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As Coronavirus Brings C-Suite Austerity, Top Lawyers’ Pay Cut

March 30, 2020, 11:01 AM

Top in-house lawyers are getting their compensation cut along with other executive officers as the new coronavirus causes widespread economic distress.

Foregone Pay: Marriott International Inc., the Cheesecake Factory Inc., and other companies have announced plans to cut pay for top executives. Bloomberg Law recently reported that gaming company Accel Entertainment Inc.’s leadership is going even further, foregoing 100% of their pay until it hopes normal business operations resume next month.

‘Right Thing to Do’: “We just thought it was the right thing to do,” Accel general counsel Derek Harmer told Bloomberg Law in an email after that story was published. “Everyone is making sacrifices.” Brian Baxter has the story.

CORONAVIRUS -- WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Corporate Coronavirus Cooperation Raises Prospect of Collusion
Corporate competitors suddenly collaborating to fight the new coronavirus to make everything from masks to vaccines could leave themselves vulnerable to collusion charges.

Trump Orders GM to Make Ventilators Under Defense Production Law
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered General Motors Co. to make ventilators for coronavirus patients, invoking a federal law that gives him vast powers over industry in crises, just as the company is within weeks of starting production on the equipment.

Coronavirus as an Act of God: Force Majeure Clauses Explained
Companies affected by Covid-19 are looking to contract terms to minimize their financial losses as the pandemic forces closures and cancellations, and craters productivity in many industries.

DOL Clarifies Virus-Related Leave Policy for Telework, Furloughs
Businesses that temporarily shutter operations or furlough employees without terminating them will not be required to provide paid sick leave and family leave under the coronavirus-relief measure President Donald Trump signed into law earlier this month, the Labor Department said.

Juries Halted, Staff Sick, U.S. Trial Courts Cope With Virus
Federal district courts are slowing the wheels of justice in historic ways as they grapple with sick employees and other fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Virus Puts Pressure on Corporate Tax Advisers Working Remotely
While governments around the world scramble to contain the new coronavirus, corporate officials are trying to keep up with a raft of new regulatory guidance, keep operations running smoothly with their businesses and employees, and make sure routine paperwork gets filed while they’re working from home. The last part is proving to be challenging.

EEOC Urges Employers to Mind Bias Against Asians
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is calling on employers and workers to “create respectful workplaces,” as reports emerge on the “mistreatment and harassment of Asian Americans and other people of Asian descent” in reaction to the novel coronavirus.

Employers With Skeleton Crews Are on the Hook for Their Safety
Employers that remain open for business while the coronavirus outbreak takes hold of the nation are making tough decisions about which of their employees are essential and then how to keep them safe while they do work that might not be part of their standard duties.

Virus Time-Out for Labor Violation Suits Sought by Trade Group
A California trade group wants the most populous U.S. state to temporarily block employees from suing employers over labor violations as the cornovirus outbreak fuels layoffs and business closures.

INSIGHT: Coronavirus and the Stafford Act—What It Means for Contractors
President Trump’s national emergency declaration triggered the Stafford Act and more federal funding for contractors. Cadwalader attorneys looks at what that entails and the opportunities and considerations for businesses not used to dealing with the federal government.

INSIGHT: Price Gouging in the Time of Coronavirus
The U.S. is seeing a rise in price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic as the demand for essential items is growing and the supply is dwindling. Akerma LLP’s Lawrence Silverman explores state regulations on the phenomenon and gives strategies for corporate compliance.

INSIGHT: Responding to CCPA Requests During the Coronavirus Pandemic
California businesses were busy with California Consumer Privacy Act compliance; however, that was before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Husch Blackwell attorneys say these businesses are now in a difficult position of balancing coronavirus-related business disruptions and responding to CCPA consumer requests in a timely manner.

INSIGHT: There is No Social Distance in Supply Chains Tainted by Forced Labor
The coronavirus pandemic could trigger a new wave of human rights violations if companies are not careful to root out forced labor in supply chains. Perkins Coie’s T. Markus Funk and the Hon. Virginia M. Kendall say companies must have effective compliance programs in place and bolster supply chain vigilance to ward off potentially business-ending scrutiny.

COMPLIANCE

H-1B Visa Cap Reached Following First-Ever Online Registration
The annual cap for H-1B high-skilled guestworkers has been reached for fiscal year 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.

Employers Given Extra Time for Visa-Petition Responses
Employers petitioning for visa workers will get an additional 60 calendar days to respond to agency requests for evidence and notices of intent to deny, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.

BUSINESS & PRACTICE

Idled Dealmakers Pile Into New Niche With Virus Freezing M&A
With the mergers business in a deep freeze after a decade-long boom, the matchmakers who broker corporate marriages are piling into a new line of work.

Walmart Snags Seyfarth Shaw Wage-and-Hour Litigation Leader
The world’s largest retailer has hired a top labor and employment lawyer as it prepares for potential new legal challenges emerging as a result of the coronavirus.

LEGAL NEWS

Delaware Decision Could Revive Bid to Arbitrate Investor Claims
A recent ruling by Delaware’s top court could be a harbinger of the outcome in another legal battle over whether shareholders’ securities class actions can be forced into arbitration.

Goldman Forces Women Into Arbitration in Gender-Bias Case
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. can force more than 1,000 women suing the bank over gender-bias claims into arbitration, a judge ruled, dealing a setback to one of the era’s biggest such lawsuits targeting a financial institution.

Fluor Gets ‘Drastic’ Relief Stopping Privileged Docs Disclosure
Fluor Intercontinental Inc. convinced the Fourth Circuit to vacate an order to disclose privileged investigation documents concerning an alleged government contracts conflict of interest involving a former employee.

New York Gig Workers Win Right to Unemployment Benefits
New York Postmates food delivery drivers and potentially thousands of other gig workers can receive unemployment benefits at a time of historic job losses, following a ruling by the state’s highest court that they are company employees.

Swimming Pool Company’s Late Signatures Void Arbitration Pacts
The world’s largest swimming-pool supplier must litigate overtime claims brought by a group of former employees, after a Colorado federal court said it waited too long to countersign arbitration agreements.

Apogee Beats Would-Be Investor Class in EFCO Purchase Suit
Apogee Enterprises Inc. fought off a would-be securities class action accusing it of hiding the extent of problems with a recent acquisition after a Minnesota federal district judge dismissed the case.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

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To contact the reporter on this story: John Nancarrow in Washington at jnancarrow@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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