TRIFECTA: New PPP legislation to help small business. New NJ re-opening guidance. Thursday HR Zoom chat!


Image by Clarence Alford from Pixabay

Let’s start with the most important of the three, which is clearly the Zoom chat.

Join us on Thursday at Noon EDT on Zoom

Folks, we’ve set the bar high recently with our Facebook Live and Zoom chats. (Go check ’em out on the YouTube channel if you’ve missed any).

And this week will be no different. Join me on Zoom on Thursday at Noon Eastern.

My special guest this week is David Mohl. David is currently a Principal at Jackson Lewis, P.C. Before that, he was head of global labor and employment, litigation, and privacy legal functions at The Hershey Company. And before that, David was Senior Counsel for Cigna, where he advised Cigna’s Chief Human Resources Officer and other senior leaders on employment law risks and trends while balancing Cigna’s business strategy.

If you’ve ever been to a DMEC event, then you know David well.

Let’s leverage David’s dynamic resume and focus on both the legal and business side of return to work. Among other things, we’ll address (1) employee health screening and accommodations; (2) rehiring and restructuring (a/k/a maybe not rehiring everyone and laying others off), (3) the latest congressional stimulus plans, and (4) your Q&A.

Go ahead and ask your questions here.

Attendees must pre-register, which you can do here.

More PPP help is on the way?

The news yesterday was that the SBA published this Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application.

But, the bigger news is that there are several proposed amendments to the PPP that could ease tensions for borrowers:

  • Late last month, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced a legislative proposal that would extend the time frame for borrowers of less than $500K to utilize their funds and pay employees, from 8 to 16 weeks after the date they receive their PPP funds.
  • Then, Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) announced similar legislation that would extend the 8-week covered period to deploy PPP funds and earn loan forgiveness to 16 weeks after the loan is disbursed for the hardest-hit businesses that have seen revenues decline by at least 25%.
  • Meanwhile, in the House, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act. This legislation would accomplish five goals: (1) Allow forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period; (2) Eliminate restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses to 25% of loan proceeds; (3) Eliminate restrictions that limit loan terms to 2 years; (4) Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans; and (5) Extend the rehiring deadline to offset the effect of enhanced Unemployment Insurance.

Which one stands the best chance of becoming law? And when? Don’t know. But, the flurry of activity suggests that something should happen on the PPP front pretty soon.

New Jersey re-opening soon?

Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy tweeted a three-stage plan for businesses to re-open. Actually, it’s just an infographic.

Via @govmurphy on Twitter

Without context, it doesn’t mean much. So, Governor Murphy shared some — and teensy bit — of that too.

STAGE 0: This is where we were essentially stuck at the height of the pandemic. Our state was locked down as much as we could while ensuring access to essential services and stores. Today, we find ourselves in a better place because the steps we took have been effective.

STAGE 1: This is where we we are now. We’re opening up businesses in a way that still provides maximum protection for residents. We’ve reopened our parks and put in place plans to have our beaches and lakefronts open – with social distancing guidelines in place.

STAGE 2: This is where we’re working to get to now. A broader restart of our economy. This includes:

  • Expanded retail
  • Outdoor dining
  • Limited personal care
  • Museums
  • Libraries

STAGE 3: This will depend on progress continuing from Stage 2. This will include:

  • Allowing shoppers to once again enter downtown and main street storefronts
  • Limited gatherings with appropriate safeguards
  • And more (here)

What’s the timeline? Unclear. How will this impact workplaces generally? Don’t know. But, at least we have positive momentum.

I’ll keep you updated as I learn more.




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