NEW! New topic in our 50-State Information section below - Force Majeure Law - check your state as we continue to update this information.

5/29/2020 5:51 pm EDT - This page is being regularly monitored and updated as data is received.  Please visit often for the most up-to-date information.

Watt Tieder Resources and Upcoming Events

50 State Information - Select Your State Below

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  1. Federal Info

    The DoD has issued a Memo providing guidance on implementation of Section 3610 of the CARES Act, which allows agencies to exercise their discretion to use any available funds to reimburse contractors for worker’s lost time up to forty hours a week for leave that  “a contractor provides to keep its employees or subcontractors in a ready state, including to protect the life and safety of Government and contractor personnel, but in no event beyond September 30, 2020.”

    The Statute allows contracting agencies to modify contracts, “without consideration” and pay the minimum applicable billing rates.

    https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/Managing_Contracts_under_COVID-19_Memo_DPC.pdf

     

    Is Construction Deemed “Essential”/Exempted?

    Yes. An advisory-only guidance deems “working construction” among the range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability.

    Essential Workers include plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.

    Workers supporting essential maintenance, manufacturing, design, operation, inspection, security, and construction for essential products, services, supply chain and COVID 19 relief efforts are deemed “essential.”

    CISA_Guidance-Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workforce – March 28, 2020

     

    Federal Court Extension of Filing and Discovery Deadlines

    Court of Federal Claims – Public courthouse access is restricted. Filings may be submitted electronically, but initiating documents like complaints, petitions, and notices of appeal must be submitted by mail or at the Court’s night box. Deadlines remain unaffected.

  1. Puerto Rico

    Stay At Home/Closure Order – March 15, 2020

    PR Admin Bulletin 2020-023

     

    Is Construction Deemed “Essential”/Exempted?

    No. There is, however, a narrow exemption for construction operations “providing critical maintenance and repair services related to hospitals, drinking water, electricity, and communications.”

    PR Admin Bulletin 2020-029

     

    Federal Court Extension of Filing and Discovery Deadlines

    District Court – All civil and criminal proceedings requiring a hearing are postponed until May 4, 2020. All other deadlines set from March 16, 2020 to April 9, 2020, are extended to April 10, 2020. Criminal matters before magistrate judges will proceed with limitations. If a presiding judge in a criminal matter finds that a felony plea or sentencing cannot be delayed without serious harm to the interests of justice, the judge may proceed remotely.

  1. Guam

    Stay at Home/Closures/Reopening

    Starts on Sunday, May 10

    https://www.ghs.guam.gov/sites/default/files/jic_release_no._115_-_governor_signs_executive_order_2020-14_guam_in_pcor_2_sunday_pandemic_condition_of_readiness_faqs_.docx.pdf

    https://www.pncguam.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/DPHSS-Guidance-Memo-2020-07-final.pdf

    Public Health Emergency Extended to 5/6/20, No Public Gatherings – https://www.ghs.guam.gov/sites/default/files/20.0405_executive_order_no._2020-09.pdf

     

    Business Closure Order – March 19, 2020

    https://www.guam.gov/wpdev-content/uploads/2020/03/Executive-Order-2020-05-Relative-to-Mandating-Social-Isolation-Lifting-Restrictions-on-Health-Care-Licensure-and-Clarifying-Status-of-Non-Essential-Government-of-Guam-Operations.pdf

     

    Is Construction Deemed “Essential”/Exempted?

    Limited.  The prohibition on business operation does not apply to essential infrastructure, including the construction of housing.

     

    Federal Court Extension of Filing and Case Deadlines

    All civil jury trials scheduled to begin before May 8, 2020, are continued pending further order of the Court. Individual judges may continue trial-specific deadlines in civil cases in the exercise of their discretion.

    Individual judges may continue to hold hearings, conferences, and bench trials in the exercise of their discretion, consistent with this order. Judges are strongly encouraged to conduct court proceedings by telephone or video conferencing, where practicable.

    Effective immediately, all tenants and visitors/patrons (public, media, etc.) entering the District Court of Guam courthouse must wear a face covering in all common areas and whenever they are within six- feet of another individual while on the premises.

  1. Virgin Islands

    Stay at Home/Closures/Reopening

    https://www.vi.gov/governor-bryan-eases-some-restrictions-during-safer-at-home-phase-on-path-to-new-normal/

    The Stay-At-Home Order expires on May 4, 2020 and citizens are directed to comply with the following Safer-At-Home Order, which permits the reopening of private business and on-site work by employees critical to the operation of the business.

    Virgin-Islands-Stay-at-Home-Order.pdf

     

    Is Construction Work Permitted?

    Yes. The Safe-At-Home Order permits construction office operations consistent with social distancing guidelines.  On-Site construction operations remained ongoing during the pendency of the stay-at-home/business closure order.   

    VI 6th Supplemental Executive Order

     

    Federal Court Extension of Filing and Case Deadlines

    All civil and criminal jury and bench trials scheduled from March 18, 2020 through June 15, 2020, are continued pending further Order of the Court. All trials impacted by this Order will be reset by further Order of the assigned judicial officer.

    All deadlines set by Federal or Local Rules or Court Orders, including, but not limited to, scheduling orders in all civil and criminal cases, remain in effect unless modified by further General Order of the Court or by Order of the assigned judicial officer.  Parties are encouraged to utilize teleconference, videoconference and other similar means to accomplish required actions.  Any dispute over whether discovery, mediation, or other pretrial activities can be accomplished timely and in a manner consistent with applicable health guidelines may be referred to the magistrate judge for resolution.

    Mediators are authorized and encouraged to permit participation in any mediation ordered pursuant to Rule 3.2 of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure via teleconference and/or videoconference.

    Judicial officers may continue to hold hearings, in the exercise of their discretion, and consistent with the sound administration of justice. Judicial officers also may conduct proceedings by teleconference or videoconference where practicable and permitted by law.

     

Federal Government Contract Resources

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has issued new guidance and clarifications regarding the SBA’s review of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance as SBA’s interpretation of the CARES Act and of the Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules (“PPP Interim Final Rules”) (link).

    PPP Loans less than $2 Million

    When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” The new guidance (Question 46) provides a “safe harbor” for borrowers, together with their affiliates, that have received PPP loans in an original principal amount of less than $2 million. The Treasury/SBA likely will not review PPP loans of less than $2 million and will deem borrowers of less than $2 million to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith. The Treasury/SBA has determined that, given the large number of PPP loans, providing a safe harbor for borrowers of less than $2 million will enable SBA to focus its reviews on larger loans.

    PPP Loans larger than $2 Million

    All PPP loans in excess of $2 million are subject to review by the SBA. When reviewing loans larger than $2 million, if SBA determines that a borrower lacked an adequate basis to certify that the loan request was necessary to support ongoing operations, the SBA will notify the borrower that the loan must be repaid. If the borrower repays the loan, the SBA will not pursue administrative enforcement or referrals to other agencies.  In short, it appears that a borrower that repays the PPP loan will not face administrative penalties for making an improper certification.

    Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions
  • The EEOC has updated its guidance to employers to address preparation for COVID-19 in the workplace and compliance with CDC guidelines for.  The guidance answers frequently asked questions about workplace pandemic planning such as:

    •     How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce?
    •     May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace?
    •     When may an employer take the body temperature of employees during a pandemic?
    •     Does federal law permit employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the pandemic influenza virus?
    •     When employees return to work, does federal law allow employers to require doctors’ notes certifying their fitness for duty?

    https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/pandemic-preparedness-workplace-and-americans-disabilities-act

  • OSHA guidance for handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals, and severe illness reports. The scope of this guidance covers all investigations and inspections specifically related to the workplace hazard of the virus causing the current COVID-19 pandemic.
    https://backontrack.in.gov/files/osha-4000-covid-guidance-for-construction-alert-4-21.pdf

  • DoD has issued a FAR deviation that authorizes contractors to seek reimbursement of labor costs for paid leave, including sick leave, incurred to keep personnel in a “ready state,” including to protect the life and safety of Government and contractor personnel during the public health emergency declared for COVID-19 on January 31, 2020, through September 30, 2020. The FAR Deviation establishes a new cost principle to allow recovery of these costs, where appropriate.
    https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/Implementation_Guidance_CARES_3610_DPC.pdf

    All FAR class deviations:  https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/dars/class_deviations.html

  • Acquisition.gov - Coronavirus Acquisition-Related Information and Resources  https://www.acquisition.gov/coronavirus
  • Cybyersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Guidelines - On March 28, 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued updated Guidelines on the nature of the Essential and Critical Infrastructure Workforce.  The list “is intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. Decisions informed by this list should also take into consideration additional public health considerations based on the specific COVID-19-related concerns of particular jurisdictions.”
    https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce

          April 17 Update - Guidance re Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers  Version_3.0_CISA_Guidance_on_Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workers_3

  • DoD Memo - The DoD has issued a Memo providing guidance on implementation of Section 3610 of the CARES Act, which allows agencies to exercise their discretion to use any available funds to reimburse contractors for worker’s lost time up to forty hours a week for leave that  “a contractor provides to keep its employees or subcontractors in a ready state, including to protect the life and safety of Government and contractor personnel, but in no event beyond September 30, 2020.”

    The Statute allows contracting agencies to modify contracts, “without consideration” and pay the minimum applicable billing rates.

    https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/Managing_Contracts_under_COVID-19_Memo_DPC.pdf
  • FAR Deviations - The Federal Government has modified the Progress Payment Clause to increase the amount of progress payments from 80 to 90% for large contractors and 90 to 95% for small businesses.
  • Memo from Office of Management and Budget:  Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues Associated with the Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19)
  • OSHA Publication:  Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
  • Video-Teleconferencing (“VTC”) Hijacking and “Zoom-bombing” - Given the concerns raised by the increased use of the Zoom VTC, the Government recommends:  “Ensure meetings are private, either by requiring a password for entry or controlling guest access from a waiting room.”  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/04/02/fbi-releases-guidance-defending-against-vtc-hijacking-and-zoom

State Contract Resources

Construction Resources

CDC Resources

Links for Staying Sane 😀

 

Activities for Your Socially Distant Memorial Day Weekend near Washingtonian (DC)

https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/05/19/here-are-some-activities-for-your-socially-distant-memorial-day-weekend/

 

Take a Virtual Trip!

Travel is limited but you can still take a virtual tour of Yosemite

If Yosemite didn't sound exciting, here is over thirty virtual tours of various locations

 

Learn Something New!

Consider this free course called the “Science of Well-Being.”  The course is taught by Yale Professor, Laurie Santos, and is based on the most popular course at Yale, “Psychology and the Good Life” and a very popular podcast called, “The Happiness Lab.”  Its free at Coursera.  It’s a mix of psychology science and exercises to change our habits to encourage well-being. https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being?

 

Try San Francisco’s Internet Archive Online Library – 1.4 million books and manuscripts to borrow through June 30, 2020.

https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary?utm_campaign=Marketing%20-%20The%20M%20Dash%20Unconverted&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85392533&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_ZVrUk4PIr9kNVDAabwFAP_90ESO-GBaKqsPf7lCulf27Ls6eC3uIfdHNL7GvVaRhoixBVoRwOMD7UB25LsacAdGzU1g&_hsmi=85392533

 

Tired of Netflix? Go on a Virtual Tour of a World-Class Museum

MOMA - https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/moma-the-museum-of-modern-art

Musee d’Orsay - https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/musee-dorsay-paris?hl=en

Paul Getty Museum - https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-j-paul-getty-museum?hl=en

The Art Institute of Chicago - https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-art-institute-of-chicago?hl=en

The Guggenheim - https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/solomon-r-guggenheim-museum?hl=en

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour