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Articles Year: 2021

The Federal OSHA Mandatory Vaccination Requirements Are Here!

If you recall, President Biden announced in September that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) would be issuing a mandate requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to have a mandatory vaccination policy to minimize the spread of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace and protect unvaccinated employees. OSHA released the emergency temporary standard (called an ETS) on November 4th.  All covered employers are required to be compliant with the ETS by January 4, 2022While OSHA has issued prior guidance, these new requirements are a more aggressive step towards eliminating Covid-19 and its related risks in the workplace. 

Succession Planning for Professional Practices

Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals face particular challenges in their succession planning. Unplanned exits are at high risk for losing clients, revenue, and good will.  Client replacement costs and other continuity challenges abound for the remaining partners and staff. On the other hand, an action plan to maximize profit in the sale of a practice typically takes 18-24 months. In our multidisciplinary practice, we know from experience that the most effective succession planning integrates legal planning techniques, personal financial and retirement planning, and in some instances, finding a business broker.

OSHA Lists 11 Ways for Employers to Protect Unvaccinated Workers Against Covid-19

New federal guidance issued August 13, 2021 reinforces that all employers should implement multi-layered interventions to protect unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The District of Columbia and all major surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia are considered to be areas of substantial or high transmission (as of September 15, 2021). The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act or its state counterpart covers most private sector employers in the United States.  While there is no simple one-size-fits-all approach, the OSHA guidance is a helpful checklist for businesses to determine their individual approaches. 

What Should I Do With My Living Will After I’ve Signed It?

The Health Care Power of Attorney and the Advance Medical Directive are critically important estate planning documents. The Advance Medical Directive (often called a “Living Will”) allows you to make your wishes known about whether to withhold life support in certain contexts. The Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to name someone (usually called an “agent” or an “attorney-in-fact”) to make healthcare decisions for you, in the event you are incapable of doing so yourself. 

Not All Commercial Leases Are Created Equal (Different Uses Require Addressing Different Issues)

If you are looking to rent space in a building or property for your business, you should start by looking for the appropriate location for your specific use.  The business use category will also affect the language and conditions of the lease and certain requirements for approval of the use.  A restaurant or retail lease will certainly address different issues than would be included within an office lease or medical lease and different regulatory issues than industrial, manufacturing or other types of leases.  All commercial leases should have a general framework that is similar, to include such provisions as: (i) defining the premises to be leased, (ii) the length of the lease term, (iii) renewal options, (iv) apportioning responsibility between the parties for repair and maintenance and who pays the costs for the same, (v) assignment and sublease rights, (vi) insurance requirements, (vii) default provisions and remedies available to the landlord, and (viii) other standard lease clauses.  However, as uses change between lease types, more specific language may be included to address such differences.  The following are some lease issues to consider for the types of commercial lease scenarios, although some issues will overlap between the different uses and leases.

Gender Identity And Sexual Orientation Will Receive More Anti-Discrimination Protection Under New Executive Order

Employers, schools, and real estate developers should take note of a new Executive Order issued on Inauguration Day which gives an expansive reading to last summer’s Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. In Bostock, conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch writing for a 6:3 majority held that Title VII’s prohibition on employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. 

Maryland HOA Common Area Warranty Requirements and Recommendations

Under Maryland law (Md Real Property Code Annotated, Section 11B-110), a developer of improvements upon common areas owned or to be owned by a homeowners association remains responsible for certain aspects of such improvements under an implied warranty created by such statute.  To determine how long the developer is responsible and to what the warranty applies requires a careful read of the statute.