COVID-19 has sparked a seismic change in the workplace as many companies have found that working from home (“WFH”) has not diminished employee productivity and that employees prefer its greater flexibility. Given that—and the potential for saving on overhead costs—many companies have announced plans to adopt long-term WFH policies and close or realign office space.

Like a number of states across the country, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (collectively, “the DMV”) have begun to reopen their economies by gradually easing restrictions introduced in late March to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Virginia and Maryland moved to Phase 1 of their respective reopening plans on May 15, 2020, while a number of local jurisdictions in both states and DC opted to delay their Phase 1 transition until May 29. Although the collective DMV has begun reopening, differences among the area’s jurisdictions persist. The easing of restrictions under the DC statewide plan is more limited than Virginia’s or Maryland’s Phase 1 plans, and several Maryland local jurisdictions are leaving in place some of the restrictions that are eased under Phase 1 of the Virginia statewide plan. Businesses with a presence in multiple DMV jurisdictions will need to understand and incorporate these distinctions as they restart operations across the region.

Continue Reading DC, Virginia, and Maryland Reopen Their Economies at Different Speeds, With DC and Several Local Authorities Lagging Behind

On May 21, 2020, the Japanese government announced that it is lifting the state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo.  The largely voluntary measures under the state of emergency will remain in place with respect to Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa), as well as Hokkaido.   The state of emergency with respect

On May 14, 2020, the Japanese government announced that it has lifted the state of emergency for 39 prefectures, including Aichi, Fukuoka and Ibaraki. Although the largely voluntary restrictive measures under the state of emergency have been lifted with respect to these 39 prefectures, the Japanese government requests that people within these prefectures try to

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, has declared Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home Order” unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable. See Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm, Case No. 2020AP765-OA (Wisc. 2020). The Court ruled in favor of the Wisconsin Legislature and struck down Emergency Order 28. The Court’s decision is effective immediately.

The Safer at Home Order was first issued on March 24, 2020 by Andrea Palm, Secretary-designee of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services. That order, Emergency Order 12, was issued at the direction of Governor Tony Evers and required all individuals present in Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence from March 25, 2020 through April 24, 2020, unless otherwise exempted.

Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court Invalidates Stay-At-Home Order

The Japanese government announced that it is extending the state of emergency for all of Japan through May 31, 2020.  The state of emergency was initially announced on April 7 for Tokyo and six prefectures but was the expanded to all prefectures on April 16.  The Japanese government may extend the state of emergency further depending on the spread of COVID-19 within the country.  The state of emergency may be lifted with respect to certain prefectures prior to May 31 depending on the spread of infections within those prefectures.

Continue Reading Japan Extends State of Emergency Through May 31

State emergency or stay-at-home orders vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and, during the past month, have shifted to address local issues dealing with COVID-19. The frequent changes across many jurisdictions have presented substantial challenges for contractors with operations in different locations.

To date, 44 states and the District of Columbia have ordered nonessential businesses to

Recent stay-at-home orders require us to spend more and more time on video chats from our make-shift home offices.  The indelible Tom Ford offers some easy tips that can help even us lawyers.  The highlights (and I don’t mean hair or cheekbones) are as follows:

  • Elevate your computer on a stack of books to a

It was late December when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China. Since then, the disease has spread across the world in a global pandemic. In response, countries have instituted various measures in an effort to slow its spread. One common measure has been to order non-essential businesses to suspend operations. Another common measure has been to limit domestic and foreign travel. But as the economic toll increases and the pandemic begins to abate in certain regions, governments are starting to think about how they will restart their economies.

Yesterday, April 15, 2020, for example, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a plan to begin reopening the shuttered portions of Germany’s economy starting next week. The day before, US President Donald Trump signaled his desire to reopen American businesses by May 1 if not earlier.

Although the process of reopening businesses is still in its early stages even where the pandemic’s apex has apparently passed, this much is clear already: the process will be gradual, vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and confront business with myriad issues.

Continue Reading As Pandemic-Related Shut-Downs Continue, the United States, Like Countries Across Global Regions, Begins To Consider How To Restart Business

With infections rising in various parts of the country and the annual extended holiday break coming up, the Japanese government announced that it will be expanding the declaration of emergency, which was first in effect on April 8 for seven prefectures (including Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures), to now all of Japan. The declaration of emergency will be effective until May 6 for all prefectures but may be extended at the discretion of the Japanese government depending on how the infection spreads.

Continue Reading Japan Expands the State of Emergency to All Prefectures