Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Retail Blog

Main Content

U.S. COVID-19: Preparing a Reopening Plan – Five Steps to Take Right Now

As state governments and businesses look towards restarting the economy, the consensus is that as the U.S. gradually re-opens, the look and feel of businesses will change dramatically. Before the world can return to its full pre-COVID-19 normal, this interim period between the lifting of shelter in place orders and the broad distribution of vaccines or effective treatments is projected by experts to last at least one, and possibly as long as two years. This client communication will focus on public facing businesses which must significantly change their operations to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. Non-healthcare businesses which have frequent contact with the general public, such as retailers, are deemed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to be medium exposure risk. Before such businesses re-open, they should have a comprehensive reopening plan addressing the following:

1. Monitor Best Health Practices and Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control

U.S. COVID-19: New CDC Guidance Allows Potentially-Exposed “Critical Infrastructure Workers” to Remain at Work – with Precautions

April 23, 2020

Categories

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently issued guidance applicable to “critical infrastructure workers,” and safety precautions employers should take when those workers are potentially exposed to COVID-19.

The CDC has generally recommended that any individual who has recently been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 (someone in their household or family member) should “self-quarantine” at home for at least 14 days, self-monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and check his or her temperature twice a day. Some employers have been applying this guidance to their employees, instructing any employee with a potential exposure to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.

Recognizing that certain essential businesses and functions need to continue operating even during the pandemic, the CDC has now updated its guidance for “critical infrastructure workers,” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”). Personnel (including contracted vendors) in

Coronavirus: UK Job Retention Scheme online portal now open / employee consent

April 20, 2020

Categories

Online portal

Today, the UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’) online portal has opened for employers to make applications for furlough grants.  You can find the portal here.

Claims can only be made in respect of furloughed employees who were on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and who were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.  Employees who were employed as at 28 February 2020 and on payroll (that is, notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February 2020) and who were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that date, but prior to 19 March 2020, will also qualify for the CJRS if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

In relation to claims made under the CJRS, employers should retain all records and calculations

Is the California Attorney General Delaying or Loosening Enforcement of the CCPA due to Covid-19? (United States)

April 17, 2020

Categories

Not at this time.

In light of Covid-19, many companies are deciding whether they can (or should) put their compliance plans on hold in order to handle more pressing matters. As things currently stand, the California AG has not indicated that there will be any delay in enforcement, slated to begin on July 1, 2020. Although there is a large push from the business community to delay, an unidentified advisor from the AG’s office recently stated that their office is “committed to enforcing the law upon finalizing the rules or July 1, whichever comes first.”

While the AG’s position could change as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, companies should assume the deadline for enforcement will remain in place and should continue moving toward full compliance (to the extent practical) with the CCPA by July 1.  Although enforcement is slated to begin in July, it is important to remember that

U.S. Economic Stimulus Under the Main Street Lending Program

April 16, 2020

Categories

On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) announced that it is taking additional action to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy through various programs, including the Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”).  The Fed intends that the MSLP will ensure credit flow to small and mid-sized businesses by providing support to businesses that were in good financial standing prior to the COVID-19 crisis, on terms and conditions to be set by the Federal Reserve Board.  Funds for MSLP were appropriated pursuant to Section 4027 of Title IV of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), and the program is being established under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. § 344).

MSLP consists of two facilities:

  • The Main Street New Loan Facility (“MSNLF”) for unsecured term loans originated on or after April 8, 2020; and
  • The Main Street Expanded

Preparing to Return U.S. Employees to the Workplace

April 15, 2020

Categories

Preparing to Return U.S. Employees to the Workplace

April 15, 2020

Authored by: BCLP

As we approach the one month anniversary of the first “stay-at-home” orders, many are asking when we can get back to work and what will it look like when we do?  In response, companies are beginning to consider the logistics of returning employees to the workplace.  Just as the “stay-at-home” orders vary widely from state to state, any regulatory return to work orders issued by the states, or any guidance issued by any federal agencies, will likely vary widely as well. Employers with multiple locations may again find themselves juggling different requirements in different facilities, with no single approach fitting an entire multi-location business.

Though “stay-at-home” states have not yet issued guidance on how or when they will allow non-essential businesses to begin operating again, such a return could commence at any time.  In order to assist companies with preparing in the absence of regulatory guidance, we have developed the

US COVID-19: Workplace Temperature Screening: How To Develop and Implement A Screening Protocol

April 14, 2020

Categories

The notion that U.S. employers would engage in broad-scale temperature screening of employees would have once been essentially unthinkable.  But the realities of COVID-19 are changing the workplace, as least for the time-being.  With the encouragement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and some state and local governments, and in light of the blessing of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), more employers are now considering the implementation of daily temperature screening[1] before employees enter the workplace.

In Part 1 of our two-part series on temperature screening, we addressed the question of whether employers may (or must) implement a temperature screening protocol.  Here, in Part 2, we address the question of how to implement such a protocol, i.e. what procedures for temperature screening in the workplace should employers implement? Below are a number of issues for employers to consider:

  • Decide who will be screened. Some employers are screening only critical infrastructure workers
  • US COVID-19: Employee Temperature Screening: What Employers Need To Consider When Deciding Whether To Implement a Screening Process

    April 14, 2020

    Categories

    In light of concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus in the workplace, employers are confronting important questions pertaining to the screening of employees for COVID-19 symptoms, including as it pertains to taking employees’ temperatures: May (or must) we screen employees for fevers, and if so, how should we implement such a practice?

    In Part 1 of this two-part blog series, we address issues relating to the decision of whether employers may (or must) implement a temperature screening protocol.  In Part 2, we will provide guidance on how to do so.

    Non-Discriminatory Temperature Screening Is Permitted

    Taking an employee’s temperature is considered a medical exam under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and would normally be subject to strict restrictions. However, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has expressly stated in updated guidance that employers are permitted to screen employees for fevers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Some state agencies

    COVID-19 in 19: Proactively Safeguarding Your Business from Potential Allegations of Price Gouging in the U.S.

    April 10, 2020

    Categories

    Continuing in our series of concise COVID-19 teleconferences, BCLP’s Susan Brice and Zeke Katz will briefly discuss the evolving impact of price gouging laws at the state and federal level in the United States, and what businesses can do in order to best protect themselves from price gouging claims, investigations and penalties.

    Date Monday, April 13, 2020 Time 1 p.m. to 1:19 p.m. PDT 2 p.m. to 2:19 p.m. MDT 3 p.m. to 3:19 p.m. CDT 4 p.m. to 4:19 p.m. EDT

    Register

    COVID-19 in 19: Paycheck Protection Program

    April 9, 2020

    Categories

    COVID-19 in 19: Paycheck Protection Program

    April 9, 2020

    Authored by: BCLP

    As part of our continuing series of 19-minute teleconferences on the impacts of COVID-19, lawyers with BCLP will address the CARES Act’s forgivable loan program for small businesses. Topics addressed will include terms of the program, eligibility requirements, and how small businesses can have their loan forgiven.

    Date Thursday, April 9, 2020 Time 12 p.m. to 12:19 p.m. PDT 1 p.m. to 1:19 p.m. MDT 2 p.m. to 2:19 p.m. CDT 3 p.m. to 3:19 p.m. EDT

    Register to attend >

     

    U.S. FDA Relaxes Menu and Nutrition Facts Labeling Requirements in Response to Pandemic

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has temporarily relaxed some of its requirements concerning menu and nutrition labeling, and extended certain enforcement deadlines.

    Menu Labeling

    The FDA has announced that it “will not object” if, during this public health emergency, restaurants and retail food establishments do not meet menu labeling requirements requiring disclosure of calories and other nutritional information.

    The FDA regulations  typically apply to restaurants and similar retail food establishments that are part of a chain with 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering for sale substantially the same menu items.

    The FDA stated that this policy is intended to provide flexibility to restaurants and food establishments that may have to rapidly transition to take-out only or that are experiencing disruptions in their supply chains requiring substitutions. To provide further guidance, it has issued

    FDA and FTC Warn Against Making Unapproved COVID-19 Claims

    April 8, 2020

    Categories

    In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued several new warning letters to companies claiming their products prevent, treat or cure the novel coronavirus. This follows the seven warning letters jointly issued by the agencies in early March.

    • Gaia’s Whole Healing Essentials LLC was warned for selling colloidal silver products with claims that the products can build immunity and possess anti-viral properties for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.
    • Homeomart Indibuy was warned for claiming that its homeopathic drug products treat respiratory illnesses and act as a prophylactic to protect from COVID-19 infection.
    • Health Mastery Systems DBA Pure Plant Essentials was warned for selling essential oils with claims that the products are safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. In addition to identifying improper claims made on the manufacturer’s website, the warning letter also

    Several U.S. Retailers Forced to Close by Law Enforcement as Non-Essential

    Several U.S. retailers that remained open in the face of state and local shutdown orders have now been forced to close by local law enforcement.

    Retailers that remain open should ensure that they qualify as “essential” under applicable state and local orders, that they have proper documentation for their employees and facilities demonstrating that they are essential, and that they comply with any health safety and social distancing requirements. BCLP is tracking these orders and the developing guidance, and a map of states with stay-at-home orders is available here.

    Businesses forced to close include several national craft and fabric store chains, and specialty stores that sell video games, sports equipment, furniture, clothing and accessories, shoes, books, music, jewelry, and luggage.

    What qualifies as an “essential business” may vary under each order, and the approach taken by enforcement agencies may also vary. For example, stores selling CBD products have been

    NAAG Polices COVID-19 Price Gouging, Demands Fair Pricing Policies and Actions

    April 6, 2020

    Categories

    The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is actively monitoring consumer product prices and working to eliminate price gouging in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 33 attorneys general signed on to letters issued recently to a number of major online retailers and online sales platforms.

    The letters indicate that while the AGs “appreciate reports of the efforts made by platforms and online retailers to crack down on price gouging,…we are calling on you to do more at a time that requires national unity.”

    Specifically, the letters ask for three concrete actions:

  • Set policies and enforce restrictions on unconscionable price gouging during emergencies.
  • Trigger price gouging protections independent of, or prior to an emergency declaration.
  • Create and maintain a ‘Fair Pricing’ Page/ Portal where consumers can report price gouging incidents to you directly.
  • In connection with these actions, the AGs are asking companies to proactively monitor consumer

    Year in Review: 2019 Food and Beverage Litigation and Regulatory Roundup

    2019 was another active year for new regulatory activity and litigation targeting the food, beverage, and supplement industries.

    In this roundup, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP presents a collection of regulatory developments, key court decisions, and notable settlements that were reached in 2019 and early 2020.

    The highlights of this 2019 roundup include:

    • New federal legislation governing food labeling.
    • New regulations and a burst of litigation regarding CBD-based products.
    • An update on slack fill litigation.
    • Notable rulings, trials, and settlements.
    • Prop 65 and food safety update.
    • A preview of areas to watch in 2020.

    We will continue our commitment to monitoring and analyzing industry trends in these areas and advising clients on legal and regulatory developments.

     

    U.S. CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL: The CARES Act – Provisions Affecting Employers and Employees

    April 3, 2020

    Categories

    Following tense negotiations throughout last week, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or “Act”) became law on March 27, 2020.  The CARES Act represents the third Phase of Congressional relief responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Phase I (Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-123)) and Phase II (Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127)) were signed into law on March 6 and 18, respectively.   At 883 pages, the CARES Act is the largest relief bill in U.S. history and addresses on multiple fronts the hardships faced by individuals and businesses throughout this crisis.  These efforts include an unprecedented expansion of unemployment benefits, significant funding for the health care industry, aid to large and small businesses valued in the billions, and even direct payments to individuals.

    The majority of economic relief provisions for U.S. workers and employers is provided in

    The attorneys of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.