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Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program for Small Businesses & Non-Profits in Ohio and Florida

The Ohio Development Services Agency and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity are preparing to qualify businesses in both states for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and non-profits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

Once Ohio is qualified for the program, the Ohio Development Services Agency (Development) will work with the SBA to notify entities that they can now apply for loans. To keep payments affordable, these loans are long-term, with up to a maximum of 30 years for repayment. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Small businesses and non-profits impacted by the ongoing health crisis are encouraged to contact Development at BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov for assistance. Additional information about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.

Florida has activated an Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), it will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. The Business Damage Assessment survey can be accessed at FloridaDisaster.BIZ. For more information visit www.floridadisasterloan.org or contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.

Additional information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.

BMD government affairs attorney Victoria Ferrise is monitoring the changing situation closely and we will be providing updates accordingly.

The Masks Are Back: New OSHA Regulations for Healthcare Employers

Employment Law After Hours is back with a News Break Episode. Yesterday, OSHA published new rules for healthcare facilities, including hospitals, home health employers, nursing homes, ambulance companies, and assisted living facilities. These new rules are very cumbersome, requiring mask wearing for all employees, even those that are vaccinated. The only exception is for fully vaccinated employees (2 weeks post final dose) who are in a "well-defined" area where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present.

New OSHA Guidance for Workplaces Not Covered by the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard

On June 10, 2021, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for occupational exposure to COVID-19, but it applies only to healthcare and healthcare support service workers. For a detailed summary of the ETS applicable to the healthcare industry, please visit https://youtu.be/vPyXmKwOzsk. All employers not subject to the ETS should review OSHA’s contemporaneously released, updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. The new Guidance essentially leaves intact OSHA’s earlier guidance, but only for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers (“at-risk” meaning vaccinated or unvaccinated workers with immunocompromising conditions). For fully vaccinated workers, OSHA defers to CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People, which advises that most fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, or local laws or individual business policies.

Employer Liability for COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

As employers encourage or require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, they should be aware of OSHA recording obligations and potential workers’ compensation liability. Though OSHA has yet to revise its COVID-19 guidance in response to the latest CDC recommendations, OSHA has revised its position regarding the recording of injury or illness resulting from the vaccine. Until now, OSHA required an employer to record an adverse reaction when the vaccine was required for employees and the injury or illness otherwise met the recording criteria (work-related, a new case, and meets one or more of the general recording criteria). OSHA has reversed course and announced that it will not require recording adverse reactions until at least May 2022, irrespective of whether the employer requires the vaccine as a condition of employment. In its revised COVID-19 FAQs, OSHA states:

The New Rule 1.510 - Radical Change for Summary Judgement Procedure in Florida

In civil litigation, where both sides participate actively, trial is usually required at the end of a long, expensive case to determine a winner and a loser. In federal and most state courts, however, there are a few procedural shortcuts by which parties can seek to prevail in advance of trial, saving time, money and annoyance. The most common of these is the “motion for summary judgment”: a request to the court by one side for judgment before trial, generally on the basis that the evidence available reflects that a win for that party is legally inevitable and thus required. Effective May 1, 2021, summary judgment procedure in Florida has radically changed.

Vacating, Modifying or Correcting an Arbitration Award Under R.C. 2711.13: Three-Month Limitation Maximum; Not Guaranteed Amount of Time

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that neither R.C. 2711.09 nor R.C. 2711.13 requires a court to wait three months after an arbitration award is issued before confirming the award. R.C. 2711.13 provides that “after an award in an arbitration proceeding is made, any party to the arbitration may file a motion in the court of common pleas for an order vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.” Any such motion to vacate, modify, or correct an award “must be served upon the adverse party or his attorney within three months after the award is delivered to the parties in interest.” In BST Ohio Corporation et al. v. Wolgang, the Court held the three-month period set forth in R.C. 2711.13 is not a guaranteed time period in which to file a motion to vacate, modify, or correct an arbitration award. 2021-Ohio-1785.