Lauletta Birnbaum in the News

COVID-19 & The Workplace

Thursday  //  Mar 19  //  2020

March 19 2020 - With the rapidly developing situation surrounding COVID-19/Coronavirus, many employers have been left wondering how to navigate their operations from an employment practices perspective.  Naturally the primary consideration is to protect the health and safety of employees and customers; however, business owners are also faced with tough decisions about how to preserve business operations so that employees still have jobs and customers can still enjoy their goods and services when the smoke clears.  While the following list is far from comprehensive, below are a few issues that we have been dealing with over the past couple of weeks:

  • Office Closures/Work from Home: Whether to allow employees to work from home depends on the individual circumstances of each employee and employer.  In general, if you are not subject to a state or nationally mandated office shutdown (e.g. restaurants in New Jersey),  the employer is not currently required to allow an employee to work from home unless the employee has other valid reasons to do so, such as a disability. That being said, just last night, the President signed into law emergency legislation that requires businesses with 500 or less employees to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who are sick with COVID-19, caring for an infected person, or must be at home with their children due to school closures. The legislation also changes and expands the FMLA by allowing employees who have been employed for 30 days to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for a child (under 18 years of age) if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency. Both the paid sick leave and FMLA portions of the legislation will take effect on April 2, 2020.
  • Keeping the Workplace Safe: The CDC has issued guidance for preventing the spread of the virus in the community, which all employers should review, use reasonable best efforts to follow, and educate staff accordingly.  This is particularly important when considering the ramification of workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that an employee contracts COVID-19 at the workplace, the employer could be on the hook for workers’ compensation benefits, so it is imperative to have a plan in place in the event that an employee becomes sick or reports being in contact with an infected individual so as to prevent office-wide infections.
  • Layoffs & Other Considerations:  Many employers have determined it is necessary to reduce their workforce in order to survive the looming economic downturn and are considering (or already) implementing a reduction in hours, less than 5-day workweeks and/or layoffs.  If any of these decisions are being considered, there are a variety of federal and state laws that could come in to play and should be reviewed prior to taking action. For example, the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees to provide 60 days written advance notification of employment site closings or mass layoffs.  While COVID-19 may exempt or relax the amount of notice that is required (something California has already done in response to the pandemic), general requirements as to the form of the notice and the persons to whom notice must be sent (which often includes state and union officials) will likely remain unchanged.  In addition, employers with 20 or more employees that furlough or terminate employer-provided health insurance coverage must provide COBRA health insurance continuing coverage notifications.

These are unprecedented times and the health of your staff, customers, and organization is at stake.  Lauletta Birnbaum is closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and offering guidance to help you stay abreast of the latest developments and attempt to mitigate risk during this time of uncertainty. Please contact either Frank Lauletta (flauletta@lauletta.com) or Daniel Blanchard (dblanchard@lauletta.com).

Disclaimer: This article may constitute an advertisement under the rules of certain states. Each decision regarding the hiring of an attorney is an important one that should not be made on the basis of advertising alone. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


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Sarah Cohen Becomes Member

Monday  //  Mar 9  //  2020

Lauletta Birnbaum, LLC is excited to announce that Sarah Cohen has been named a member of the firm effective March 1, 2020.

Cohen has spent the last several years honing her skills as an associate in Lauletta Birnbaum’s Litigation Department. Cohen focuses her practice on business litigation – she has guided corporations, start-ups, and individuals through every stage of litigation: from performing pre-suit evaluations, initiating suits, and aggressively pursuing discovery, to summary judgment, mediation, and trial on the merits. Cohen’s experience includes complex disputes involving minority shareholder and member oppression, breach of contract, fraud, and employment issues.

Following a clerkship under the Honorable Marie E. Lihotz of the New Jersey Appellate Division, Cohen began as an apprentice with Lauletta Birnbaum in September 2014. The two-year Apprenticeship Program allows young lawyers to gain exposure to a wide range of practice areas, receive actionable feedback from seasoned attorneys, and become comfortable and well-versed in all areas of commercial law.

Cohen received her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law in 2013; she graduated from Dickinson College in 2010, where she received a B.A. in Law Policy.


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Business world braces for impact of Coronavirus

Friday  //  Mar 6  //  2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has now spread to at least 90 countries, including the United States — with two presumed cases in New Jersey.  This novel virus is already having an impact on various types of commercial contract provisions such as party’s obligation to perform and, specifically, force majeure provisions. These are and will remain important considerations for many businesses into the foreseeable future. We are busy researching the relevant issues and formulating strategies for several clients at this time.

Since coronavirus related claims will likely give rise to significant litigation throughout the business world, these issues should be considered as early as possible.  As always, we are available to answer your questions and provide assistance. Please contact Frank Lauletta or Lloyd Birnbaum at (856) 232-1600.


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Awesome Attorneys 2019

Monday  //  Dec 9  //  2019

Congratulations to Ed Hovatter for making South Jersey Magazine’s 2019 Awesome Attorneys List for his outstanding work in both residential and commercial Real Estate transactions throughout the region!


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2019 Top Business Attorneys

Thursday  //  Dec 5  //  2019

Congratulations to Lloyd Birnbaum, Frank Lauletta, and Randy Ford for being named Top Business Attorneys by South Jersey Biz! Birnbaum was nominated in the Real Estate category, while Lauletta and Ford were selected as Top Technology Attorneys.


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Top Chef Quickfire coming to Center City Comcast Building

Monday  //  Nov 25  //  2019

On behalf of client Spectra, Lauletta Birnbaum attorneys Lloyd Birnbaum and Bill Eisenstadt assisted General Counsel Brian Rothenberg in negotiating the lease and architectural contract for the Comcast center’s new “Top Chef”-themed eatery set to open in January. Read more about the new fast-casual spot here.


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Randy Ford to Speak on M&A Panel for TD Bank

Tuesday  //  Oct 15  //  2019

Lauletta Birnbaum corporate attorney Randy Ford is speaking at TD Bank’s upcoming panel “Look to the Future: Business Succession Planning Forum.” Panelists from various industries will be discussing the critical components of a successful business transaction. If you are interested in attending, you may contact Kim Watson at TD Bank.


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Thoma Bravo to Sell iPipeline to Roper Technologies

Thursday  //  Aug 8  //  2019

Frank Lauletta and Randy Ford assisted iPipeline and Thoma Bravo, LLC in entering into a definitive agreement to sell iPipeline for $1.625 billion in an all cash transaction to Roper Technologies, Inc. Read more about the deal here.


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Lauletta Birnbaum Client Seeks Profits from ‘Play Gloria’ Merchandise

Thursday  //  Jul 18  //  2019

LB Intellectual Property attorney Rob McKinley is representing Philly bar The Jacks NYB in their quest to profit from St. Louis Blues’ “Play Gloria” merchandise. Read the article on ESPN.


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Lloyd Birnbaum to Moderate Seminar

Wednesday  //  Jul 10  //  2019

 

Lloyd Birnbaum has been invited to moderate an upcoming seminar hosted by the Southern New Jersey Development Council entitled “Exporting 101” which aims to help small to medium companies determine if international trade is right for them. Panelists from several industries will cover the essentials of exporting, including: the basics of banking overseas; how to minimize trade risks and stay compliant; relevant international tax rules; and federal assistance available to offset costs and understand the market. The seminar will take place at Camden County College.


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