Coronavirus Task Force
Helping you navigate legal and business issues arising out of the COVID-19 virus
As concerns over the coronavirus escalate and reverberate through the marketplace, Varnum has formed a cross-disciplinary task force to guide clients through the myriad business challenges that the COVID-19 virus has created, including with respect to legal and operational planning involving supply chain, labor and employment, health care, education, immigration, restructuring, litigation, tax, and lending and public finance.
Our task force is led by senior members of the firm, all of whom bring substantial experience in dynamic, sensitive and multi-faceted situations similar to the current environment. Providing strategic business and legal advice to your questions in the ever-changing pandemic is our number one objective. Rest assured that our attorneys are staying abreast of hourly developments and will continue to provide timely guidance as the business environment evolves.
Our litigation and trial team handles a broad spectrum of commercial disputes and, given the uncertainty that the coronavirus has created, our lawyers are well-suited to advise on a variety of contract matters under the Uniform Commercial Code.
The health and well being of students and staff is always of concern to any educational institution. The coronavirus brings new challenges, presenting a variety of issues such as whether to close a campus or a building; how to react to students, parents or staff who are exhibiting troublesome symptoms; what can and should be done to address exposure concerns relating to spring break travels. Our education team is experienced in advising public and private higher education institutions and K-12 schools on a myriad of issues, including the threat and impact of the coronavirus on the education sector.
Health care organizations are on the forefront of the coronavirus outbreak, and our dedicated team is advising on issues ranging from privacy and workplace protections under HIPPA to policies and preparedness plans for public health emergencies, including related federal and state laws regarding patient admissions, waste management and disposal from disinfection, and patient treatment.
As global concerns escalate, the effect of coronavirus on immigration is expected to be significant. Our immigration attorneys help clients meet that challenge through consistent review of developments and through our established relationships with government agencies and legislative offices. We support legal and human resource departments with internal management and communication, as well as counsel employers on immigration strategies.
Labor and Employment
Along with workforce health considerations, companies experiencing inventory shortages may be forced to consider temporary layoffs until supply chain levels normalize. We are assisting employers in evaluating their obligations and options for relief, as well as developing and implementing strategies that protect the workforce while ensuring continuity of operations.
Lending and Public Finance
In response to the sudden drop in sales stemming from COVID-19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and certain state economic development agencies, including Michigan’s, are offering businesses low interest-rate loans and grants. And with looming federal legislation that seeks to provide further support to negatively-impacted businesses, Varnum’s finance attorneys are guiding companies through these programs and other financing options to help them weather the storm.
With COVID-19 creating disruptions to both supply chains and demand for certain goods and services, our restructuring team is well equipped to advise both borrowers and lenders in connection with distressed counterparties, particularly as the virus is expected to increase rates of default and covenant noncompliance. Lenders and other stakeholders should consider the possible impacts of the coronavirus in any financial planning or modeling.
Should your company find itself in the position where it is difficult to maintain inventory levels or produce parts due to lack of material from a foreign or domestic supplier, our team can help identify protections available to you. Options and legal remedies, such as those under force majeure provisions or the Uniform Commercial Code, can help limit the consequences of supply disruptions.
During the COVID-19 crisis, both the federal government and a multitude of state and local governments have made wide-ranging changes to tax law, payment, auditing, filing and collection procedures. Varnum’s tax team has monitored these changes in real time and is ready to assist you with direct and straight-talk answers that cut through the noise in this quickly-changing environment.
For more information, please contact any member of the coronavirus task force.
On November 9, 2021, Varnum Labor and Employment attorneys presented a one-hour webinar on the most pressing concerns and questions regarding OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccine and testing rules. To request a recording of the webinar and gain access to frequently asked questions and other resources, please click here.