As COVID-19 reverberates through the real estate and construction industries, impacted companies should revisit their employee compensation programs to preserve cash and drive performance while maintaining legal compliance. This is particularly true for companies normally dependent on high rents in cities, where commercial tenants are trading brick-and-mortar office space for work-from-home arrangements, and freeing up employees—unshackled by any commuting concerns—to relocate in pursuit of lower housing costs.
On June 15, 2020, the California Legislature passed Governor Newsom’s proposed tax legislation to raise additional income tax revenue to assist in balancing the California budget. (AB 85). The Senate and Assembly each achieved the two-thirds majority vote required for California tax increases (27-11 in the Senate and 56-20 in the Assembly), with Gov. Newsom expected to sign the legislation later this week. In “California Legislature Passes Governor Newsom’s Proposal to Suspend California Net Operating Loss Deductions and Limit Tax Credits during 2020 – 2022,” colleagues Jeffrey M. Vesely, Craig A. Becker, Carley Roberts and Breann E. Robowski discuss the tax legislation’s two principal components.
New Small Business Administration (SBA) guidance implementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) confirms that a somewhat narrower set of affiliation principles now applies to SBA loan programs, including the PPP. In “COVID-19 Relief: SBA Issues Regulations & Guidance on the Payroll Protection Program,” colleagues Alexander B. Ginsberg, David B. Dixon, John E. Jensen, Shaalu Mehra and Steven A. Kaplan discuss how the SBA issued interim regulations and guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program, including confirmation of “affiliation” rules that may leave many companies affiliated with their investors and other businesses.
The CARES Act provides $350 billion for small business Paycheck Protection Loans and an additional $10 billion for the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Colleagues David Miller and Zachary Bailey describe the new Paycheck Protection Loan Program and the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program below. These are complex programs, with regulations still being developed by the Small Business Administration.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, companies are facing unique challenges to their businesses, including supply chain interruptions, employee and customer safety concerns and government regulations, restrictions and shutdowns. In “COVID-19: Understanding Business Interruption Insurance and Wide-Impact Catastrophes,” colleagues Joseph D. Jean, Eric M. Gold, Matthew F. Putorti, Janine Stanisz, Tamara D. Bruno and Brendan Hogan discuss how policyholders can expect insurers to put forth strong objections to many of their claims in an effort to reduce the liability exposure.
The SEC has provided conditional regulatory relief regarding filing deadlines and has issued guidance regarding annual meetings to assist public companies impacted by COVID-19. In “COVID-19: Q&A for Public Companies,” colleagues Davina K. Kaile, Gabriella A. Lombardi, Christina F. Pearson and Stanton D. Wong addresses some of the most frequently asked questions of public companies on how to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19.
As we kick off the new decade, we wanted to share the top five most-read articles of 2019 from Gravel2Gavel. The most-read blog posts covered 2019 real estate and construction industry trends ranging from affordable housing to the new State Bill 35 (SB 35) to sustainability in modern real estate. Our posts provided deep insight and detailed case studies, and summarized hot topics that addressed the legal implications and exciting disruptions that are affecting the industry. We hope you enjoy the roundup:
As usual, the last month of the Supreme Court’s term generated significant rulings on all manner of cases, possibly presaging the new directions the Court will be taking in administrative and regulatory law. Here’s a brief roundup:
On May 3, 2019, the Texas Supreme Court issued a significant administrative law ruling in the case of Mosely v. Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The court held, unsurprisingly, that under the Texas Administrative Procedure Act (Texas APA), an appellant seeking review of an administrative action must first file a petition for rehearing with the Administrative Law Judge, “unless another statute plainly provides otherwise.” However, when the agency, as here, provided seriously incorrect information to the appellant about the proper procedures to follow to seek review of an adverse order, that action can, “under some circumstances,” violate the appellant’s constitutional right to due process.
Whenever a claim is made that a state law has been prempted by an analogous federal law, the courts will rigorously test the strength of the claim. As as example, in a preemption case decided on September 15, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Québec, et al., v. Becerra, the Ninth Circuit reversed the holding of the District Court that California’s statutory ban against the sale of products made from force-fed birds such as foie gras was preempted by the provisions of the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).
As described, the practice of force-feeding these birds to enlarge their livers is especially brutal. The California Assembly found that the process is “so hard on the birds that they would die from the pathological damage it inflicts if they weren’t slaughtered first.” Nevertheless, the District Court held that California statutory ban imposes an “ingredient requirement,” which was the sole province of the federal law.