As the United States (and many parts of the world) experiences a new rise in Covid-19 cases, Maryland Governor Hogan, by Executive Order, and Montgomery County have implemented new restrictive orders, effective November 10th, to strive to flatten the curve. These orders will affect many businesses throughout the state and will likely impact your actions as a business owner and employer, until these restrictions can be relaxed again.
Maryland Governor and Montgomery County Executive Impose New Covid Restrictions on Many Local Businesses
Effective November 10, Governor Hogan, by Executive Order, has imposed or restored certain Covid restrictions against the ability of Maryland businesses to fully operate. The Governor’s Order also allows counties to impose more restrictive regulations: Montgomery County did just that by imposing a more restrictive regulation (also effective November 10).
The end-of-year giving cycle can make or break the revenue projections for nonprofits which rely on donor gifts to support valuable programming and staffing. Given a tumultuous and unpredictable year, which has disrupted office routines and sometimes re-focused efforts to “critical” work, it is even more important that your organization comply with state charitable giving laws as well as craft a compelling message.
As online shopping continues to grow, consumers are relying more than ever on issuing payment for those transactions remotely. Despite the appeal and convenience, especially during a global pandemic, many transactions continue to be paid for with traditional checks, including cashier checks. The appeal of checks is due to the sense of security that the financial institution has cleared the funds for disbursement. However, with advanced technology in digital copying and document manipulation, checks are particularly prone to counterfeits and scams. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Consumer Sentinel Network database alone reported more than 27,000 counterfeit check scams with losses topping $28 million dollars in 2019. The FTC also provides that the median loss reported on a counterfeit check scam is about $1,988.
In a recent case, the Court of Appeals of Maryland dismissed the appeal of a Maryland limited liability company (“Company”) in a breach of contract action because the Company failed to file a personal property tax return.
COVID-19 is affecting every part of our lives in some way or another. Protecting the brand that you created should not be overlooked. To be competitive and recognizable in the market place, you have no doubt expended resources to build your brand and its related goodwill. Whether by common law or through federal registration, trademark law is a powerful tool that you can use to protect your brand, logo, or name from being used by someone else with the same or similar goods or services to promote their business.
During these times of COVID-19 related business and office quarantining and closures, companies and their employees are learning new ways to be efficient and productive. Remote working, while certainly a pre-COVID-19 option, has become the new normal. Workers have become adept at completing tasks and projects away from the office, using platforms like remote-desktop for access to business computer servers and Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others to hold meetings. There are certainly arguments for cost and time savings related to having employees work remotely, and to the extent a company has seen this be successful, they may be considering abandoning the physical workplace. Consequently, many are asking if this is the true wave of the future. Can online meeting platforms really replace the crucial connection that people get when having face to face interaction?
As everyone is adjusting to working and living with Covid-19, we must not forget that the governments are continuing to enact laws that affect employers. While we have previously provided updates for Maryland and Virginia employers, the District of Columbia has also recently enacted several important updates to its employment laws:
For those of you with children that have attained their 18th birthday and, especially, for those with children that may be heading off to college in the future, it is important that they have a health care power of attorney (HCPOA) in place. Young adults are highly susceptible to injuries, illnesses and accidents for which important medical decisions need to be made. This can be even more challenging when those children are residing far away.
By now, most business owners have read the emerging scientific news that the COVID-19 pandemic may linger for one to three years. Alongside this “lengthening” of the curve, the media is filled with coverage of the political, social and economic pressure to re-open and significant concerns from employees that their workplaces will not be safe enough. In any event, businesses should prepare for re-closing and for one or more partial contractions before complete stabilization.