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COVID-19: SBA Loan Troubles, State Laws, More DOL Guidance, Zoombombing Accelerates

By Net Assets posted 04-07-2020 08:31 AM


(from Politico) Banks on Monday, April, 6, struggled to assist thousands of small businesses vying for $350 billion in government-backed loans, as lenders reported that a Small Business Administration system used to process the applications was crashing. The SBA loan program has been snarled since it was launched Friday in large part because of technical problems with the online application. The system was also requesting loan documentation that lenders didn't think they'd have to provide, and banks still lack a template of a key SBA form needed to close out loans. Under the guidelines for the program, and because of the need to triage huge demand for the loans, small businesses are seeing that they have a leg up in acquiring the funds from banks that they have used for previous loans and accounts. Smaller and more rural organizations are at risk of losing out. 

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(from Venable) As of this past Monday, April 6, six states (Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) have introduced legislation that would require specified business interruption policies to cover claims based on coronavirus for the duration of the public health emergency, even in the face of a specific virus exclusion. The laws have requirements regarding the number of employees, retroactivity and funding.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued additional guidance that provides answers to commonly asked questions that have resulted from the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL has also published temporary regulations to provide more details of the Act. Among many issues, the new guidance addresses: 

  • Calculating the Employee Threshold and Full- vs. Part-Time Employees
  • Sick Leave Hours
  • Order of Isolation or Quarantine
  • Online Instruction and Distance Learning
  • Documentation from Employees
  • Intermittent Leave

More from Venable on state-mandated business interruption policies and new DOL guidance on FFCRA 

(from Inside Higher Ed) "Zoombombing," where online Zoom classes are interrupted by racist, sexist, pornographic or simply disruptive behavior, show no sign of abating. More often than not, it seems the attacks on higher education classes are targeted. Many students are willingly sharing details of upcoming conference calls in online chat rooms and message boards. Those details often include passwords to private meetings scheduled by users with access to paid Zoom educational accounts. On social media platforms, users with hundreds of thousands of followers have openly called on students to share details of upcoming classes so that they may disrupt them. And there appears to be no shortage of volunteers. A single intruder can be quickly kicked out by meeting hosts, if they know how to do it. But coordinated attacks by dozens of trolls make it nearly impossible for instructors to take back control. Educators are developing defense strategies, but trolls are quickly figuring out ways to get around them.  

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(from Essential public sector employees in New York City have protested using fingerprint biometric time clocks, causing organizations such as the police (NYPD) and transit authority (MTA) to reconsider their time and attendance systems. Both the NYPD and MTA decided to suspend fingerprint biometrics in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus.

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(from the Hill) Students in New Zealand may be pleased to know that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy have been declared essential workers during the pandemic, according to the country's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. She warned that both may be “quite busy at home with their family” and to not be concerned about delays in delivery.  

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