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Emergency Paid-Leave Law Could Trigger ‘Big-Time Litigation’

April 3, 2020, 5:58 PM

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

  • BIG TIME LITIGATION: Attorneys on both sides of labor and employment cases warn that companies should prepare for a potential onslaught of private litigation from workers covered by new paid-leave mandates under the federal coronavirus-relief law. The law’s paid- and family-leave provisions, which took effect April 1, will be available to as many as 61 million workers.
  • LAYOFFS OR PAY CUTS: Arent Fox, Baker Donelson, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Goldberg Segalla, Reed Smith, and Womble Bond Dickinson announced this week cost-cutting measures to pull back on expenses as law firms face an uncertain future. There will likely be more measures to come as firms look for ways to survive potential revenue loss in a changed market.
  • ANTITRUST HURDLES: Mergers nearing critical closing deadlines that also require structural fixes to gain U.S. government antitrust approval may face the biggest delays during the pandemic.

Editor’s Top Picks

Virus Poses Extra Obstacles for Attorneys With Tax Court Cases
Attorneys have long grappled with technological barriers at the U.S. Tax Court. But now that the building is shuttered until further notice, tax professionals are facing additional hurdles, and they fear it could get worse the longer the outbreak continues.

Online Teaching Amid Virus Raises Copyright Questions
Grade-school teachers are unsure about whether it’s okay to read books to students online. College professors wonder about posting copyrighted course materials that students left behind when campuses closed. Using music or photographs in online courses triggers second-guessing. The sudden shift to online teaching is raising a host of copyright questions for educators.

Gig Hunt Apps See Growth From Skilled Workers in Pandemic Crisis
As jobless claims skyrocket—6.6 million alone in the most recent week and an unemployment rate increase to 4.4 percent in March—apps aimed at gig workers and more traditional employment agencies have the best sense of where the newly unemployed are turning to for work.

Stimulus Checks May Create ‘Feeding Frenzy’ for Scammers
There’s another risk to consider while the new coronavirus spreads through U.S. communities: scammers looking to snatch stimulus checks from people who qualify—and may need them the most.

N.Y. Law Deans Say 2020 Class Should Be Allowed to Skip Bar Exam
The heads of Columbia, NYU, and other New York law schools are proposing that members of this year’s class should be allowed to skip the bar exam because of the outbreak.

Pharmacists Get Licensing Leeway to Help Fight Virus Pandemic
At least thirteen states have offered some kind of reprieve for pharmacy professionals. Some of the biggest changes are: giving pharmacists more autonomy to handle certain prescriptions and allowing out-of-state pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to practice locally if they’re licensed elsewhere.

States Offer Inconsistent Advice on Masks for Virus Protection
Governors and state health officials are giving mixed advice on when, and under what circumstances, residents should cover their faces. One thing is clear: The general public shouldn’t use N-95 or surgical masks because health-care employees and other essential workers need them and personal protective equipment is in short supply.

How to Report Earnings After an Unprecedented Quarter (Podcast)
This would normally be the time when most companies would be closing their books for the first quarter and getting ready to report their earnings. But now, with the pandemic in full force, many companies are simply struggling to survive and operating with a skeleton crew.

INSIGHT: The Digital and the Biologic—Telehealth Expansion During a Global Pandemic
Telehealth has a vital role to ensure health care continuity while minimizing exposure to Covid-19. Wiley Rein attorneys examine how Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers are removing barriers to telehealth and helping maximize the availability of safe care to patients nationwide.

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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: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

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