Payal Salsburg is presenting a webinar through the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM) to a group of In-House Counsel entitled, “Force Majeure: What it Means for Your Company During the COVID-19 Crisis.” The webinar takes place on Tuesday, May 26th from 4-5pm via Zoom.
Partner, Payal Salsburg, presents at a Boston Bar Association panel-style webinar on May 21st from 12-1pm to discuss ways that newer lawyers may increase their visibility in the legal community. Joining Payal in the discussion is a diverse panel of speakers including the Chair of the Board of Editors of the Boston Bar Journal, the Editor-in-Chief of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and a Director of Attorney Coaching at a large law firm. The program is sponsored by the New Lawyers Section.
Law360 featured partner, Payal Salsburg, in an article showcasing how lawyers are volunteering their time to helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic. When not practicing law, Payal is at Mass General Hospital administering to those in need during their most desperate times. We invite you to read the full article, entitled: How Attorneys Are Fighting COVID-19 On The Front Lines – Law360.
When not offering legal advice to her clients, Payal Salsburg can be found helping others in need. And in a COVID-19 world, her volunteering hasn’t missed a step. Recently, Boston.com interviewed Payal to learn more about what it’s like to be volunteering at Mass General during the pandemic. She is truly an inspiration. Read the full article.
At 1:00 a.m this morning, Senate leader McConnell announced an agreement in the Senate on the principle terms of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or “CARES” Act, S.3548, subject to minor and technical revisions. A vote in the Senate is expected soon. Much of the relief proposed in the bill would be accomplished through amendments to the tax code, so we urge our clients to consult early and often with their tax professionals.
The Senate bill could affect small businesses in a number of ways.
- The bill would expand lending to small business through the SBA and participating lenders. The bill would make “small business interruption loans” available to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Loan payments would be deferred for up to one year, and loan amounts used for “maintaining payroll continuity” March 2020 and June 2020 would be eligible for forgiveness. The amount of loan forgiveness would be reduced pro rata, however, for reductions in workforce.
- The bill would provide payments to individuals, including small business owners, in the nature of refundable tax credits. The bill would provide up to $1200 for individuals ($2400 for couples filing jointly). The credit would be reduced by 5% of adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for joint returns), but would not be less than $0. And additional $500 credit would be provided per taxpayer dependent.
- The bill would provide cheaper access to qualified retirement funds. The bill would eliminate the 10% tax penalty on early withdrawals from qualified retirement plans for coronavirus related distributions, up to a maximum withdrawal of $100,000. If withdrawals are repaid within three years, then the early distribution would be treated as a rollover (i.e., a direct transfer to a trustee) for purposes of capital gains taxes.
- The bill could permit certain employers to defer payment of payroll taxes due in 2020 for up to two years.
- The bill places some limitations on the recent coronavirus related amendments to Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which was passed as part of Congress’s Phase 2 response. If enacted, the bill would cap an employers’ obligation to pay for coronavirus-related sick leave at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate per employee for that employee’s government or doctor ordered self-quarantine or self-care and at $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate per employee for that employee’s absence to care for others as a result of coronavirus or coronavirus related school closures.
Laredo & Smith’s Matt Kane is closely monitoring any additional changes and will keep you informed of emerging items that could impact you and your business. Please do not hesitate to to reach out to any Laredo & Smith attorney with questions or concerns about your small business. We are here to help.
On Wednesday, March 18th, the Senate passed a slightly revised version of H.B. 6201 and the President signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” into law. The relevant revisions narrow the application of the Act’s leave provisions to exclude employees caring for any persons other than immediate family members due to COVID19 related illnesses or closings. The Act goes into effect on April 2, 2020. Thus, it concludes a so-called “Phase 2” of the federal government’s coronavirus response (Phase 1 was a supplemental appropriations bill with direct impact on small businesses).
As things escalate in the United States, Congress is already pivoting to Phase 3: a fiscal stimulus package that could top $1.5 trillion. A draft bill has yet to be published, but we expect it to include up to $250 billion in funding for small business loans, as well funding for direct cash payments to individuals. A draft bill could be published before the end of the week, at which point new details will emerge.
Laredo & Smith’s Matt Kane will closely monitor Phase 3 and keep you informed of emerging items that could impact you and your business. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact any Laredo & Smith attorney with your questions. We are here to help.
The COVID 19 pandemic is slowly stopping the U.S. in its tracks. As governments find ways to flatten the curve, the U.S. House did its part by passing H.B. 6201, entitled “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.” H.B. 6201 is not yet the law, but we anticipate versions of the bill’s most significant provisions will become law as early as this week. This will have significant implications for small businesses. Below is a summary of those potential impacts:
- The bill incorporates the proposed “Emergency Paid Leave Act of 2020,” which establishes a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking leave due to the coronavirus outbreak retroactive to leaves begun on or after January 19, 2020. Under this proposed act, subject to certain exceptions, employees who take a coronavirus related leave, including for purposes of caregiving in connection with a school closing, would be eligible for payment of 2/3 of their monthly wages, up to $4,000 per month, for up to three months. This federal benefit would be reduced dollar-for-dollar, however, for any State or private payments for leave over the same period.
- The bill will expand the employee protections the Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2611 et al., to include employees absent due to a “public health emergency leave.” Additionally, the bill would expand application of the FMLA for “public health emergency leave” to allemployers, regardless of number of employees, and cover employees with only thirty days of service, rather than twelve months. An employee would be permitted to elect to substitute an accrued paid leave benefit, but an employer would not be permitted to require the employee to do so. For employers with fewer than twenty five employees, the requirement to hold the employee’s position open would be relaxed under certain enumerated circumstances.
- The bill incorporates the proposed “Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act.” This act would require employers to provide their employees with at least 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 56 total hours of paid sick time. Importantly, employers with existing paid sick time policies (including those that are imposed by state law) that are as good or better than the proposed federal program would notbe required to provide any additional sick time benefits under federal law. The act would require, however, that employers notify each of their employees and include in any employee handbook certain information concerning the new federal law.
As with the pandemic, the situation is still fluid. And these rules are still subject to revision before passage. Laredo & Smith will be monitoring the bill closely over the next week and communicating information as it becomes known. In the interim, please do not hesitate to contact your Laredo & Smith attorney with any questions. We are here to help you ride this out.
Jessica Conklin presented on a panel covering the special considerations of representing complainants and respondents in sexual misconduct proceedings in high school, college and university settings. The group will cover:
- fact gathering
- preparing your client for an interview or hearing
- handling a parallel criminal and civil matter
- trauma informed advocacy
- preserving issues for subsequent civil litigation
- recent due process court decisions
Sponsored by the White-Collar Crime section of the BBA, this program took place on March 4th. If you missed it and would like more information about the subject matter, please contact Jessica Conklin.
Payal Salsburg will co-present a Boston Bar Association program that teaches about effective depositions. Sponsored by the Business & Commercial Litigation Section and the New Lawyers Section, the panelists will discuss their experiences taking and defending depositions and will share valuable insight into excellent preparation, effectively questioning of deponents and objecting while defending a deposition. Panelists will participate in a mock deposition, and the program will conclude with a Q&A session. This program takes place on Friday, February 21st from 12-130pm at 16 Beacon Street in Boston.
The Federal Bar Association will present a live video broadcast featuring partner Payal Salsburg entitled, “Advanced Strategies & Tactics in Drafting Complaints & Answers.”
Payal will lead this CLE program, providing practical tips in drafting pleadings in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and is designed for junior and mid-level litigators. Key topics to be discussed include:
• The basics of pleading, and restrictions on content
• Identifying your audience(s) and their needs
• Telling your story in the complaint and counterclaim
• Going beyond plain denials and canned affirmative defenses
• Protecting against attacks on the sufficiency of pleading
The course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE and takes place in Miami, Florida on February 24th at 11am Eastern, 10am Central, 9am Mountain and 8am Pacific time.
Laredo & Smith offers clients big-firm expertise with the client-centered, cost-effective strategy that only a small firm can offer.
- Supreme Judicial Court Prohibits Extension Of Non-Solicit Period In Lieu of Awarding DamagesFebruary 10, 2020 - 5:00 pm
- Employers Must Be Cautious When Taking Action Against Employees Who Vacation While on Medical LeaveOctober 11, 2019 - 12:27 pm
- State-Administered Paid Family And Medical Leave Is On Its WayJune 18, 2019 - 12:19 pm
- Employer Alert: Non-Compete Reform Law Passes in MassachusettsNovember 8, 2018 - 1:39 pm
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