Experience

COVID-19 Response Team - Resources and Updates

The response to COVID-19 has state and federal authorities making swift and unprecedented changes to current laws, drafting new laws and making exceptions everywhere in between. This leaves employers, business leaders and carriers scrambling. Thompson Coe’s COVID-19 Response Team is here to guide businesses, employers and carriers through understanding their obligations and strategies during this uncertain time, as well as keeping them informed of the most recent developments. We have compiled a catalog of resources including news alerts, recorded webinars, issues for consideration, and key attorney contacts.

We are also providing constantly updated information regarding state responses in Texas, California, Louisiana and Minnesota, and federal measures implemented to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Labor and Employment

Contact any of our Labor and Employment attorneys directly via phone or email with your questions and concerns. Also visit myHRgenius for additional HR resources and information. 

Temporary Policy for I-9 List B Identity Documents During COVID-19 Pandemic - Client Alert

New FFCRA Guidance from the Department of Labor - Client Alert

Employers May Test Employees for COVID-19 - Client Alert

Rollout of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation - Client Alert

DOL Provides More Guidance on Understanding on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Client Alert

Congress Expands Unemployment Benefits Under the CARES ACT - Client Alert

DOL Clarifies The Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Client Alert

Updated Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Client Alert

DOL Guidance on Paid Leave Law - Client Alert

Congress Passes the Families First Coronavirus Response Act -  Client Alert 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Webinar

EMERGENCY HR TIP: Form I-9 in-person review suspended - Client Alert

The Coronavirus - Podcast

Coronavirus Primer - Client Alert

Coronavirus Q&A - Client Alert

Insurance Coverage 

Plaintiffs’ Bar Pushing for MDL As COVID-19 BI Suits Continue - Client Alert

COVID-19 & Insurance Disputes: Class Actions and MDL Efforts Spreading Across the Nation - Client Alert

Covid-19 and Its Impact on Homeowners’ Property Claims - Client Alert

Emerging Risks: Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 - Webinar

Q&A From Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Webinar - Publication

Texas: First Lawsuit Filed Over Pandemic Event Endorsement - Client Alert

First Louisiana Business Interruption Suit Filed in Wake of Coronavirus - Client Alert

Restaurants File First Business Interruption Suit in California - Client Alert

First Texas Business Interruption Suit Filed in Harris County - Client Alert

Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19:  What to Expect in Texas and Louisiana - Client Alert

General Liability/Catastrophic Injury

Next Wave of Coronavirus Litigation? Negligent Transmission Claims Against Property Owners and Managers - Client Alert

Renowned Texas Attorney Files COVID-19 Wrongful Death Suit Against Princess Cruise Lines - Client Alert

Bankruptcy

Effects of Coronavirus Legislation on Insurance-Related Bankruptcy Matters

Data Privacy and Cyber Security

Cyber Risk Considerations Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Texas

On a state-wide basis, pursuant to the Governor’s April 27, 2020 Order, all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls are permitted to reopen on Friday, May 1, but must limit their capacity to 25% of their listed occupancy. Food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings within shopping malls must remain closed.

Museums and libraries may open under the same 25% occupancy limitation, but interactive areas of museums must remain closed. State libraries and museums will open by May 1, and local public museums and libraries may reopen only if permitted by the local government. Single-person offices may reopen as well.

Churches and places of worship remain open. Outdoor sports are allowed to resume so long as no more than four participants are playing together at one time. Certain social distancing practices must also be followed. Local government operations, including county and municipal government operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, may reopen as determined by the local government.

Essential services such as farmers and ranchers, grocery and drug stores, banks, and gas stations will continue to operate under this order. Public swimming pools, bars, gyms, cosmetology salons, massage establishments, interactive amusement venues, such as bowling alleys and video arcades, and tattoo and piercing studios will remain closed through Phase I. Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities must remain closed to visitors unless to provide critical assistance.

More details on the order as outlined by the Governor’s office can be found here.

Several announcements have been made since the issuance of this order, including an announcement on May 18, 2020 allowing restaurants to increase capacity to 50% and the reopening of bars at 25% capacity.  A full and updated list of businesses the Governor has approved for reopening can be found on the Governor’s Open Texas website.

All of the above is subject to the more restrictive orders that may have been entered by the various cities and counties around the state.  We recommend clients comply with city and county orders as well, to the extent they are more restrictive. 

Dallas County/City Of Dallas

City of Dallas updates can be found here, and their Emergency Regulations found here under “Amendments and Regulations.”

Dallas County’s current order can be found here, and more updates from Dallas County can be found here.

City of Austin/Travis County

The City of Austin’s Stay-at-Home Order has been extended through May 30, 2020.  Additional City of Austin information can be found here.

On May 8, 2020, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt issued a stay-at-home order “consistent with and guidance beyond” the Governor’s order.  The Travis County order also purports to apply to cities within its borders such as the City of Austin.  This order applies through June 15, 2020.

City of Houston/Harris County

The City of Houston’s guidance and information on Covid-19 can be found here. The City of Houston’s current order may be found here

Harris County’s most recently amended Stay Home, Work Safe Order is available here.  Harris County’s current order is effective through at least May 20, 2020.  Harris County has also issued an Order on Use of Face Covering, which order is effective at least through May 26, 2020.  Additional information for Harris County is available here.

City of San Antonio/Bexar County

The San Antonio Mayor’s Declaration issued April 29, 2020 is effective through May 19, 2020.  More information on San Antonio’s declarations and orders relating to Covid-19 can be found here.

Bexar County’s Executive Order NW-07 will be in effect through May 19, 2020 unless extended, modified or terminated early by the County Judge. According to the County, the order is consistent with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order and mandates issued by the City of San Antonio.  More information on Bexar County’s actions may be found here.

Louisiana

As of Friday, May 15, Louisiana entered Phase One of reopening, easing a number of restrictions and allowing for the reopening of certain businesses.  Information concerning Phase One can be found here:  https://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/Proclamations/2020/58-JBE-2020.pdf

As of Saturday, May 16, New Orleans’s Mayor similarly eased certain restrictions, subject to additional guidelines.  Information concerning New Orleans guidelines for phased reopening can be found here.  

Minnesota

May 15, 2020 - Minnesota’s Shelter-In-Place Order expires at midnight on Monday, May 18th. However, this does not mean Minnesota is returning to business as usual. In preparing for the expiration of the order, on May 13 Governor Tim Walz issued a series of executive orders. First, he extended the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency until June 12, 2020. He also issued an order protecting high risk Minnesotans, an order outlining the requirements and precautions employers must take before inviting their employees and customers back into their workplaces, and an order protecting employees who complain of unsafe working conditions and qualified disabled employees who need COVID-19-related accommodations. Here is a breakdown of how the new executive orders will affect Minnesota employers.

California:

The May 7, 2020 Stay at Home Order is technically still in effect in California, available at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/SHO%20Order%205-7-2020.pdf

That said, the state has begun Stage 2 of its reopening plan, which contemplates the gradual opening of certain lower-risk workplaces (curbside service retail, child care, manufacturing & logistics).  That said, California has deferred the specific timetables to local jurisdictions to determine when to move further ahead in Stage 2.  As of now, Los Angeles is not one of the counties that has met the criteria necessary to increase the pace at which they advance through Stage 2.

A list of California counties that fall into the accelerated Stage 2 process is here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/County_Variance_Attestation_Form.aspx