• New Federal Law Expands Leave, Pay, But Does Not Apply to Employees Already Laid Off

  • New Law Makes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy an Attractive Option for Small Businesses in Distress

  • Leave, Furloughs, and the WARN Act During COVID-19 Crisis

  • SECURE Act, IRAs, and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

  • Employer FAQs: COVID-19
New Federal Law Expands Leave, Pay, But Does Not Apply to Employees Already Laid Off
By L. Steven Platt
Telephone: 312.456.0285

A new federal law, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, has been passed. It requires employers to give paid sick leave to their employees related to the COVID-19 virus. The law takes effect April 2, 2020. Another new law, called the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, expands family and medical leave coverage. 

Who Is Covered?
Employers with less than 500 employees. Businesses of less than 50 employees may be exempt if the Secretary of Labor decides the new requirements “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
New Law Makes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy an Attractive Option for Small Businesses in Distress
By Steve Jakubowski and Ariel B. Cutts
Telephone: 312.456.0191; 312.456.0290
On February 19, 2020, the Small Business Reorganization Act went into effect. The purpose of the new law is to offer an alternative, more streamlined path in chapter 11 reorganizations for small business debtors (including sole proprietorships). When the new law was passed, the only small business debtors eligible to file were those having less than $2,725,625 in debt, at least 50% of which arose from business activities. The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill changed that by increasing the limit to $7.5 million. With a stroke of the pen, the new law—with its streamlined Chapter 11 procedures—is now relevant to vastly more small businesses in distress.   
Leave, Furloughs, and the WARN Act During the COVID-19 Crisis
By L. Steven Platt
Telephone: 312.456.0285
As the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue, employers face questions about temporary workplace closures, furloughs and reductions in force. Employers must be mindful that their actions do not create wage and hour and WARN Act issues. 

Do employers have to keep paying employees who do not come to work for COVID-19-related reasons?

Yes, unless they are off for a reason that does not fit one of the six reasons set forth in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), were laid off before the effective date of the Act (April 1), or are a necessary healthcare worker who is exempt from the Act.
SECURE Act, IRAs, and COVID-19:
What You Need to Know
By Marshall K. Brown
Telephone: 312.456.0181
The SECURE Act is a law affecting Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and other retirement plans which Congress passed with rare bipartisan support. The House passed it last spring and the Senate added it to a budget bill in December 2019. Like all so-called “revenue neutral” tax legislation, the SECURE Act gives and takes. 

One beneficial change in the SECURE Act is the extension of the beginning date for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from the year in which one reaches the age of 70 ½ to the year in which one reaches the age of 72. An RMD is the amount which an IRA owner must take annually as a distribution from a traditional IRA. 
Employer FAQs: COVID-19
By L. Steven Platt
Telephone: 312.456.0285
RSP has prepared a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that we have received during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Employers should also consult the FAQ sheets prepared by both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Ariel B. Cutts
  Telephone: 312.456.0290 | Email:

Ariel B. Cutts received a masters in business administration from Loyola University Chicago. Ariel's added knowledge will assist in handling client's legal needs related to diverse business concerns.
Andrès J. Gallegos
 Telephone: 312.456.0381 | Email:

Andrès J. Gallegos was a co-presenter on the topic of The History of the Disability Rights Movement at the ADA 25 Greater Chicago Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit that provides training to persons with disabilities to assume roles on civic boards.
Thomas A. Jefson
  Telephone: 312.456.0168 | Email:

Thomas A. Jefson selected to the list for Illinois Super Lawyers 2020 in the area of Estate Planning and Probate. Super Lawyers recognizes outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Stephen P. Patt
  Telephone: 847.832.5601 | Email:

Stephen P. Patt and other RSP attorneys attended the Decalogue Society of Lawyers Judicial Reception held in Chicago. Many state and federal judges and lawyers were present to honor the judiciary.
Richard Lee Stavins
  Telephone: 312.456.0371 | Email:

 Richard Lee Stavins published "Ten Intriguing Acts About Abraham Lincoln," in the Chicago Bar Record , a journal for members of the Chicago Bar Association.
Justin L. Weisberg
  Telephone: 312.456.0190 | Email:

 Justin L. Weisberg was a presenter at The Florida Bar, Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section, Construction Law Institute held in Orlando. He also was a speaker at the Construction Institute Summit 2020 held in Los Angeles. Justin presented on the topics " Who’s Right?-A Construction Dispute Resolution" and "Beware of Financial Risks that You May Accept in Your Contract."
About Us
For more information, visit us online at .
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Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: 312.782.9000
Fax: 312.782.6690
2222 Chestnut Avenue, Suite 101
Glenview, Illinois 60026
Telephone: 847.729.7300
Fax: 847.729.7390
Publication of this legal newsletter by Robbins, Salomon & Patt, Ltd. is not intended as a solicitation of legal representation, but rather educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. It is written entirely by members of the firm. We welcome any comments or questions about topics covered in this or any issue. This newsletter is not intended as a replacement for individual legal advice. The contents of this publication may be quoted or reproduced if credit is properly given to the source.