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Employment & Business Litigation Pointers - Volume II, No. 2


Employment & Business Litigation Pointers

Volume II, No. 2
Thursday, June 3, 2021


As a public service, we are pleased to present this issue of Employment & Business Litigation Pointers, which aims to provide our clients and subscribers with timely information and practical, business-oriented solutions to the latest employment and general business litigation developments.  In some jurisdictions, newsletters such as this may be considered: Attorney Advertising.
If you know of others who may wish to subscribe to this free publication, please feel free to forward it. If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe, please do so at the bottom of this newsletter.



A Note from Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

In recent weeks, I have attended my son’s travel soccer games and my daughter’s track meet as well as ventured into a grocery store and my office—fully vaccinated and without wearing a face mask.  In many ways, it seems as if we are finally starting to see the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.  But COVID-19 related laws impacting the workplace and our court system continue to shape the way we work—and litigate—as reflected in this edition of Employment and Business Litigation Pointers. 
My article “COVID-19 Vaccination Updates from the EEOC and New York State:  Five FAQs” explores the impact of recent guidance from the EEOC and New York concerning vaccinations.  Katie Wood’s article “Re-Opening Continues, But Not Without COVID Safety Legislation” addresses the New York Health and Essential Rights (“HERO”) Act, which was passed in early May and goes into effect on June 4, 2021.  Essentially the HERO Act requires employers to put certain safety measures and prevention plans in place to prevent the spread of COVID.  By the way, you can read more about Katie here, as she was just featured as a Buffalo Niagara 360 Spotlight Professional!
We round out this issue with articles from Alexis M. Florczak regarding “New York State Court Updates to Eviction and Foreclosure Matters” and Eric D. Andrew on the practical hazards of negotiating and effectuating settlements in the age of COVID: “So, We’re Settled, Right?”  And, as an added bonus not available in stores, we include a link to a New York Law Journal article entitled “Protecting Your Business Against the Next Global Catastrophe: Contingent Business Interruption and Supply Chain Insurance” authored by Business & Commercial Litigation Chair Andrea Schillaci and Insurance Coverage Associate Ryan P. Maxwell.
Finally, we would like to introduce you to the newest lawyers to join the firm:  Thomas Casella (Member, Insurance Coverage) and Kara M. Eyre (Associate, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Medical Malpractice & Nursing Home Liability and Transportation Negligence).  Welcome, Tom and Kara!


COVID-19 Vaccination Updates from the EEOC and New York State: Five FAQs

By Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

Over the last several months, businesses have grappled with the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations and a broad array of employment law questions such as whether an employer can make vaccination mandatory or offer their employees an incentive to get vaccinated.  Late last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated the vaccination section (section K) of its “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” to clarify a number of vaccination issues arising under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).    

New York State’s Department of Labor chimed in last week with a clarification on the interplay between New York’s Paid Sick Leave Law and employees who experience side effects from COVID-19 vaccination.  With these updates in mind, we provide answers to five commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination policies.

Read More


Re-Opening Continues, But Not Without COVID Safety Legislation
By Katherine L. Wood, Esq.

Despite the recent lifting of mask mandates for vaccinated people across the state, New York has imposed a new COVID safety law, which employers should be aware of.  The new law, the New York Health and Essential Rights (“HERO”) Act, was passed in early May and goes into effect on June 4, 2021.  Essentially the HERO Act requires employers to put certain safety measures and prevention plans in place to prevent the spread of COVID.

Read More


New York State Court Updates to Eviction and Foreclosure Matters

By Alexis M. Florczak, Esq. of our Commercial Real Estate Development & Finance team

On May 24, 2021, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued a series of Administrative Orders affecting procedures in residential evictionscommercial evictions, and foreclosure matters. These administrative updates establish additional steps that all parties to these actions, particularly landlords and mortgagees commencing these actions, are to follow and should keep in mind as certain eviction and foreclosure proceedings can be filed and move forward in courts throughout New York State.

These orders follow the extensions of the Covid-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (the “Residential Act”) and the Covid-19 Emergency Project Our Small Businesses Act of 2021 (the “Commercial Act”) signed into law by Governor Cuomo on May 4, 2021. These Administrative Orders, discussed further below, remain in effect until August 31, 2021.

Read More


So, We're Settled, Right?
By Eric D. Andrew, Esq. of our NYS Labor Law team

In many cases, the focus of settlement discussions centers on the amount of money that will be paid to settle a claim.  However, other considerations and terms will affect that amount, when, and if a case is truly settled.  Settlements can happen quickly, just before, during, or even after a trial.  They can occur while a decision on a dispositive motion is pending.  The parties, wanting to limit their risk, may come to a quick agreement; but that agreement may not withstand challenge if it is not carefully crafted and executed.  Even if there is no challenge to the settlement, unresolved terms can delay payment and result in entry of a judgment against the defendant; adversely affecting personal and business credit ratings.  The COVID pandemic, and the shift to electronic communication in lieu of traditional mail, has created a potential pitfall with CPLR requirements that were drafted with pre-COVID communications in mind.

Read More


Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

Hurwitz & Fine's Labor & Employment team is here to answer your questions:

Labor & Employment Law
Ann E. Evanko, Esq. ([email protected])
Andrea Schillaci, Esq. ([email protected])
Joseph S. Brown, Esq. ([email protected])
Amber E. Storr, Esq. ([email protected])
Katherine L. Wood, Esq. ([email protected])

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