Happy Holidays! I know the holiday season looks very different for many people this year. For me, my midwestern parents are recovering from COVID-19, and none of us will get to visit with my adorable, high-risk 5-year-old nephew in person this year. As the pandemic continues, I also find myself in a career transition. I know many Members have experienced similar difficulties this year. It’s been a tough year, full of twists, turns and transitions. For most of us, 2020 was not the year that we hoped it would be. As a Board, we had high hopes for launching new industry-specific networking events, building a stronger community for all of our Practice Groups and expanding our pro bono efforts. As President, I envisioned coffee breaks with Members, happy hours with Sponsors and enabling new connections at Chapter events and programs. However, 2020 had other plans.
Instead, I’ve learned a lot about the strength of our Chapter community. Members I have never had the opportunity to meet in person are showing up in big numbers for virtual CLEs. Members took on new leadership roles, creating our new Members in Transition (MIT) Group and applying to be Board Members, at a time when they easily could have focused their energy elsewhere. Our Sponsors stepped up and offered virtual programming while we worked to get our own video-conferencing platform arrangements and online CLE accreditation, and then they stepped up again up to embrace our new virtual sponsorship packages when it became clear that we’d need to kick off 2021 with virtual programs. The MIT Group and others in my ACC network have selflessly offered me their time, tips and support as I navigate my own transition.
2020 may not go down in history as anyone’s favorite year, but it’s a year where we all learned a lot. I learned a lot about the character of our Members and our Sponsors, and I could not be prouder to be a part of this fantastic group of attorneys or more humbled by the opportunity to serve as President during such a turbulent time. I hope you all find peace and joy during this holiday season, and I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year!
President, ACC New York City Chapter
Warmest Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year from ACC NYC!
PPP Lenders Beginning to Receive Scrutiny Alongside Borrowers
By: Andrew Goldstein, Daniel Grooms, Alexandra Eber and Erin Estevez, Cooley LLP
It is no longer only borrowers who are facing potential Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan scrutiny, although, as promised, SBA has indeed begun sending inquiries to borrowers who are seeking forgiveness of loans greater than $2 million. Increasingly, however, lenders also are attracting the attention of federal regulators and investigative agencies.
We have previously discussed what borrowers need to know if they accepted coronavirus relief funds and the many ways CARES Act funding can provide critical sources of money for both small and large businesses. We also have described the oversight bodies created by the CARES Act to police the use of disbursed funds, some of which are discussed below.
Coronavirus Vaccines are Coming in the US: What Should US Employers Do Next?
By: Michael E. Brewer, William F. Dugan, Susan F. Eandi, Paul Evans, Robin Samuel & Autumn Sharp, Baker McKenzie
In the somewhat-near future, US employers actually may be able to replace face coverings, social distancing markers, plexiglass barriers and Zoom calls with face-to-face interaction and handshakes. At least two COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) by the FDA before the end of 2020, following closely behind the footsteps of the UK, which began vaccinations on December 8, 2020.
While this is good news for the country, the change won’t be felt immediately for most US employers. On December 1, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel advised that the first vaccine doses should go to health-care workers and long-term care facility residents. The next group up is reportedly other “high risk” groups: bus drivers, factory workers, teachers, older people and people with underlying conditions. At this point, widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines is not expected until spring or summer of 2021. So, what should US employers whose workforce may not be eligible for vaccinations until later in the year be doing now to prepare?
SEC Adopts Amendments to Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Other Financial Disclosures
By: Joshua Apfelroth, William Mills, Erica Hogan and Kevin Shin, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
On November 19, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final amendments to the disclosure rules affecting Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) and related financial disclosures. The amendments were proposed on January 30, 20201 and are intended to modernize, simplify and enhance certain financial disclosures called for by Regulation S-K and related rules and forms in a manner that reduces the costs and burdens on registrants while continuing to provide material information to investors.
The amendments will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Registrants will be required to follow the amended rules for their first fiscal year ending on or after the date 210 days after publication in the Federal Register, or in their annual report for the year ending December 31, 2021 for calendar-year companies. Registrants may voluntarily provide disclosure consistent with the amendments any time after the effective date.
New York and New Jersey Workplace Updates
By: Blythe E. Lovinger and Jonathan A. Wexler, Vedder Price
I. New York State Publishes Guidance and FAQs on Paid Sick Leave Law
The New York State Paid Sick Leave Law (the “PSLL” or the “Law”) went into effect on September 30, 2020. The Law covers all employers in New York State and provides employees with at least 40 hours of paid or unpaid sick leave and up to a maximum of 56 hours annually, depending on the size and net income of the employer. See our previous bulletin, New York Enacts Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law.
Recently, the New York State Department of Labor released Guidance and FAQs on the PSLL. This new information provides additional insight into many of the Law’s requirements, including:
Employee Coverage and Leave Provided
Why Strategic Use of Flexible Talent Should Be Part of a GC’s Toolkit
By: Axiom Law, Axiom
Legal department leaders have always had to balance unpredictable workstreams in a fast-paced business environment, watch out for the development and job satisfaction of their teams, and demonstrate return on investment with legal spend – even without an economic downturn.
Alternative resourcing models are a key tool for GCs to address those challenges. For those who have not explored these models, in this two-part series, Using Flexible Talent to Build a Resilient Legal Organization, you’ll learn about a different way to partner with ALSPs like Axiom, which provides the right combination of consistency and flexibility for addressing variable workloads and shifting business priorities. Not only will you be able to better manage costs, you’ll enable your teams to focus where they’re needed most to advance the business, while building an operating model that is resilient and prepared for future disruption.
How to be a Career Diplomat
By: Billie Moliere, Robert Half Legal
Law firms and corporate legal departments are changing like never before. Even prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-house legal teams were increasingly integrated with other functions, while specialized law firms were hiring people in blended positions. The pandemic, which closed offices across the country, has brought with a new shift to the workplace, with 74% of employees hoping to continue working remotely after the pandemic.
In this new normal, maintaining positive, productive relationships with colleagues can be challenging. But it’s also a chance to shine. Professionals who can wield soft skills, such as a tactful tone and respect for the views of others, will not only be accepted by their peers but also well positioned for professional advancement. Here are some tips for becoming an office diplomat — in or outside the office.
Did you know ACC NYC curates a webpage of all our past presentations exclusively for our members? Whether you’re looking to reference a particular topic that was raised or you’re curious what you may have missed at an event, make sure to bookmark this important resource: