Updated as of 1/27/22 due to OSHA’s withdrawal of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

employee covid vaccine requirement OSHA ETSThe vax-or-test legal rollercoaster ride continues, leaving human resource managers’ heads spinning, lawyers prognosticating, and employers simply wondering what comes next.

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, in a 6-3 majority decision, dealt a substantial blow to the future implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for large employers, putting the ETS on hold indefinitely pending further review by the United States Court of Appeal for the 6th Circuit (which had reinstated the vaccinate-or-test mandate). Among other things, the ETS mandated that all businesses with 100+ employees require their employees to either vaccinate (and provide proof thereof) or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing to attend work.

Continue Reading The ETS, the Supreme Court Ruling, and the Vax-or-Test Rollercoaster: What Should Your Business Do Now?

Deferral agreements, or workout agreements, are a favorable option for franchisors seeking to restructure and manage the obligations of a struggling franchisee before more draconian measures, such as termination of a franchise agreement and litigation. These agreements allow parties to agree to restructured conditions under a franchise agreement and/or postpone certain events before further action is required. The most common example is the franchisee who is having problems paying royalties or performing contractual obligations on a timely basis. The failure to make payments under a franchise agreement usually indicates a larger problem with the franchisee’s business, and bankruptcy court may be the next avenue if things do not improve.

Continue Reading Deferral Agreements – Considerations for Extending Relief to Troubled Franchisees

With the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, many expected a tidal wave of commercial bankruptcy filings. After an initial spike of retail bankruptcy cases at the outset of the pandemic, the onslaught of bankruptcy has not yet materialized. Whether due to PPP loans, other available credit, modification and forbearance agreements, or government moratoriums on foreclosure and eviction proceedings, many businesses have been able to temporarily avoid debt obligations without the need to file for bankruptcy protection. As moratoriums terminate and debt obligations become due, franchisors would be mindful to prepare for an uptick in franchisee bankruptcy filings.

Continue Reading What to do When Your Franchisee Files for Bankruptcy

FTC notice of penalty franchiseThe Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has kept itself busy as of late, issuing a series of notices to over 1,000 businesses (many of them franchise companies) advising them that they could face civil penalties for conduct that the FTC has deemed unlawful. The Notice of Penalty Offenses Concerning Money-Making Opportunities is of particular importance to franchise companies. The first round of notices went out in late October. They advised businesses that if they deceive or mislead consumers about potential earnings or otherwise make false or misleading representations in connection with a money-making opportunity, they could be subject to large civil penalties (up to $43,792 per violation).

Continue Reading FTC Issues Penalty Offenses Concerning Money Making Opportunities to Hundreds of Franchise Companies

Eminent domain, sometimes referred to as condemnation, occurs when the government exercises its power to take private property for public use. When this awesome power is exercised, the government must pay the property owner “just compensation” for the property taken, as required by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Continue Reading Eminent Domain Issues Affecting New Jersey Condominiums – Can the Government Really Take Part of Our Common Elements?

The collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, in June 2021, sent shockwaves throughout the United States and was a wake-up call to condominiums to the dangers of aging infrastructures. In light of this tragic event, secondary mortgage market giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued bulletins advising of new “temporary” requirements for mortgages issued in connection with condominiums and cooperatives.

Continue Reading In the Wake of the Surfside Tragedy Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Issue “Temporary” Requirements for Condominiums and Cooperatives

In the past, construction contracts could typically only be terminated if there was a breach of the construction agreement by the owner or contractor. Under such scenarios, litigation often arose concerning whether the termination was proper and whether the contractor might be entitled to lost profits and other damages as a result of the purported unlawful termination. This resulted in costly litigation for both an owner and a contractor if there were potential issues surrounding the termination. In the not-so-distant past, however, a new type of termination clause arose, which gained rapid traction in the industry. This was a “termination for convenience” clause.

Continue Reading Termination of Construction Contract for Convenience by Project Owner

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 396, which automatically tolls (i.e. pauses) the 6-year Statute of Limitations for construction defect claims by condominium and/or homeowner associations and cooperative corporations until the first election when unit owners take majority control of the association board (“Transition”). Although not black letter law, Transition had historically been recognized as the milestone when the Statute of Limitations began to run for construction defect claims.

Continue Reading New Bill Clarifies Statute of Limitations For Community Association Transition Litigation Matters

virtual hoa member meetings nj 2022The New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation Act (N.J.S.A. 15A:5-1, et seq.) (the “Act”) was amended on Monday, January 22, 2022, to permanently allow remote community association member meetings (using Zoom, Teams, or other remote communication technologies). Previously, the Act permitted remote meetings of members-only when New Jersey was in a declared state of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This new legislation (A5549/S4112) gives communities more flexibility in conducting association member meetings and will hopefully result in increased member attendance for quorum and voting purposes. Continue Reading New Legislation Permanently Allows Community Association Members to Participate in Member Meetings Via Remote Communication

employee covid vaccine requirement OSHA ETSOn November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), requiring private employers having at least 100 employees companywide (at any given time) to adopt written policies and procedures either mandating vaccination against COVID-19 or requiring employees to choose between vaccination or undergo weekly testing while wearing a face-covering at work.

Continue Reading Employers, the Coronavirus, and the Reinstatement of the OSHA ETS: What Now?