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McDonald’s Workers Win Virus Safeguards

June 24, 2020, 5:52 PM

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

  • VIRUS SAFEGUARDS: A McDonald’s restaurant in Oakland must boost its Covid-19 safety protocols in order to reopen, a judge ruled in a case testing whether workers can sue to force employers to keep them safe during the pandemic. The ruling represents a big win for workers trying to apply the long-standing public nuisance doctrine to occupational safety during the pandemic.
  • TEMPORARY RULE CHANGES: President Donald Trump’s directive that federal agencies consider making temporary rule changes permanent to support economic recovery has raised concerns among legal scholars that the pandemic is being used as cover to expedite deregulation.
  • EVOLVING BAR EXAMS: Bar exam preparation companies have been scrambling to set up new courses and adjust their delivery models due to the Covid-19 crisis and resulting changes in how the test is given. These rapid changes—and the still-evolving, state-by-state landscape—have thrown prep course companies off of their standard, well-worn models by forcing them to provide services in new ways.

Editor’s Top Picks

Many Law Firms Spared Worst of Covid-19 Crisis: Wells Fargo
Big Law has taken an economic hit during the pandemic, but a new Wells Fargo Private Bank survey suggests that firms so far have avoided the level of pain that’s been inflicted on other industries.

GNC Files Bankruptcy to Manage Debt With Plan to Sell Itself
GNC Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection with the aim of selling itself and closing stores after its latest effort to manage its debt load unraveled amid the pandemic.

Illinois Sued For Halting Disability Services During Pandemic
Illinois is accused in a new lawsuit of discriminating against its developmentally disabled citizens by keeping its Community Day Services closed while allowing children’s day camps and manufacturing businesses to open at a limited capacity.

Wayfair Let Insiders Buy at Price Depressed by Virus, Suit Says
Wayfair Inc. was sued for records in Delaware by an investor claiming it diluted the ownership of public shareholders by letting private equity insiders buy $535 million worth of stock just before its market value—temporarily depressed by coronavirus fears—nearly tripled.

Juneteenth Film Fest Covid Shutdown Garners Civil Rights Suit
A Michigan movie theater is suing the state for threatening criminal prosecution if it went forward with a planned Juneteenth film festival in the midst of the outbreak, arguing its constitutional rights were violated.

Anti-Abortion Group Sues Illinois Over Covid-19 Gathering Cap
Illinois Right to Life Committee sued Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in federal court over an emergency Covid-19 order that prohibits most gatherings of more than 10 people.

Judge Resurrects Idaho Ballot Measure Stopped by Covid-19
A federal judge has given new life to an Idaho ballot measure that would boost taxes on high earners and corporations to pay for schools. The measure was presumed dead when proponents had to stop collecting signatures because of the pandemic.

Whistleblower Fired Over Pandemic Cruise Ship Ads, Suit Claims
A creative agency charged with crafting a marketing campaign for Princess Cruise Lines wrongfully fired an associate creative director who objected to ads telling consumers it was safe to travel on cruise ships, according to a complaint filed in state court in California.

San Franciscans Laid Off During Virus Would Get Rehire Rights
Thousands of San Franciscans laid off because businesses closed would get first rights to be rehired under an ordinance the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed Tuesday.

Holland & Hart Cuts Attorney, Staff Salaries Due to Virus Impact
Holland & Hart is the latest law firm to cut attorney and staff salaries as the legal sector seeks to save cash amid the economic fallout.

Minor League Baseball Teams Sue Insurers Over Virus Coverage
The Chattanooga Lookouts, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Amarillo Sod Poodles, and more than 10 other minor league baseball teams are suing their insurance providers over denied claims for pandemic-related losses.

Jay Z’s Roc Nation Alleges Scare Tactics in Prison Covid Suit
Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation moved to quash subpoenas related to an investor lawsuit it’s backing that claims Centene Corp. “profits off of the brutality of the prison system” by “providing substandard and ineffective medical care” to inmates, including those suffering from the coronavirus.

INSIGHT: A Second Wave Is Coming … to Our Criminal Justice System
Covid-19 has restricted access to the criminal justice system and we must prepare for a second wave of instability brought on by a system that is overwhelmed and lacks resources. Hon. Kevin Allen (Ret.) and Lucas Rentschler, Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, suggest solutions like decriminalizing certain crimes, monitoring with technology, and using specialty courts.

Click here for updates on how federal courts are operating during the pandemic.

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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

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Ward in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meghashyam Mali at