18 June 2020 | Important changes in federal and state legislation, filing deadlines and availability of services. This update provides recent changes at the federal level and state levels (with focus on New York State and California) due to COVID-19.
The White House has issued an Executive Order on Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration has temporarily reduced the costs of certain export services.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board has expanded the Main Street Lending Program and concurrently issued details on the Main Street New Loan Facility, Main Street Priority Loan Facility, and Main Street Expanded Loan Facility.
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was signed into law by the President.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, reopening of the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program, a Revised Guidance Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, and a joint statement of SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin regarding enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act.
The California Department of Insurance has issued an Order resulting in workers’ compensation premium savings for California businesses affected by COVID-19.
The federal Internal Revenue Service has announced:
- tax relief for certain taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic involved in new markets tax credit transactions,
- guidance for employers whose employees forgo sick, vacation or personal leave because of the COVID-19 pandemic,
- guidance on Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) and their investors, and
- reminders on the deadline for payment of estimated taxes and the deadline for taxpayers who live and work abroad.
The Federal Reserve Board has announced:
- updates to the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility,
- resumption of examination activities,
- expansion in the number and type of entities eligible to directly use its Municipal Liquidity Facility,
- a FOMC statement, and
- updated FAQs in relation to COVID-19.
Labor and Employment
The U.S. Department of Labor posted weekly updates of their activities in relation to COVID-19, on May 25, 2020, May 31, 2020, June 07, 2020, and June 14, 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor OHSA has also published a list of guidance to employers regarding workplace safety.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published technical assistance on Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to COVID-19.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has resumed premium processing for certain petitions.
The U.S. Department of State has prepared an update on passport operations.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has extended the flexibility in rules related to Form I-9 compliance.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended and modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced:
- the launch of a COVID-19 Response Resource Centre,
- a COVID-19 prioritized examination program for certain trademark and service mark applications,
- relief to restore priority or benefit rights for patent applicants,
- relief available to patentees for submission of Initial Patent Term Extension Applications Filed Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 156,
- relief for certain patent-related fees and deadlines, and
- relief for certain trademark-related fees and deadlines.
California has modified the tolling of statutes of limitations in civil cases due to COVID-19.