Governmental Affairs Updates in Response to COVID-19
Mar 13, 2020

The team over at The Way is closely tracking governmental action administrative actions in the states and federal governments, as well as judicial, regulatory, and legislative developments.


In advance of next week’s edition, here is preview of some of the news we’ll be covering in our next edition.



The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” and launched a COVID-19 webpage that provides information specifically for workers and employers.  OSHA reminds employers that COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties.  However, employers are only responsible for recording cases if the cases also meet specific conditions.


New Jersey

On March 12, 2020, Chief Justice Rabner announced that New Jersey state courts will suspend all new jury trials until further notice to help minimize community exposure to the coronavirus. Jury trials already in progress will continue.  As for nonjury trials, motions, and certain hearings, the courts are working on conducting all such proceedings remotely with only the judges and staff present.


Washington State

King, Snohomish and Pierce County courts ordered restrictions that are having a direct impact on the available pool of jurors.  Seattle Municipal Court suspended both civil and criminal jury trials. Federal Courthouses in Seattle and Tacoma suspended all jury trials. King County Superior Court suspended all civil jury trials and soon.  Presiding Judge Jim Rogers ordered Wednesday that prospective jurors that are over 60 or have an underlying health condition, weakened immune system or pregnant are excused for jury duty.


North Carolina

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley ordered today that, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all civil cases in North Carolina with either a trial or motion hearing currently scheduled to begin are continued for a minimum of 30 days due to coronavirus. While all courts will remain open during this time, motion hearings and trials that have not already begun will be postponed. Jury trials already underway are not postponed.



Earlier this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsome issued an executive order that removes the waiting period for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of COVID-19 and gave the state the authority to commandeer hotels and medical facilities to isolate and treat COVID-19 patients if necessary.



Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency, instructing the state’s department of labor and employment to issue emergency regulations regarding sick leave for certain industries, like food handling, hospitality and child care, and temporarily requiring employers to provide four days of paid sick leave to workers exhibiting flu-like symptoms while they are being tested for COVID-19. 



Minnesota on introduced a bill this week (H.B. 4414) that would modify eligibility conditions for unemployment insurance and use of sick leave benefits during an outbreak of a communicable disease.  


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced before Congress that Coronavirus testing and treatment will be free.


Please stay tuned to The Network and follow us at #GBTheWay for more information.



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