O'Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. Covid-19 Resources

I. Expansion of Telehealth to Meet Clinical Need Federal and state governments have resolved traditional barriers to telehealth – including  complexity of billing, lower reimbursement and privacy and security concerns – to facilitate the safe provision of medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.[i]  The first article in this two-part series highlights basic standards for regulatory compliance in the design of telehealth policies.  The second article will address the practitioner’s obligation to minimize patient harm (and thus practitioner liability) with attention to the medical standard of care when assessing when and how telehealth is appropriate for each patient. II. Mechanics…
Late last week, the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) jointly released a new loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program loans of $50,000 or less. This new streamlined application removes calculations required on prior forms and simplifies documentation requirements, reliving both borrowers and lenders of the prior compliance burdens present in the older form. Pursuant to an interim final rule, the simper one-page application form, SBA Form 3508S, does not require borrowers to reduce their forgiveness amount for any reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or in salaries or wages. Additionally, the new form does not…
The IRS has reminded taxpayers who filed an extension that the October 15, 2020 due date to file their 2019 tax return is near. Taxpayers should file their tax returns on or before the October 15, 2020 deadline. Moreover, taxpayers with tax due should pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest. However, certain taxpayers may have more time to file and pay. Taxpayers with more time to file or pay include the following: service members and others serving in a combat zone who typically have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns…
Recently, the Merit Shop Contractor magazine featured Attorney Joseph Gumina’s article entitled “COVID-19 & Liability.” In the article, Attorney Gumina emphasizes methods for construction employers to prevent and control worksite hazards relating to COVID-19. The article also discusses general safety and health mandates a construction employer should follow in order to help protect themselves from possible COVID-19 litigation. This article is a must read for all construction employers. Read the full article here.…
These days, litigators are routinely taking depositions and participating in hearings over Zoom or other videoconferencing apps and software. Frequently, these depositions and hearings are set up using videoconferencing systems chosen, hosted, and controlled by a court, an arbitrator, or a court reporter. There has been significant discussion and administrative guidance about the use of videoconferencing by health care providers since the pandemic began. Health care litigators should also consider the implications of video depositions or hearings on HIPAA security obligations. Zoom reports that it is HIPAA compliant. However, these features must be requested by the subscriber, typically through a…
On September 11, 2020, the Department of Labor  issued updated regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act  and leave available under that law. These updates were issued in response to a recent federal district court ruling out of the Southern District of New York that invalidated portions of DOL’s original rules under the FFCRA because the agency exceeded its authority in issuing certain portions of its rules. These updated regulations are effective on  September 16, 2020. Most notably, the new DOL regulations update the definition of “health care providers” that are excluded from the FFCRA. The original definition included…
Most private health insurance coverage in the United States is employer-sponsored and governed by a federal law known as the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Navigating an appeal of a benefit denial issued by an ERISA-governed health plan can be confusing. A quick review of federal regulations governing ERISA benefit denials, which can be found here, suggests how challenging it may be for health care providers to navigate the ERISA claims landscape successfully. ERISA benefit denials are frequently written by a health insurer or third-party administrator (TPA) that is not the legal entity truly providing the health benefits…
The coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to stay home, and as a result, we are all looking for hobbies to pick up while we are social distancing. For some, quarantine hobbies have become Netflix binge watching or mastering bread baking. For others, creative passions and hobbies such as selling handmade crafts on Etsy or unwanted junk on eBay have become sources of income. If you are dabbling in a quarantine hobby that produces income, this article describes some good business practices that are important for every business. Be sure to also check out Part 1 of our series…
Today, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency and issued an Emergency Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings. This Emergency Order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020 and will expire on September 28, 2020, unless there is a subsequent superseding emergency order. The Emergency Order applies to all individuals over the age of five when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside of their household, other than when inside a private residence. “Enclosed space” is defined in the Emergency Order as “a confined space open to the public…
Attorney Jim DeJong will be featured on Money Sense presented by Ellenbecker Investment Group on WISN AM 1130. On the show, Jim provides an overview of  the implications of  the COVID-19 pandemic on the M&A market. He discusses  what a business owner planning to sell a business should be doing now to prepare the business to attract qualified buyers and to obtain the best price. Jim also discusses the importance of business succession planning. Tune in to hear the show in its entirety on Saturday, June 6th at 2:00 pm. The podcast can be accessed here.…
Attorney Joseph Gumina, chair of O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C.’s labor and employment law group, was recently featured in the Super Lawyers article “Can I Lay Off My Furloughed Employees?”. In the article, Gumina shares advice regarding legal considerations employers need to be aware of when considering laying off furloughed employees during these unprecedented times. Read full article here. O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. remains open for its clients and we are here to help. We encourage you to reach out with any questions, concerns, or legal issues you may have, including those related…
For the period from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the CARES Act permits employers to pay directly, or to reimburse employees for, up to $5,250 of qualifying employee student loan payments. Like many CARES Act provisions, this new opportunity results from an expansion of an existing law or program. In this case, the ability for an employer to assist employees with student loan payments arises from an amendment to Internal Revenue Code Section 127, which governs Educational Assistance Programs (EAPs). Qualifying payments made as a fringe benefit under an EAP are excluded from the employee’s income and are…
An article by Attorneys Christa Wittenberg and Grant Killoran on constitutional law issues relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic is featured as the cover story in the April edition of the State Bar of Wisconsin publication Wisconsin Lawyer. In their article, they take an informative and deep dive look into regulations and due process concerns relating to the current public health emergency. Read the full article here. The post Attorneys Christa Wittenberg and Grant Killoran Featured in Wisconsin Lawyer appeared first on O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C..…
Wisconsin’s construction lien law provides contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers, and design professionals with a valuable remedy to help them collect payment for their work. On privately owned projects, the law allows these parties to place a lien against the project property as security for payment. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis has made construction lien rights more precious than ever to construction industry businesses. Yet, everyday contractors mishandle lien waivers and unwittingly forfeit their lien rights with the stroke of a pen. Lien waivers are an integral and unavoidable part of the construction payment process in Wisconsin and…
As we previously covered here, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) requires that, with certain exceptions, employers with 500 or fewer employees must provide employees with leave in certain circumstances pursuant to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLA”). Both the EPSLA and the EFMLA require leave if an individual is unable to work or telework because they need to care for their son or daughter under the age of 18 if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or if the childcare provider of such…
Today, April 16, 2020, the State of Wisconsin has extended the statewide Safer at Home Order through May 26, 2020, with some minor changes. The full text of the Extended Order can be found here and an updated FAQ can be found here. The changes to the Safer at Home Order implemented by the Extended Order will go into effect on April 24, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 26, 2020 or until a superseding order is issued. During today’s press conference, the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel, Ryan Nilsestuen, stated that, although the Governor needs the legislature’s…