile, reading insurance policies narrowly, dismissed claims related to the virus for lack of tangible alteration to business property. In recent months, however, litigators have embraced more creative arguments to persuade the courts to hear their cases. The courts have, in turn, opened their ears (and maybe their hearts, too) to the plight of American businesses that have suffered on a truly historic scale.

Laptop with various paper coming out of itWhile it is likely that businesses will think to add force majeure clauses to future contracts, there is also reason to believe the specific language of these clauses could be modified. Likewise, there are other changes to be expected in post-pandemic contracts.

In the July 2, 2020 edition of The Legal Intelligencer Edward T. Kang, managing member of KHF wrote “The Future of Business Contracts Post-COVID-19.

Recently, I authored a column on force majeure clauses. In that space, I explained how many businesses have recently been turning to force majeure clauses in their contracts for protection in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is likely that businesses will think to add force majeure clauses to future contracts, there is also reason to believe the specific language of these clauses could be modified. Likewise, there are other changes to be expected in post-pandemic contracts.

Businesswoman waving with right hand and holding briefcase in left.On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“PPP Flex”) was signed into law. PPP Flex was designed to limit some of the restrictions and provide clarification for the original Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

Notably, PPP Flex grants borrowers additional time to incur costs that count towards PPP loan forgiveness, reduces the portion of cost that must be allocated to payroll cost, and provides additional exemption from the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act”), the legislation that authorized PPP.

The CARES Act provides that some or all of the borrower’s PPP loan maybe forgiven based on the cost and payments made during what is called the “Cover Period.” The Cover Period begins when the PPP loan is disbursed or, if the borrower elects, from the start of the first regular payroll after the PPP loan is first disbursed. The Cover Period was originally set to be eight (8) weeks; however, under the PPP Flex, the Cover Period may be extended to the earlier of twenty-four (24) weeks after the loan origination or December 31, 2020. Nothing precludes an existing PPP loan borrower from using the original 8-week Cover Period. Under PPP Flex, the percentage that the borrower must use for payroll costs to be eligible for forgiveness was reduced. With the SBA’s final interim rule setting the percentage at 75%, legislators have reduced the amount to 60%, such that now 40% of the loan may be used (during the Cover Period) for certain permitted non-payroll costs such as mortgage interest, rent and utilities. PPP Flex also extends the original 6-month deferral period to up to 10 months after the applicable Covered Period, and extends the maturity date of unforgiven portions of the loans to five (5) years from the date of the forgiveness application.

Green house with red roofOn May 28th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation A4157, which temporarily extends the deadline for filing property tax appeals and processing decisions in those cases. The legislature believed that, due to the current pandemic, many people were unable to file the appeals by usual April 1 or May 1, 2020 deadlines. As such, the deadline to file an appeal of the assessment of real property is extended to July 1, 2020. The deadline for county boards of taxation to render decisions in tax appeal cases has also been extended, to September 30, 2020. This bill does not apply to certain tax appeals, such as in counties participating in the Demonstration Program or operating under Property Tax Assessment Reform Act. This bill will go into effective immediately and will be applied retroactively to April 1, 2020.

Jacklyn Fetbroyt is a founding member of Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt LLC and is currently a committeeperson of the Voorhees Township Committee. Among other things, Jackie focuses on counseling companies and business owners through all stages of their ventures from conception to dissolution, assisting her business clients in all of their needs for maintenance and growth. On Township Committee, Jackie strives to be a resource to and ears of the residents in her hometown. 

In this ever-changing landscape of information and legislation, please be aware that the information contained in this blog post may no longer be relevant or applicable. The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion

Tablet with financial reports next to man with briefcase.Given the pandemic and its effect on financial markets coupled with the loss of contribution hours in certain industries, such a construction, many defined benefit pension plans have become underfunded once again.  What may come as a surprise to contributing employers of multi-employer pension plans is the impact an underfunded pension plan can have on their business upon withdrawal from the plan.  Employers should be aware of withdrawal liability and how to minimize its financial consequences. Continue reading ›

Female judge holding notebook and gavel

With Complaints Rapidly Increasing across the U.S., Now is the time to act

As of May 26, 2020, 2,278 complaints have been filed nationwide over the global pandemic COVID-19 according to the COVID-19 Complaint Tracker developed by lawyers at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. While the largest amount of these complaints deal with prison conditions and civil rights , the next highest areas of litigation involve insurance disputes, consumer disputes, labor and employment issues  and contract disputes. Claims regarding employment, contracts and force majeure provisions, or clauses contained in contracts which excuse performance due to natural destructive acts also known as “acts of God,” are on the rise. These complaints will continue to be filed as the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt in ever-changing ways. Many of these complaints have been filed in jurisdictions where KHF regularly practices—namely COVID-19 hot spots New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Continue reading ›

Business woman holding red notepad

In a changing COVID-19 world filled with new regulations, adjustments, and uncertainty, KHF provides services to help our clients avoid litigation or to obtain favorable outcomes in litigation. Some COVID-19 services offered by KHF that will help you address COVID-19-related issues include: Continue reading ›

DoctorOn May 15, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 145, allowing elective surgeries and elective invasive procedures to resume. Under EO-109,  healthcare facilities were instructed to cease performing all elective surgeries and invasive procedures, intending (largely) to free up PPE and beds.

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On Wednesday, May 27th KHF Member Jacklyn Fetbroyt joins fellow DAA Board Members Frank Plum, Workplace HCM and Marie Manley, Hardenbergh Insurances to present Reopening Playbook: Changes to your Business Post-Pandemic.

Doctor’s Advisory Alliance is a group of business professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area that are dedicated to changing the way doctors and dentists are serviced in their professional and personal lives.  Its goal is to fundamentally change the way doctors do business, allowing them to spend their time doing what they love, practicing medicine. We hold regular events throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area. These events are focused on identifying practice solutions for doctors and dentists in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

Link to Full Flyer: DAA Guide to Getting Back

Red four-door car

On May 13, 2020 Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 142, permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18th, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately. EO142 reduces and supersedes some of the restrictions that were previously in under Executive Order 107 and 122. Continue reading ›

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