Ireland Stapleton’s attorneys are closely monitoring the business implications caused by the Coronavirus and are working to provide you with information to help you protect yourself, your employees, and your business in a rapidly evolving situation. To help our clients navigate this situation, we are centralizing all our COVID-19 materials here, and we will continue to update this resource page for you.

Worker Protections Under Colorado’s New Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law

Effective July 11, 2020, the Public Health Emergency Whistleblower (“PHEW”) law provides workers with protections from discrimination or retaliation for raising safety or health concerns related to a public health emergency. PHEW also protects workers who choose to wear their own personal protective equipment. Read more.

Restaurant Takeout and Delivery of Alcohol Extended into 2021

July 20, 2020 – In late March, Governor Jared Polis, acting under emergency powers, issued an executive order that temporarily suspends certain alcohol beverage statutes, allowing on-premises restaurants, bars, and breweries and others to sell, deliver, and provide alcohol for takeout to customers who are over the age of 21 and who also purchase food. In July, the Governor’s signed Senate Bill 20-213 passed by the Colorado General Assembly, which extends alcohol takeout to the end of June 2021. Read more.

Eviction Law in Colorado Changes Yet Again

On June 13, 2020, Governor Polis issued yet another executive order to modify the substance of Colorado’s eviction laws and the availability and enforcement of evictions in Colorado using his authority under Colorado’s Disaster Emergency Act. The new Order 2020-101 (“Order 101”) – now the Governor’s fifth order to implement new rules, restrictions, and prohibitions for landlords over a breakneck period of less than three months – is notably different from his previous eviction orders in a number of ways. Read more.

New FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program

May 13, 2020 – The Small Business Administration issued a new FAQ regarding the Paycheck Protection Program this morning that eases borrower concerns about the certification of need issue. Read more.

Preventing Liability After COVID-19

Businesses will gradually reopen in the coming weeks if COVID-19 infections continue to decline, but they should not regard it as a signal to return to normal. We will see the COVID-19 crisis spawn a wave of lawsuits in the months ahead as struggling businesses and laid-off employees fail to meet their financial obligations. Foreclosures will escalate, there will be defaults on leases and loans, boards will be sued when the value of securities plunge, and the inability to meet the obligations of contracts will produce a raft of litigation. Some of this litigation is inevitable – and already starting to bubble up – but businesses may still be able to limit exposure to lawsuits if they take a cautious approach in the weeks ahead. Read more.

UPDATE: The Paycheck Protection Program

On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed off on an additional $320 billion in coronavirus relief for small businesses seeking relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  This additional cash infusion adds to the earlier $349 billion of PPP funding that ran out as of April 16, 2020.  Further, the SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, provides Today, President Trump signed off on an additional $320 billion in coronavirus relief for small businesses seeking relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This additional cash infusion adds to the earlier $349 billion of PPP funding that ran out as of April 16, 2020. The information below generally describes the application procedure for applying for relief through an SBA-approved lender. The SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, provides additional guidance for lenders and borrowers at additional guidance for lenders and borrowers.  Read More.

IRS Extends Time Sensitive Deadlines, Including For 1031 Exchanges

On April 9, 2020, the IRS released Notice 2020-23 extending important tax deadlines for individuals and businesses. The Notice applies to all “Specified Time Sensitive Actions” which are due to be performed on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Deadlines falling within that time frame are now extended to July 15, 2020. Read more.

Virtual Coffee Chat: Helping Employers Navigate ‘The New Normal’, including discussion of Families First and CARES Act Provisions

Join Michelle B. Ferguson and Benjamin J. Larson for a free webinar at 10 am, Friday, April 17, 2020 where we will discuss various personnel matters that employers should be considering, including the requirements of these Acts, and new personnel policies, with time for Q&A. Read more and register.

EPA’s COVID-19 Enforcement Policy ‘Not a License to Pollute’

The Environmental Protection Agency relaxed the enforcement of some environmental obligations due to COVID-19. This policy of relaxed enforcement went into effect on March 26 but applies retroactively from March 13. Speaking with Law Week Colorado, Ireland Stapleton environmental attorney Rebecca L. Almon advises that despite the relaxed enforcement, the number one goal is to comply if possible. Read more.

Beware of the Scams

Please be aware that scams already are underway to defraud individuals slated to receive payments resulting from the passage of the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Read more.

The FFCRA Small Business Exemption

According to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), starting April 1, 2020 certain employers must provide employees with emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave (“paid emergency leave benefits”). However, the FFCRA provides an exemption for small businesses when providing paid emergency leave benefits “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” This weekend, the U.S. Department of Labor shed light on the small business exemption. This article summarizes the small business exemption and provides guidance on its application. Read more.

Understanding Business Interuption Insurance

Many businesses carry insurance policies to mitigate financial losses in the event of business stoppages or slowdowns. Several types of policies may cover lost profits and costs when a business cannot continue normal operations. Whether business interruption insurance covers stoppages or slowdowns caused by COVID-19 will depend on the specific language of each policy and the unique facts of each claim. Read more.

$2 Trillion CARES Act Passed into Law – What Does It Mean for You and Your Business?

The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The 880-page CARES Act provides more than $2 trillion in federal aid to support business continuity for small businesses, increase unemployment benefits, provide immediate cash payments to individuals, boost public health spending, and provide federal stimulus to stabilize specific industries. Read more.

Families First Act – Posting Notice

As you know from our prior alerts, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Families First Act”), which provides Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical Leave for employees impacted by COVID-19, will go into effect on April 2, 2020. The Families First Act requires employers to post a notice of the two new emergency leave benefits in conspicuous places on the employer’s premises where such notices are customarily posted. Read more.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act for Colorado Special Districts

In a rare bipartisan effort to provide relief to Americans, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”) on March 18, 2020. The Act addresses many important issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Important to employers, the Act creates two new emergency leave benefits for families impacted by COVID-19. Michelle B. Fergsuon and Josephine B. Reid breakdown this Act for Colorado Special Districts. Read more.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

In a rare bipartisan effort to provide relief to Americans, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”) on March 18, 2020. The Act addresses many important issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Important to employers, the Act creates two new emergency leave benefits for families impacted by COVID-19. Read more.

Helping Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Like you, we here at Ireland Stapleton are closely monitoring the rapidly developing situation with COVID-19. It goes without saying that our priority during this uncharted time is the health, safety, and well-being of our team and their families, our clients, our colleagues, and our communities. Read more.