Over the weekend, President Trump signed an executive order purporting to defer the payment of the employee’s share of the Social Security portion of FICA (payroll) tax from September 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020. The order is limited to only the employee’s share of the Social Security portion of the payroll tax, which is currently set at 6.2%. The order does not affect the Medicare portion of the payroll tax (1.45%), nor does the order affect the employer portion of the payroll tax, so these will still have to be withheld (where applicable) and deposited on a timely basis. The order also limits deferrals to employees with biweekly, pretax income of less than $4,000, or a similar amount where a different pay period applies. This roughly equates to an annual salary of $104,000. Importantly, the order is not a suspension of the payroll tax (a “payroll tax holiday”), but merely a deferral. The president directed the Treasury to seek ways to implement a full suspension at a later date, including by legislative action.
Continue Reading Trump Signs Payroll Tax Deferral Executive Order

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey entered an amended order to her original Safer at Home order on July 15, 2020. It generally requires masks or face coverings to be worn when people are within six feet of someone from a different household in the following situations: (1) indoor spaces that are open to the public; (2) in vehicles operated by transportation services; and (3) in outdoor public spaces where 10 or more people are gathered. There are a number of exceptions to the requirement, however, and generally businesses are not legally obligated to exclude customers or employees who refuse to wear a mask when required.

This order specifically impacts the workplace. It goes into effect on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and runs through Friday, July 31, 2020. The following items relate particularly to employers and their employees:Continue Reading Governor Ivey Imposes Statewide Mask Requirement for Alabama

In April, President Donald Trump imposed a 60-day ban on permanent resident cards issued abroad. The ban was supposed to expire on June 22. On that day, he signed an executive order that (1) extended this ban through the end of 2020 and (2) now restricts foreign nationals from outside the United States from using certain temporary employment-based visas through the end of the year. This order took effect June 24 and could have a significant impact on your business operations.
Continue Reading No Visas For You

As businesses attempt to navigate the post-COVID-19 landscape, one issue of concern is the possibility of claims for alleged COVID-19 exposure being brought by both customers and employees. These concerns have been complicated by the often conflicting guidance or requirements being placed on businesses from local, state, and federal governments or agencies. While there is ongoing discussion at the federal level of legislation to provide some liability protections for businesses in certain circumstances, several states are stepping into the void and enacting legislation of their own. Louisiana has now followed Oklahoma, North Carolina, and several other states in enacting legislation that grants liability protections for businesses from these type of claims.
Continue Reading New Louisiana Law Grants COVID-19 Liability Protection to Businesses

Today, the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act (the Enhancement Act) was signed into law. The Enhancement Act increases amounts authorized and appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Public Law 116–136) (the CARES Act).

The Enhancement Act provides an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under section


On April 9, 2020, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Federal Reserve Board (Federal Reserve) announced several additional initiatives aimed at promoting maximum employment and stabilizing the economy, including the Main Street Lending Program. The Main Street Lending Program, which implements separate provisions of the CARES Act authorizing the establishment of an emergency loan program for midsize businesses and of a main street lending program, establishes new loan facilities for small and midsize businesses with up to 10,000 employees or with revenues less than $2.5 billion. The Federal Reserve announcement, which provides preliminary details and term sheets regarding the Main Street Lending Program, can be found here. As explained further below, these loans can be either new loans or expanded existing loans, with terms of up to four years and with principal and interest payments deferred for one year.

Importantly, the Main Street Lending Program as announced does not specify a minimum number of employees for borrowers — the 500-employee floor stated in the CARES Act for the midsize lending facility has been omitted. In addition, the announcement expressly states that companies that borrow from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) may also participate in the Main Street Lending Program.Continue Reading Treasury and Federal Reserve Announce Details of $600 Billion Main Street Lending Program for Small and Midsize Businesses

We wanted to make you aware that under the Interim Final Rule issued by the SBA yesterday, businesses that are not eligible for Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) loan guaranties are identified in 13 C.F.R. 120.110 and SOP50 10. Under those guidelines, businesses of which a Lender or any of its Associates owns a financial or

On March 26, 2020, Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, signed Proclamation Number 37 JBE 2020 in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. As part of this proclamation, Gov. Edwards suspended the provisions of the Louisiana Business Corporation Act (LBCA) governing shareholder meetings[1] to the extent that such provisions required shareholder meetings to be held at a physical location for shareholder meetings of Louisiana corporations that either (a) have a record date, or (b) require notice to be provided in connection therewith, or (c) are scheduled to occur on a date that falls during the public health emergency declared by Proclamation Number 25 JBE 2020 (or as extended by any subsequent proclamation made by the governor), which as of the date of this client alert is March 11, 2020 to April 13, 2020.

Continue Reading Louisiana’s Governor Signs Proclamation Regarding Virtual-Only Shareholder Meetings

The Department of the Treasury is moving with unusual speed to issue guidance on several new programs in the CARES Act that are designed to support the business community. Within the past few hours, guidance and application forms have been released by Treasury on the Paycheck Protection Program, Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors,