We’re prepared to assist and guide you through COVID-19 related challenges.
Hirsch & Westheimer is actively monitoring the developments related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, the World Health Organization has declared the virus a worldwide pandemic. As the outbreak escalates, ensuring wellbeing of employees is paramount, but it is not the only challenge. There is a vast sway of operational and legal issues that businesses must address, too. For a message on how our firm is responding to the pandemic, please click here.
As new details emerge daily, it is important that pertinent and timely information is made available. For that reason, we have created this Advisory Center and mobilized our COVID-19 Response Team, a coalition of cross-disciplinary lawyers to give our clients and community support and updated information regarding COVID-19’s impact on business and their legal risks and obligations.
These implications and issues include business continuity and interruption, cancellation policies, contracts, federal and state rules and regulations, employment, insurance coverage, vendor and supply chain management, regulatory compliance and even transportation restrictions.
There’s lots our team can do to help. Our Response Team is currently developing new resources to support you, so please check back here regularly for new developments. In addition to directly advising our clients on matters related to the coronavirus, we aim to keep our community up-to-date through timely alerts, articles, memos and webinars. Given the rapidly changing environment, we will continue to update this page with our latest news and analysis. To receive the latest information quickly, join our mailing list from our alert email sign-up. Please read each tab for information on how the global response to COVID-19 may impact your business.
H&W appreciates your trust and confidence in assisting with these challenging issues. Our thoughts are with you, your loved ones and organizations as we all navigate this public health crisis together.
Articles & Insights
- March 12, 2020 – What Do Employers Really Need to Know About the Coronavirus in the Workplace?
- March 25, 2020 – Emergency Order signed by Harris County Civil Courts at Law Judges
- March 27, 2020 – COVID-19 Response Team Legal Update for Businesses
- March 30, 2020 – COVID-19 Response Team CARES Act Legal Update for Businesses
- March 31, 2020 – Texas Evictions and Foreclosures in the Age of the Coronavirus
- April 1, 2020 – Alert: DOL Temporary Rule Regulating the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Federal Executive Action
- Executive Order on Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of Covid-19 (March 18, 2020)
- Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Presidential Proclamation 9996, March 14, 2020)
- Executive Proclamation Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak (Presidential Proclamation 9994, March 13, 2020)
Federal Legislative Action
- Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Dept. of Labor, April 1, 2020) – pdf – This act creates temporary regulations to implement public health emergency leave under Title I of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and emergency paid sick leave to assist working families facing public health emergencies arising out of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic.
- H.R.6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Signed by President, March 18, 2020) – This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.
- Tax Credit for Paid Sick and Family Leave in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Passed House March 14, 2020, pending in Senate, H.R. 6201) – This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.
- H.R. 6139 – COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020 (Introduced in House, March 9, 2020) – This bill requires the Department of Labor to promulgate both an emergency temporary occupational safety or health standard and a permanent standard to protect certain employees from occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (known as coronavirus or COVID-19). These standards apply to health care sector employees and other employees identified as having an elevated risk for exposure.
- H.R.6074 – Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (Enacted March 6, 2020) – This bill provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
- H.R.1140 – Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2020 (Passed House, pending in Senate, March 5, 2020) -This bill modifies the workplace rights, protections, and benefits applicable to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel.
- The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Governor Abbott Issues Executive Orders In Accordance With Federal Guidelines To Mitigate Spread Of COVID-19 In Texas
Texas Supreme Court Emergency Orders
*All emergency orders expire on May 8, 2020 unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- Emergency Order 1 – Issued 3/13/2020
Permits all judges in the state at their discretion, and requires all judges “to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public”, without a participant’s consent.
- Emergency Order 2 – Issued 3/17/2020
Clarifies that child possession schedules establishing access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule are not affected by the school’s closure that arises from an epidemic or pandemic and that the original published school schedule controls.
- Emergency Order 3 – Issued 3/18/2020
Modifies Emergency Order 1, prohibits judges from conducting non-essential proceedings in person contrary to local, state, or national directives, whichever is most restrictive, regarding maximum group size.
- Emergency Order 4 – Issued 3/18/2020
Prohibits a trial, hearing, or other proceeding in an eviction to recover possession of residential property under Chapter 24 of the Property Code and Rule 510 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure until after April 19, 2020.
- Emergency Order 5 – Issued 3/20/2020
All deadlines, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order, related to attorney professional disciplinary and disability proceedings are tolled.
- Emergency Order 6 – Issued 3/24/2020
The 2020 elections for presidents-elect and directors of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association must be conducted online only, by electronic vote, and not by paper ballot. The voting period is extended to May 29, 2020, at 5:00pm.
- Emergency Order 7 – Issued 3/24/2020
Clarifies possession schedules in Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). For purposes of determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the existing trial court order shall control in all instances. Possession of and access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-in-place order or other order restricting movement issued by a governmental entity.
COVID-19 Response Team