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Legal Updates Regarding the Coronavirus

Latest Updates:

Friday, March 26th, 2021

New York just provided guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) on the Paid Vaccination Leave Law. While many questions remain unanswered, the FAQs explain and reemphasize certain points. Attorney Joe Brown summarizes in this legal alert.


Friday, March 19th, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Act”) was signed into law—the Act was highly anticipated by many, as it provides stimulus relief to many Americans.  However, in addition to the stimulus relief, the Act contains employment-related provisions of which employers should be aware.  This article serves to provide a brief overview of these employment-related provisions of the Act. 



Thursday, March 18th, 2021

There are several reasons to be vaccinated—protecting your own health and that of others is the most important and should be the primary reason. An added benefit is that one can now qualify in New York to be exempt from the rigorous quarantine requirements upon proof of full vaccination within certain time periods. 



Saturday, March 13th, 2021
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed a bill that provides private and public sector employees with up to four hours of excused leave per injection of the COVID-19 vaccine that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued.


My Employee is Fully Vaccinated: Now What? (The Remix)
Wednesday, March 10th, 2021
Labor & Employment Attorney Joe Brown provides the latest updates for New York employers on: (1) the CDC’s First Set of Guidelines on How Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Safely with Others; (2) New York’s Quarantine Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated Individuals; and (3) New York’s Travel Advisory for Fully Vaccinated Individuals.  Stay tuned for bonus tracks in the weeks to come.


Thursday, February 25th, 2021
What does federal and state guidance say about safety and quarantine protocols for those employees who have been fully vaccinated?  Attorney Joe Brown addresses those questions and provides a reminder about consistently applying health and safety protocols in the light of increased enforcement activity by federal and state authorities. 


Six FAQs About Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Policies in New York

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

The development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines late last year has offered a glimmer of optimism for businesses hoping to return to “normal” in 2021.  But how will the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines impact the workplace?  Labor & Employment Attorney Joe Brown provides answers to six commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccination policies.



NYS Expands Employers’ Obligation to Provide COVID-19 Leave

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

On January 20, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor issued guidance that expands employers’ obligations to provide paid leave under the NYS COVID-19 leave law.  Particularly, the new guidance addresses employer-mandated leaves related to COVID-19 and situations where an employee tests positive for COVID-19 multiple times.


Top 10 Steps to Minimize Employment Liability and Litigation in 2021

Monday, January 18th, 2021

As we usher in the new year, employers are faced with continuing challenges due to COVID-19 disruptions, remote working, uncertainty with COVID-19 vaccinations, new employment laws, and the increasing demands of a workplace under stress. While employers’ responses to these demands require more attention than ever, the foundation of strong employment practices will remain familiar in many ways and this framework will help you minimize your risk of being sued.


COVID-19 Update: New Guidance from NYS on Shortened Quarantine Timeline and Handling Quarantine Leave Following Expiration of the FFCRA

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

This alert summarizes the updated NYS guidelines and the implications for employers with respect to paid leave under NYS COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave and the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which was not extended beyond December 31, 2020.



First Connecticut Court to Rule Finds COVID-19 Business Income Claim Not Covered

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

In a case of first impression, a Connecticut federal court held that a standard virus exclusion precludes coverage for claims of COVID-19-caused business income loss. The insured argued that the loss was caused by stay-at home orders, not the virus, but the court rejected that argument finding that the executive orders were inseparable from the virus itself.



EEOC Releases Guidance on COVID Vaccine: Six Key Employer Considerations

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

As we look forward to a widely available COVID-19 vaccine (and a potential return to normalcy), employers may be considering mandating that their employees get vaccinated.  However, there are important Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Title VII, and Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”) implications that employers must consider.


Buffalo Business First: For first-year lawyer, tracking Covid-19 business interruption cases has provided opportunities
Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Insurance Coverage Attorney Ryan P. Maxwell was featured in a profile from Business First on December 17, 2020, speaking about business interruption cases stemming from COVID-19 and his career experience. 

Employers Take Note: NYS WARN Act Notice Requirements Expanded
Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

With the prevalence of COVID-related layoffs and reductions in force this year, employers may have recently brushed up on their obligations under the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“NYS WARN Act”).  However, employers should be aware that the state recently expanded employers’ notice obligations under the WARN Act.

Buffalo Business First: Fines are hefty for businesses that violate New York-mandated restrictions
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Labor & Employment Attorney Joseph S. Brown spoke with Buffalo Business First on December 2, 2020 about fines businesses could face if they violate New York-mandated COVID-19 restrictions.

New York’s Cluster Action Initiative: How to Determine if Your Business is “Essential” in a Red Zone
Friday, November 27th, 2020

With Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently stating that portions of Erie County were on track to go into the Red Zone, it is important to assess whether your business is considered “essential” under guidance issued by Empire State Development Corporation (ESD).  This alert provides a brief overview of the Cluster Action initiative and how to determine if a business is considered essential in the Red Zone. 

Best Law Firms 2021: Crisis Management
Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
Hurwitz & Fine President/Managing Partner Jody E. Briandi was published in U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms 2021" for her thought leadership piece on crisis management and transition during a pandemic.

Hurwitz & Fine's COVID-19 Legal Alert: Medical & Nursing Home Liability
Friday, November 20th, 2020

Our latest Medical & Nursing Home Liability Legal Alert features updates on:
➡️ Nursing Homes Face New Staff Testing Rules and Visitation Restrictions
➡️ COVID-19 Workplace Safety Fines Approach $2.5Million
➡️ Proposed Study to Reduce Contagious Disease Spread in Senior Living Facilities



New York Adopts New Guidelines Allowing Out-of-State Travelers to "Test Out" of Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
On October 31st, NY Governor Cuomo announced the state would be scrapping the Travel Advisory List in favor of a testing-based approach that now allows a traveler to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.


DRI In-House Defense Quarterly: A One-Two Punch: Michigan State Court Renders First Substantive COVID-19 Decision and It's Big News for Carriers
Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Hurwitz & Fine attorneys Lee S. Siegel and Ryan P. Maxwell were featured in the DRI In-House Defense Quarterly Fall 2020 publication for their article, "A One-Two Punch: Michigan State Court Renders First Substantive COVID-19 Decision and It's Big News for Carriers."


For All Updates, Click Here

Hurwitz & Fine's COVID-19 Legal Response Team was created to provide legal advice and counseling our clients are seeking during this time. Our approach is an interdisciplinary model comprised of lawyers from various firm practice groups. For more information, click here.
For business services related concerns, please contact any of the members of our Business team:

Kevin J. Zanner
[email protected]


Evan Y. Bussiere
[email protected]


For all your COVID-19 coverage concerns, including business interruption and first-party property issues; and general, professional, and management liability; please contact our Insurance Coverage team:

Steven E. Peiper
[email protected]

Dan D. Kohane
[email protected]


Lee S. Siegel
[email protected]


Brian D. Barnas

[email protected]

Ryan P. Maxwell
[email protected]

For employer related concerns, please contact any of the members of our Labor & Employment team:

Ann E. Evanko
[email protected]


Andrea Schillaci
[email protected]


Joseph S. Brown
[email protected]


Amber E. Storr
[email protected]


Katherine L. Wood
[email protected]


For hospital & nursing home liability related concerns, please contact any of the members of our Medical Malpractice & Nursing Home Liability team:

V. Christopher Potenza
[email protected]


Patrick B. Curran
[email protected]


Stephanie L. McCance
[email protected]