Publications

Latest Publications & COVID-19 Task Force Updates

General Considerations for Bringing Back Furloughed Employees
The Importance of Being Earnest
Preparing the Workplace for a New Reality

Changes in Labor Laws 2022-2023

Zoom Webinar

New Employment Laws 2022

Zoom Webinar

2021 Legal Challenges and New Risks

San Francisco Small Business Week

How To Avoid A Lawsuit

Zoom Webinar

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS – BRINGING BACK FURLOUGHED EMPLOYEES

General Considerations for Bringing Back Furloughed Employees

As a result of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, many employers were forced to lay-off or furlough their employees. Presently, federal and state authorities are loosening their restrictions on businesses, thereby enabling businesses to slowly reopen. Those employers that are ready and able to return their furloughed employees back to work should take into account the below considerations.
Note, this list is not exhaustive, as each place of business and its employees are unique, and other considerations may impact the evaluation process of returning furloughed employees to work. Accordingly, it is critical businesses consult with their employment counsel when reintegrating furloughed employees back into the workplace.

Employee Paperwork: When preparing to return furloughed employees, employers should identify any paperwork that may need to be updated and/or completed before returning each employee to work, including but not limited to: W-4’s, I-9’s, job descriptions, or employment agreements. If the furlough was six months or more in duration, it is recommended, but not required, that the employee’s hiring paperwork be refreshed. Additionally, employers should furnish all returning employees with a recall letter that identifies the return date , and send this at least a week or more in advance of the employee’s return to work. The employee is required to respond to this recall letter by indicating his or her intention to return to work. Employers should expect that some employees may have found alternate employment or may elect not to return to work for other reasons pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. In either case, recall letters help employers efficiently manage the return of their furloughed employees…
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THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

First came enactment, then applications, disbursement, and now the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will soon enter its next phase: forgiveness. Forgiveness was a policy cornerstone of the PPP program, but it has been made difficult by the rapidly evolving guidance issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury. For this reason, it is critical that borrowers make good faith efforts to comply with the changing regulatory environment as they navigate the sustained economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

Being Earnest
For businesses that obtained PPP loans, a good faith belief in the need for the loans is a necessary condition to avail themselves of PPP loan forgiveness. If a business owner is having second thoughts about their actual need, they should assess their position, consider the economic outlook and potential future losses, and if need be, communicate with their lender to the extent that they believe their “need” might have been unfounded. Although the safe harbor deadline to return funds without penalty has expired, that deadline may be extended, and the mere existence of this policy shows an understanding that the initial rollout of the program was unclear enough for participants to make good faith mistakes…
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