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Employment
Executive Order on Deferred Payroll Taxes
by Tony Stergio Pursuant to an IRS notice published on August 28, 2020, employers now have the option to defer their employees’ Social Security tax payments for the remainder of 2020.  Only employees whose regular pre-tax income is less than $2,000 a week (or less than $4,000 every two weeks) are eligible for the deferment. Companies are not required to give eligible employees a choice to defer.  There are presently no penalties for nonparticipation.
 
As it stands now, employees taking the Social Security tax deferment during 2020 would have to pay those deferred taxes back between January 1 and May 1 of next year.  These employees, therefore, would be subject to essentially double Social Security withholdings during the first quarter of 2021, unless legislation is enacted to forgive this obligation.  Further, employers would be responsible for paying the deferred taxes back if the employee does not.  That would become an issue if an employee terminates employment before the deferred social security tax is recaptured. Employers could also be liable for penalties and interests.
Department of Labor Updates FFCRA on Employee Information and Intermittent Leave
The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided additional guidance to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave statute.

The DOL stuck by its assertion that intermittent leave is allowed under the FFCRA only if the employer consents. This interpretation comes despite a Federal Judge recently ruling that the DOL’s intermittent leave regulation was overbroad. The ruling allowed employers to limit intermittent leave when the employee poses a threat of spreading COVID-19 in the workplace, but held that the DOL’s regulation went too far in not allowing employees to take FFCRA leave intermittently for reasons that do not pose a risk of infection. The DOL added a fuller explanation for its intermittent leave stance.

The DOL also sought to "clarify" several issues regarding how workers must notify employers that they will use FFCRA leave. When requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, an employee must provide ... Read More
 
FFCRA Obligations Now that Schools are (Kind of) Opening
by Elaine Howard & Andy Clark   Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to employees who are unable to work or telework because of a need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This leave is paid as two-thirds the employee’s regular rate (up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate).

As schools begin to reopen—with some remote instruction, some in-person, and some mixed—the U.S. Department of Labor has answered questions that many employers and employees have been asking. ... Read more
Litigation & Arbitration
Getting Served on Facebook?
Texas Supreme Court Issues Orders Amending the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

by Claire Dykeman  
In accordance with two acts passed by the 86th Texas Legislature, the Texas Supreme Court issued an Order Amending Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 106 and 108a and an Order Amending Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 47, 169, 190, 192, 193, 194, and 195 (collectively referred to herein as the “TRCP Amendments”) on August 21, 2020. The TRCP Amendments will not take effect until the end of 2020, and are subject to revision based on public comment. Members of the public can voice concerns about any of the TRCP Amendments. The amendment to Rule 106 in particular, which allows for service of process by social media, should warrant the attention by businesses and attorneys alike. 

While most of the TRCP Amendments track with the federal discovery rules, which have in most part been tested in practice, the changes to Rule 106 get into unchartered waters. Under the amended Rule 106, courts can authorize service of process on a defendant (individuals and companies alike) through social media, email, or other technology upon a motion to the court.... Read more
Important Information on COVID-19

August 28 -- Andrews Myers Monthly Law Alert | August 2020
August 17 -- Austin Orders, Houston Request Portal & TX Supreme Court Updates
July 29 -- Andrews Myers Monthly Law Alert | July 2020
July 15 -- Austin Emergency Rules & Employment Law Updates
July 10 -- Austin City Council Launches Two New Ordinances
July 02 -- Mask Order and Texas Supreme Court Updates
June 30 -- Andrews Myers Monthly Law Alert | June 2020
June 26 -- The Newest Guidelines for Texas and Houston Residents
June 24 -- Unmasking the Three Mask Orders
June 19 -- Employment Law Update
June 05 -- PPP Flexibility Act
June 04 -- Phase III Texas | OSHA Updates 
May 27 -- PPP Forgiveness | Rent Deferment | Hidalgo Order 
May 19 -- Andrews Myers Monthly Law Alert | May 2020 
May 13 -- Good Faith Certification | EEOC & OSHA Updates 
May 06 -- Governor Abbott Accelerates Plan to Reopen Texas
April 28 -- Governor Abbott's Phased Plan to Reopen Business
April 24 -- New PPP and EIDL Funds | Employee COVID-19 Testing
April 23 -- COVID-19 Update | Harris County Face Cover Order
April 21 -- COVID-19 Update | Legal Update | 4.21.2020
April 17 -- New Orders Issued by Governor | COVID & eDiscovery
April 16 -- PPP Funds Depleted | CDC Update
April 14 -- Austin and Travis County Issue Updated Orders
April 13 -- New Programs for Small Businesses | OSHA Updates
April 07 -- PPP & 250 Billion Boost | EIDL | Austin Jobsite Poster
April 06 -- COVID-19 | Legal Update | 4.06.2020
April 03 -- Revised PPP Application| Webinar | Rising Stars
April 02 -- City of Austin Accepts GA 14 Executive Order
April 01 -- Commercial & Multifamily Construction
March 31 -- Governor Issues Support for Construction Industry
March 31 -- COVID-19 | Legal Update 3.31.2020
March 30 -- The CARES Act of 2020 Further Explained
March 29 -- The CARES Act of 2020
March 27 -- UPDATE | Providing Paid Sick Leave and FMLA
March 25 -- City of Austin Memorandum Causing Confusion
March 24 -- Stay Home, Work Safe
March 24 -- Bankruptcy and Restructuring Options
March 23 -- Not Triggering Force Majeure | Litigation Delays
March 20 -- COVID-19 | Latest Development Impacting our Clients
March 19 -- Texas Governor Issues COVID-19 Executive Order
March 19 -- Mechanic's Liens in the Time of Corona
March 19 -- Trump Signs Law to Grant Paid Sick Leave
March 17 -- CDC Guidelines & The Americans with Disabilities Act
March 16 -- Coronavirus Employment Obligations
March 13 -- COVID-19 & Force Majeure

About Andrews Myers
Celebrating 30 Years in 2020
Founded in 1990, with offices in Houston and Austin, Andrews Myers, Attorneys at Law, is a corporate law firm and recognized market leader in Texas construction law.  The firm focuses on the concentrated disciplines of commercial litigation, construction, commercial real estate, corporate and business transactions, with additional emphasis on related issues including bankruptcy and insolvency, energy, employment and capital formation. A seasoned team of attorneys provides timely and cost-effective solutions to the most complex problems facing entrepreneurs and middle-market industry leaders throughout the state and the nation. For more information please visit www.andrewsmyers.com.
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