COVID-19 Insights

The global outbreak and spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continue to present an unprecedented challenge to us all. In hope of providing updates and insights on this dynamic situation, we have created this page to assist in identifying and managing the broad range of issues that may affect you, your family and your business. We will update this page frequently with relevant information. Please do not hesitate to contact your NGE attorney with any questions regarding the information shared below or any of your other legal or business needs.

Employer Considerations

The Six Degrees of COVID-19 – Dealing with Gray Area Questions of Exposure | 04.08.20

How employers should handle cases of employees who may have come into contact with someone exposed to the coronavirus, and other gray area cases.

Employers May Provide Tax-Free Disaster Relief Payments to Employees Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic | 04.03.20

Qualified disaster relief payments from employers are tax-free to employees for federal income and employment tax purposes. However, they remain deductible expenses for employers.

Does the Current Pandemic Entitle an Employer to Take Emergency Action Without Bargaining with the Union? | 04.03.20

The impact of COVID-19 are without precedent and likely will generate subsequent NLRB rulings on whether employers under particular circumstances may be relieved of their bargaining duties.

Additional Employer Considerations

Labor Department Posts Additional FAQs on Paid Sick and Family Leave Under the FFCRA | 03.30.20

The DOL explains intermittent leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, plus the small business exemption.

As Unemployment Numbers Rise, States Ease Eligibility Requirements for Benefits | 03.27.20

Employers who are facing tough employment decisions should consult with counsel to determine what options and resources exist for their employees.

How Employees May Access Their Retirement Savings in 2020 | 03.27.20

Details on the different ways employees can gain early withdrawals from their retirement savings.

Senate Provided Expanded Benefits and Relief for Retirement and Health Plans | 03.27.20

A detailed list of the retirement plan, health plan, and other benefit provisions from the coronavirus stimulus bill.

Senate-Passed CARES Act's Loans for Businesses Come at the Price of Union Neutrality, and with Other Strings Attached | 03.27.20

Greater clarity on the conditions employers must accept to receive loans from the stimulus bill.

Help May Be on the Way with $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package | 03.26.20

On March 25, a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was unanimously approved by the Senate.

Update for Mid-Sized Employers: Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Conditions Neutrality in Union Organizing to Receive Financial Relief | 03.26.20

Businesses with between 500 and 10,000 employees that receive a loan from the federal government must remain neutral in any union organizing drive that occurs during the term of the loan.

DOL Issues Much Sought After Guidance on the "Fewer Than 500 Employees" Threshold and Other Questions Under the FFCRA | 03.25.20

The Department of Labor has clarified which employees count towards the 500-employee threshold of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Labor Department Issues Helpful Employer Guidance on COVID-19 | 03.24.20

The Department of Labor posts its guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

IRS Provides Initial Explanation Regarding Employer Tax Credits Under the Coronavirus Relief Act | 03.23.20

Clarification on how employer tax credits will work to pay for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Reimbursement Considerations for Remote Work Arrangements | 03.23.20

Many employees are working from home, meaning employers need to assess expense reimbursement obligations closely in light of certain state laws and the employer’s own existing practices and policies.

IL Governor Issues "Stay at Home" Order (click to read) | 03.20.20

The order goes in to effect on Saturday, March 21st 5:00 p.m. through the end of Tuesday, April 7th. The order includes a description of "essential businesses and operations" that will remain open during the duration of the order.

Coronavirus Relief Act – Summary of the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) | 03.20.20

An overview of EFMLA impacts.

Coronavirus Relief Act – Summary of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) | 03.20.20

An overview of EPSLA impacts.

EEOC Issues Guidance to Employers | 03.20.20

An outline of the important points for employees including key Q&As for employers who are struggling with COVID-19 issues day-to-day within their operations.

Current Federal and Illinois State Resource Page | 03.20.20

Compilation of guidance resources from CDC, DOL, EEOC, OSHA, Illinois Dept of Health and more.

Families First Legislation Requires First Dollar Coverage for COVID-19 Testing | 03.20.20

New requirements for group health plans and health insurance policies concerning COVID-19 testing and related health provider visits.

California Suspends WARN Notice Period | 03.20.20

An overview of California's temporary suspension of the 60-day employee notice period under California's WARN Act.

Maintaining a Safe Workplace and Complying with the ADA: A Balancing Act | 03.20.20

Important considerations for staying in compliance with the ADA during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Must an Employer Bargain with Its Union Now over Changes to Terms and Conditions of Employment? | 03.20.20

Important considerations for employers when making major changes concerning their union workforce.

New York Set to Expand Paid Sick Leave | 03.20.20

Details of New York's Paid Sick Leave Law, including its COVID-19 and long-term provisions.

Spike in Unemployment Shows Employers May Be Rushing into RIF Decisions | 03.20.20

A warning that hasty reduction in force decisions may lead to more harm than good.

State of New Jersey Extends Health Coverage State Reporting Deadline | 03.20.20

Details of New Jersey's extension of their health care reporting deadline.

What Can An Employer Do If An Employee Ignores the Employer’s Directive or Guidelines to Self-Quarantine or Adhere to Social Distancing? | 03.20.20

Thoughts on how employers can handle employees who choose to not comply with workplace rules related to COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Relief Bill Keeps Changing | 03.18.20

Discussion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides some paid sick leave protections to employees diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19, as it winds its way through Congress.

Employer Considerations for Preparing the Workplace for COVID-19 | 03.12.20

An overview of what employers need to know to prepare their companies for COVID-19 based on OSHA's recently issued "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19".


General Business Considerations

Requirements and Considerations for Payroll Protection Program Loans | 04.08.20

This alert provides a high-level summary of some of the most common issues and questions regarding PPP loans.

Maximizing D&O Insurance for Coronavirus Shareholder Claims | 04.03.20

D&O policyholders should expect their insurers to contest coverage for many claims arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Details on Relief Loans and Other Financial Assistance for Businesses | 03.31.20

Details on Paycheck Protection Program Loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and state and local programs.

Additional Business Considerations

Coronavirus Emergency Loans – Small Business Guide and Checklist | 03.31.20

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created this resource to help small businesses prepare to file for a coronavirus relief loan under the CARES Act.

Help Available: Learn More about Federal, State and Local Relief Funds for Businesses | 03.27.20

The City of Chicago, Cook County, State of Illinois and the Federal Government have announced various financial assistance programs to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Stay at Home Marketing: Influencers in a Marketplace Grappling with COVID-19 | 03.25.20

In the wake of widespread quarantines, shelter-in-place, or stay-at-home orders, influencer marketing may seem well positioned to continue to circulate brand messages.

COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Issues: An Update | 03.25.20

Stay informed of the latest updates on the impacts of COVID-19 and insurance coverage issues.

Considerations for Financial Institutions and their Customers | 03.24.20

With unprecedented volatility in the capital markets, there are bound to be substantial financial losses. While this inevitably leads to a rise in litigation against financial institutions, it is important to focus on the cause of any losses.

COVID-19's Impact on Business: Important Considerations | 03.23.20

Six considerations for business leaders as they prepare for many possible contingencies, including disruption, evolving business continuity and restructuring strategies.

Patents and COVID-19 Testing | 03.23.20

A recent patent infringement suit over a company creating a COVID-19 diagnostic test highlights a concerning trend in healthcare patents.

Your Insurance Checklist for COVID-19 Impacts and Losses | 03.16.20

As business losses caused by COVID-19 begin to mount, companies should carefully review their insurance policies to determine whether they may be covered. The attached insurance coverage checklist can assist you with this process.


Wealth & Tax Considerations

Federal and State Tax Actions in Response to COVID-19 | 04.1.20

The U.S. federal government, and state and local governments, have taken actions to provide relief for taxpayers through legislation and administrative agency pronouncements. The firm believes certain tax developments are of particular interest to our clients. 

Owners of Foreign Business Interests – BEA Reports Have Not Been Extended | 04.01.20

The Bureau of Economic Analysis requires "U.S. Reporters" of certain foreign business interests to submit surveys on Form BE-10 or requests for extension by either May 29, 2020, or June 30, 2020, depending on how many forms are due.

Tax Savings in the Paycheck Protection Program | 03.31.20

Small business loans from the CARES Act may provide companies with a significant tax deduction. 

Additional Wealth & Tax Considerations

The CARES Act Offers a New Tax Planning Opportunity | 03.30.20

The CARES Act temporarily repeals a section of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for 2020 and retroactively back to 2018.

Do You Have Healthcare Power of Attorney for Your Adult Children? | 03.26.20

Without a power of attorney, parents are limited in their ability to make healthcare decisions for an adult child, if needed.

Lowered Interest Rates, Market Declines and Increased Exemptions Present an Opportune Time for Tax Planning | 03.19.20

The Federal Reserve has just announced lowered rates for April, and the “7520 rate” and “applicable federal rate” of interest are down 60% and 50%, respectively, from a year ago. Read how these lowered rates present an opportunity for certain tax and estate planning techniques.



NGE Business Continuity Update | 03.13.20

Managing Partner Scott Fisher shares the firm's commitment to the health and safety of our employees, clients, and their loved ones, and details the firm's business continuity plan for the months ahead.