Relief For Small Businesses: The Paycheck Protection Program

Note that all Sheehey guidance regarding COVID-19 is subject to change, as the legal landscape is evolving rapidly. Please note the date of publication for this bulletin, and be aware that things may have changed since then. Please check our COVID-19 landing page for the most up-to-date posts and contact us with any questions.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law last week, provides extraordinary support for small businesses to help them weather the consequences of the coronavirus and COVID-19. The law expands the category of entities eligible for Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans. In addition to a business qualifying as a “small business concern” under the Small Business Act, any business, certain nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, or tribal businesses with 500 or fewer full and part-time employees are eligible to receive an SBA loan with generous forgiveness provisions. Even entities over 500 employees could qualify for a loan if they meet certain standards. Sole proprietors, independent contractors and those who are self-employed are also eligible.

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What The CARES ACT Means For Student Loans

Note that all Sheehey guidance regarding COVID-19 is subject to change, as the legal landscape is evolving rapidly. Please note the date of publication for this bulletin, and be aware that things may have changed since then. Please check our COVID-19 landing page for the most up-to-date posts and contact us with any questions.

On Friday, March 27, 2020 President Trump signed the CARES Act into law. Among its many provisions are several that pertain to student loan payments.

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Vermont Department of Labor Announces It Will Not Enforce Mini-WARN Act For Layoffs Caused By Effects of COVID-19

Note that all Sheehey guidance regarding COVID-19 is subject to change, as the legal landscape is evolving rapidly. Please note the date of publication for this bulletin, and be aware that things may have changed since then. Please check our COVID-19 landing page for the most up-to-date posts and contact us with any questions.

Ordinarily, under Vermont’s Notice of Potential Layoffs (the so-called “Mini-WARN Act”) requires qualifying employers to notify the State 45 days in advance of closing or laying off 50 or more employees over a 90-day period. It also requires qualifying employers to give 30 days’ notice to the affected employees and the chief elected or administrative official of the municipality where the layoff or closing occurs. [Read more…]

Updates on Federal Payroll Tax Credits Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Note that all Sheehey guidance regarding COVID-19 is subject to change, as the legal landscape is evolving rapidly. Please note the date of publication for this bulletin, and be aware that things may have changed since then. Please check our COVID-19 landing page for the most up-to-date posts and contact us with any questions.

Updated March 25, 2020

The IRS, Department of Treasury and Department of Labor have issued updates in anticipation of formal guidance related to the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Act”). Expect more guidance related to tax credits and small employer exemptions later this week. Note this post does not go into detail about eligibility for either type of paid leave. See our previous post describing the new Emergency FMLA Leave and Paid Sick.

Background

The Act provided paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for COVID-19 related reasons and created the refundable paid sick leave credit and the paid child care leave credit for eligible employers. Eligible employers are businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the Act. Eligible employers will be able to claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between the effective date (April 2, 2020) and December 31, 2020. Equivalent credits are available to self-employed individuals based on similar circumstances. [Read more…]

Potential Federal & State COVID-19 Economic Relief for Vermont

Note that all Sheehey guidance regarding COVID-19 is subject to change, as the legal landscape is evolving rapidly. Please note the date of publication for this bulletin, and be aware that things may have changed since then. Please check our COVID-19 landing page for the most up-to-date posts and contact us with any questions.

Updated March 19, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Federal Law”) into law. Additionally, the Vermont House of Representatives passed a bill to address and ameliorate the economic impact on businesses and workers from the Pandemic. The Vermont Bill has not been addressed by the State Senate and is not law. It is uncertain when the bill will be passed into law or what the final version will include.

Below is a summary of how the Federal Law and Vermont Bill address the following issues and areas. [Read more…]

Sheehey Announces New Principal and Director of the Firm

The firm is pleased to announce that Peter G. Raymond has become a Principal and Director of the firm effective January 1, 2020.

Peter joined the firm in September of 2016. Peter’s practice focuses on environmental and land use/zoning law as well as civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Peter worked as a law clerk for the Vermont Superior Courts in Windham County and also in the Environmental Division. Peter is a graduate of Cornell Law School (J.D. 2014) and Colby College (B.A. 2009).

January 1 Brings New Changes in Overtime Rules

As of January 1, 2020, federal regulations will change, and an estimated 1.3 million more workers will become entitled to overtime pay. Employers may have employees not currently overtime eligible who may become eligible due to changes in the new salary and compensation threshold levels for exempt employees.

Among other things, the new overtime rules update the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Although there are exceptions, generally, an employee who makes less than $684/week will become eligible for overtime pay, regardless of whether they are compensated on a salary or hourly basis and regardless of whether they otherwise meet the “duties test” for the executive, administrative, or professional exemption. The new standard salary level of $684 per week is an increase from the standard salary level previously in effect of $455 per week.

If you have questions about whether the overtime rules impact your workplace or for more information, please contact the Sheehey employment lawyers at (802) 864-9891 or click here.

Mark E. Melendy to Speak at 2019 Tri-State Trust Forum

Sheehey Attorney Mark E. Melendy will speak at the 2019 Tri-State Trust Forum.  This two day conference will be held September 16-17 at the Marriott Residence Inn in Portsmouth, NH and is hosted by the New Hampshire Bankers Association in cooperation with the Maine Bankers Association and Vermont Bankers Association, Inc. Trust Committees.  Mark’s presentation will focus on state income taxation of trust income.

Mark’s practice at the firm focuses on estate planning, business succession planning, corporate law and estate administration and tax planning.  Mark was a member of the joint bar and banking committee charged with preparing the Vermont Trust Code for legislative approval.

For more information on this conference click here.

Daphne Moritz to Present on Inherited IRAs in Estate Planning

On October 2, 2019, Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C., Estate Planning Attorney, Daphne Moritz, will present a national teleconference on Inherited IRAs and Estate Planning through the National Business Institute. This teleconference is designed for attorneys and also benefits accountants, CPAs, trust officers, and paralegals seeking to increase their knowledge of IRA rules and trusts. The conference will focus on IRA rollovers and minimum distribution rules to help clients maximize the benefits of inherited IRAs after the Supreme Court’s 2014 Clark v. Rameker decision. Topics include clarifying required minimum distribution rules and the best ways to comply; determining whether an IRA trust is a wise choice for your clients; and how to resolve multiple beneficiary challenges.

To register click here: https://bit.ly/2lBKHSw

Sheehey Voted Best Corporate Law Firm

Sheehey is proud to receive Vermont Business Magazine’s 2019 Best of Business Award for Best Corporate Law Firm.   In its third year, this award program celebrates the best Vermont companies in over 100 business-to-business categories.

Click here to read more about our corporate law practice.