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Covid-19 Cleaning Poses Disability Litigation Risk

Sept. 15, 2020, 5:52 PM

Here are the day’s top coronavirus stories from the team at Bloomberg Law:

  • WORKPLACE CLEANING: Employers taking extra sanitation precautions as part of their coronavirus safety measures need to be mindful of their responsibilities to accommodate workers with allergies, respiratory issues, migraines, and other potential disabilities, lawyers say. Litigation is a risk both for cleaning done by the housekeeping staff and for cleaning done by other employees if it’s at the request of the employer.
  • OPEN BOOK EXAMS: California law deans in a letter urged the California Supreme Court to drop remote proctoring for the fall bar exam and eliminate limits on materials students may consult during the two-day online test. It’s the latest salvo in the fight over what is considered one of the toughest bar exams in the country. The uncertainty over when and how the test will be administrated comes as California struggles with severe wildfires and the coronavirus pandemic.
  • QUARANTINE RULE: U.S. State Department requirements that diversity visa winners from large swaths of Europe and elsewhere quarantine outside those places before receiving their papers is contrary to a recent court order granting the issuance of their visas, a federal judge ruled.

Editor’s Top Picks

Ticketmaster, LiveNation, Stubhub Beat MLB Conspiracy Claims
Ticketmaster LLC, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., and Stubhub Inc. defeated claims they conspired with Major League Baseball to refuse refunds for games canceled due to Covid-19, after the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found no facts to support the allegations.

Pennsylvania Covid Restrictions Unconstitutional, Judge Says
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his health secretary overstepped when they issued stay-at-home orders and restrictions on gatherings and forced business to close in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge said.

South Carolina Courts Will Resume Normal Operations Sept. 21
South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty ordered state courts to resume in-person hearings and jury trials suspended for months because of the pandemic. Beatty said normal operations should begin Sept. 21.

Bankrupt Chuck E. Cheese Parent Wants to Shred 7 Billion Tickets
Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company asked a bankruptcy court to approve settlements to destroy 7 billion paper Prize Tickets that have built up in the company’s supply chain as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cruise Line Settles Crew Class Suit Over Wages, Repatriation
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will pay $875,000 to end a proposed class suit alleging it held hundreds of crewmembers “hostage” by forcing them to remain aboard its ships without pay during the pandemic, according to a preliminary approval motion filed in Florida federal court.

Chembio’s Covid-19 Antibody Test Problems Draw Derivative Suit
Chembio Diagnostics Inc.'s leadership didn’t tell investors about problems with its rapid Covid-19 antibody tests, a shareholder said in a derivative suit filed in a federal court in New York.

Village Inn Stays Alive After Owner’s Reorg Plan Approved
American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, the owner of the Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurant chains, won bankruptcy court approval of its reorganization plan, keeping the business alive and providing a distribution to creditors.

Bonuses Dwindle for Union Workers as Pandemic Grinds On
Smaller bonuses for union workers continue to drag down wage increases, demonstrating how the coronavirus pandemic continues to debase labor leaders’ bargaining power.

Covid Pandemic Turns America Into a Nation of Freelancers
More than a third of the American workforce did at least some work on the side this year as the Covid-19 pandemic decimated jobs and wages. That translates to 59 million people, or 2 million more than in 2019, according to the Freelance Forward report by Upwork, a firm that helps businesses find labor.

SEC Wants More Details From Banks on Pandemic’s Impact on Losses
If the pandemic forces a bank to increase the reserves it sets aside to cover loan losses, the Securities and Exchange Commission wants details about it.

Fed’s Lifeline to Main Street Flops With 99.8% of Cash Untapped
The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program was billed as a lifeline for America’s middle-market companies seeking cash to get through the pandemic. Yet more than two months since its launch, the program isn’t living up to expectations as few banks are willing to provide the loans.

IRS to Be Flexible With Penalties For Late Filing Due to Virus
Taxpayers that miss filing deadlines because of the pandemic should explain that to the IRS, which said it will be flexible with penalty relief for people who make “good-faith efforts” to comply.

EPA Assists Virus-Struck Water Utilities in Affording Upgrades
The EPA wants to help water and wastewater utilities that rely on customer revenue make much-needed improvements to their aging water and sewer infrastructure.

INSIGHT: Can Retailers Refuse to Serve Maskless Customers? Check ADA Rules
Retail businesses instituting face mask policies need to understand the Americans with Disability Act’s prohibitions and requirements to help avoid potential litigation, attorneys from RumbergerKirk explain.

Click here for updates on how federal courts are operating during the pandemic.

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Editor’s Note: The Bloomberg Law news team has been closely covering the legal, regulatory, business, and tax implications of the coronavirus pandemic. This daily email highlights the top stories of the day, across practice areas. To unsubscribe, please adjust your Bloomberg Law newsletter settings. For assistance, contact our help desk at 888-560-2529 or help@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghashyam Mali in Washington at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessica Coomes at jcoomes@bloomberglaw.com

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