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Businesses Can’t Reach Consensus on Extending Extra Jobless Aid

July 31, 2020, 5:51 PM

Here are the day’s top coronavirus stories from the team at Bloomberg Law:

  • EXTENDING JOBLESS AID: The business lobby and management attorneys are divided over the best way to narrow the federal boost to unemployment insurance, just like Senate Republicans. Employers want Congress to replace the $600 weekly benefits supplement that officially expires Friday with a less-generous amount to ensure people aren’t disincentivized from seeking work because they earn more on unemployment. But precisely how to accomplish that is where the management position breaks down into a complex, employer-specific debate about which of the proposals lawmakers are discussing is most workable.
  • BALLOT INITIATIVES: The U.S. Supreme Court nullified a lower court order loosening Idaho’s state ballot initiative requirements that were intended to ease the effects of coronavirus on the upcoming election. The ruling in the Idaho case keeps the state’s procedures in place while the litigation works its way through the courts. Similar challenges out of Oregon and Ohio are also pending before the justices.
  • COMBINING CASES: Small businesses looking to combine their lawsuits against insurers for denial of pandemic-related loss coverage faced skeptical questions from federal judges on the logistical challenges in such consolidation.

Editor’s Top Picks

Wearing of Cloth Masks Doesn’t Endanger Workers, OSHA Says
Workers wearing cloth masks to prevent coronavirus infections aren’t endangered by low oxygen levels or carbon dioxide poisoning, OSHA said in new guidance.

FTC Sues Herbal Company for Claiming Product Treats Covid-19
The FTC has sued Golden Sunrise Pharmaceutical in a federal California court, alleging the company falsely markets and sells herbal supplements as FDA-approved treatments for Covid-19, cancer, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Advocates for Blind Sue States for Mail-In Ballot Discrimination
North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia are the latest states to face lawsuits claiming that their mail-in voting procedures discriminate against visually impaired citizens.

Judiciary Funding Absent in House, Senate Covid-19 Relief Bills
The House and Senate seem to agree on at least one thing in their initial proposals for additional pandemic relief: no extra funding for federal courts.

Over 150 Firms That Got U.S. Relief Aid Plan Layoffs, S&P Says
More than 150 U.S. businesses that received financing from the Paycheck Protection Program have announced plans to lay off employees, undercutting efforts to preserve jobs at pandemic-hit companies, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

EPA Moves Into Next Phase of Office Reopenings Across Country
The EPA is shifting several of its offices across the country into the next step of reopening next week, including its Washington, D.C., headquarters, according to an internal email obtained by Bloomberg Law.

IRS Taxpayer Advocate to Start Working on Virus Payment Issues
Some people having problems accessing their coronavirus relief payments will soon be able to ask the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service for assistance.

Bankrupt Pier 1 Draws Last Breath as Liquidation Plan Approved
Home furnishing retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. won bankruptcy court approval of its liquidation plan after the pandemic dashed its hopes of reorganizing.

U.K. Bankruptcies at Four-Year Low as Virus Aid Shields Firms
The number of companies filing for bankruptcy in the U.K. has fallen to its lowest level in four years as government coronavirus-support measures keep firms afloat, according to a new analysis by KPMG LLP.

U.S. Visa Rules Trap Migrant Workers in Virus-Infested Dorms
As coronavirus cases explode at U.S. farms and food factories, the foreign migrants who pick fruit, clean seafood and sort vegetables are getting trapped in tightly packed bunkhouses where illness spreads like wildfire. Often, they can’t leave—unless they’re willing to risk deportation.

Smithfield and OSHA Settle Suit Over Health Inspection Records
Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp. and OSHA settled a lawsuit filed by the company to prevent the federal safety agency from getting documents related to employee reports of illness, Covid-19 test results, and interviews with its South Dakota plant workers.

Munger Tolles’ Chen Handles WFH Like a Boss
Bloomberg Law spoke to Hailyn Chen, co-managing partner of Munger, Tolles & Olson, about “Zoom fatigue,” client challenges, sharing internet access with her two adult daughters, and her new jigsaw puzzle habit.

ANALYSIS: Lawyer Jobs Down 15% in 6 Months; May Be Long Recovery
Lawyers lost more than 150,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2020, and the decline continued in the second quarter.

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Editor’s Note: The Bloomberg Law news team has been closely covering the legal, regulatory, business, and tax implications of the coronavirus pandemic. This daily email highlights the top stories of the day, across practice areas. To unsubscribe, please adjust your Bloomberg Law newsletter settings. For assistance, contact our help desk at 888-560-2529 or help@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Ward in Washington at mward@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

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