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Illinois 2020 Election Ramifications
Dykema, November 2020

While a few legislative races are still being tabulated, Democrats maintained their supermajority status in both the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate in this election cycle. Current projections, that are subject to change pending mail-in ballots, are for a Democrat supermajority of 72-46 in the House and 41-18 in the Senate. This was not an unexpected outcome, though most pre-election predictions had the Democrats achieving an even wider gap in the Legislature...

Election Day Obligations: What Employers Need to Know
Dykema, October 2020

As Election Day quickly approaches in the highly anticipated presidential and congressional elections, employers are faced with a slew of questions about their employees’ rights on November 3 and beyond. Election Day is not a national holiday; therefore, federal law doesnotmandate employers provide employees with time off to vote...

Recent Amendment to Michigan’s Open Meetings Act Allows Electronic Meetings of Public Bodies
Dykema, October 2020

Michigan’s Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) was officially amended this past Friday when Governor Whitmer signed SB 1108 (now Public Act 228 of 2020). The new law permits public bodies to conduct electronic meetings under certain circumstances and for a set period of time. The amendments to the OMA were prompted by a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision that effectively eliminated emergency executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer after April 30, 2020...

Virtual Meetings of Michigan Municipalities During the COVID-19 Pandemic Likely to Continue Based on Recent Legislation
Dykema, October 2020

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, municipalities in Michigan have met virtually under the authority of a series of executive orders issued by Governor Whitmer permitting public bodies, except the state legislature, to meet by virtual means. These executive orders, including most recently Executive Order No...

“Of No Continuing Legal Effect”—What to Consider as Your Business Moves Forward After the Michigan Supreme Court’s Decision on Executive Orders
Dykema, October 2020

On October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued its opinion inIn re Certified Questions,Docket No. 161492, which essentially eliminated the Governor’s authority to issue any executive orders related to COVID-19 after April 30, 2020...

To Be or Not to Be (An Independent Contractor): DOL Seeks to Clarify Independent Contractor Test in Landmark Proposed Rule
Dykema, September 2020

  On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its first-ever proposed rule outlining a test for when a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  In its proposed rule, the DOL has created a new framework for the well-established “economic reality” independent contractor test...

IRS Allows Reduction of Gross Receipts For State-Legal Cannabis Businesses
Dykema, September 2020

On Saturday, September 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) updated a marijuana industry frequently asked questions (“FAQ”) page that provides relief to state-legal cannabis businesses. The FAQ announces that state-legal cannabis businesses can reduce their gross receipts by using an alternative accounting method under Section 471 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”)...

Deferring Payroll Tax—The IRS Lets Employers Off The Hook
Dykema, September 2020

On September 2, 2020, we issued an e-alert discussing the deferral of the employee portion of Social Security taxes (“SS Tax Deferral Program”), as directed by the Presidential Memorandum dated August 28, 2020, and as implemented by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) pursuant to Notice 2020-65 (“Notice”) issued on August 28, 2020...

Deferring Payroll Tax—The Employer’s Dilemma
Dykema, September 2020

On August 13, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of the Treasury to use his authority to defer the withholding, deposit and payment of the employee portion of Social Security taxes (“SS Tax Deferral Program”). On August 28, 2020, the Secretary of the Treasury and IRS issued Notice 2020-65 (“Notice”) to implement the SS Tax Deferral Program...

What Employers Need to Know About Michigan’s Latest Executive Order Protecting Workers
Dykema, August 2020

On August 27, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer released Executive Order 2020-172, entitled “Protecting workers who stay home, stay safe when they or their close contacts are sick,” which replaces Executive Order 2020-166. The new executive order is nearly identical to the one it replaces, with two important differences...

Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery MOUs: A Roadmap to CARES Act Enforcement
Dykema, August 2020

Businesses across the country have wondered how the new Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) will enforce the CARES Act’s loan requirements, especially with the large number of loan and forgiveness applications. Until recently, the answer was unclear. Press releases have announced Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between SIGPR and three U.S. Attorney’s Offices to collaborate on investigating and prosecuting CARES Act violations...

Are Parts of Paid COVID-19 Leave Regulations in Jeopardy? Federal Court Rejects Parts DOL’s FFCRA Regulations, Employers Brace for Possible Fallout
Dykema, August 2020

On Monday, August 3, 2020, a New York federal judge issued a decision invalidating portions of the DOL’s regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”). The decision’s impact changes the legal landscape employers confront as they strive to comply with the FFCRA—a landscape that is unstable as the DOL and the courts sort out the legality of the disputed regulations...

Governor Reimposes Restrictions in Northern Michigan
Dykema, July 2020

On July 29, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order Nos. 2020-160 and 2020-161. Executive Order 2020-160 replaces the prior executive orders that address stay home, stay safe restrictions in Michigan. In general, this Order moves the State to a more uniform approach to business operations and restrictions...

One Week Left for Eligible Dental Providers to Apply for Provider Relief Funds
Dykema, July 2020

Eligible dental providers may now apply for Provider Relief Funds, but the deadline to do so, July 24, 2020, is quickly approaching. On July 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced an additional $4 billion in relief payments to healthcare providers and, notably, opened its provider portal to dental providers...

Mandatory Mask Requirements in Michigan—Executive Order No. 2020-147
Dykema, July 2020

Executive Order No. 2020-147 sets forth new face covering requirements for all individuals in Michigan as well as new requirements for any business open to the public. When is face covering required under Executive Order No...

Michigan Small Business Restart Program Accepting Grant Applications Starting July 15
Dykema, July 2020

The State of Michigan has allocated $100 million of CARES Act funding to implement the Michigan Small Business Restart Program to provide grants to Michigan businesses directly impacted by COVID-19. The grants, up to $20,000 each, will be administered by 15 Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) covering all 83 counties in the state. Participating EDOs are listed below...

Supreme Court Affirms Addition of .Com to Generic Term Renders Booking.com Registrable
Dykema, July 2020

In a decision contrary to current Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) rules, the United States Supreme Court has found the mark BOOKING.COM as a whole is not generic and that combining a generic term with “.com” does not necessarily result in a composite term that also is generic. Background Booking.com B.V. (“Booking.com”) sought to federally register the mark BOOKING.COM, and related variations, for travel services...

United States Congress Extends PPP Loan Application Deadline to August 8, 2020
Dykema, July 2020

On June 30, 2020, the Senate passed an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to keep the program operating until August 8, 2020. On July 1, 2020, the House also approved the extension for the program which was set to end on June 30. The President is expected to sign the extension shortly...

PPP Loan Forgiveness and Review: Key Observations
Dykema, June 2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness IFR Revisions and Revised Application, Key Observations Part V Once again, the SBA is doling out guidance in small doses, solving some questions, creating new questions and leaving most questions still unanswered. On June 16, 2020, the SBA issued a revised PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, along wit hrelated instructions, and new PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ, also with related instructions...

U.S. Copyright Office Issues Final Regulation Regarding Short Online Literary Works
Dykema, June 2020

The U.S. Copyright Office has issued a final regulation (37 CFR §202.4) permitting a single, “group” registration for “Short Online Literary Works.” To be eligible, each of the works included in the registration “must be published as part of a website or online platform, including online newspapers, social media websites, and social networking platforms...

Presidential Proclamation Extends Ban on Entry of Immigrants; Adds H-1B, L-1 and J-1 Visa Holders
Dykema, June 2020

Following up on Dykema’s alert from June 18, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation that extends his April 22, 2020, 60-day ban on immigrant workers entering the United States until December 31, 2020. In addition, it also added those with H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visas and any foreign national accompanying them to this ban. The Proclamation states this was done to address, in part, high unemployment levels due to the coronavirus pandemic...

Possible Presidential Proclamation to Limit Entry of H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 Visa Holders
Dykema, June 2020

Several reports, including one by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, indicate President Trump may issue a Proclamation limiting or prohibiting the entry into the United States of foreign nationals holding H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visas. H-1Bs are used to employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations (those positions normally requiring at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent for entry into the field). H-2Bs are for temporary, non-agricultural workers...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Pride Month History by Holding That Title VII Bars Job Discrimination Against LGBT+ Workers
Dykema, June 2020

Unexpectedly siding with the liberal wing of the Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch penned a 6-3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, holding that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination also covers sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The Court’s decision dealt a historic victory for proponents of expanding gay and trans protections for workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964...

Proposed Legislation Would Create New Protections for Michigan Residential Borrowers and Tenants During States of Emergency
Dykema, June 2020

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its resulting adverse effects on the income levels of Michigan residents, a package of bills (2020 SB 912 through 2020 SB 917) was introduced earlier this month to provide additional protections for residential tenants and owner-occupants during a declared state of emergency...

IRS Provides Relief for Projects Eligible for Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit
Dykema, June 2020

On May 27, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2020-41 (“Notice”) providing COVID-19 relief for businesses seeking to qualify for the production tax credit for renewable energy facilities under Section 45 (“PTC”) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and investment tax credit for energy property under Section 48 (“ITC”) of the Code...

 

 

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