In the midst of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, new terminology has been thrown at us on a daily basis: Stay-at-home. Safer-at-home. Shelter-in-place. Lockdown. Martial Law. These terms, which have become commonplace, refer to government measures intended to compel residents to stay in their homes and limit movement as COVID-19 spreads across the globe. But, do they all mean the same thing? The short answer is no. Let’s take them one at a time. Stay-at-Home…
For months now, we have been advised to wash our hands to help prevent the spread of COViD-19.  But we’ve always heard that we should wash our hands, so this advice doesn’t sound like much. If all the money in the world cannot cure the disease, so how can we be expected to believe that grandma’s old-fashioned bar of soap helps? Well, it does.  Soap kills. If the virus is on your skin, the hands-down,…
This is an update to “COVID-19 CLAIMS: DOES BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE HELP?”  Contractors, like most other businesses in America, have suffered losses from the Coronavirus. It is likely that they will continue to do so in the coming months. Business insurance is designed to spread their risks. How contractors and the insurance industry handle these risks will be a unique challenge. “Your Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) covers your insured business and property. Part…
Broward County’s latest emergency order deems construction professionals “essential” and therefore exempt from mandatory closures to which many other industries are now subject, but employees may need to verify their status to authorities. On March 23rd, 2020, in yet another attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19, Broward County issued South Florida’s latest emergency order mandating that all “non-essential” businesses close their doors until further notice. The order will force a significant number of businesses…
Update: 3/25/2020 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE – BREAKING NEWS Congress and the White House reached a deal at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday that contains more than $2 trillion (trillion, with a “t”) in direct assistance and loans. According to early reports, the bill would pay most Americans $1,200 and their children $500. It also creates a $500 billion loan program for companies and an $367 billion program to assist small businesses to overcome payroll hurdles. Additionally, it includes…
Both Miami-Dade and Broward have classified construction as an “essential business”.  This means the vast majority of our construction clients have remained open, albeit often with a skeleton office staff and limited field personnel. Scott Alfele is President of Ebsary Foundation Company, which has provided marine and foundation construction services throughout Florida and the Caribbean since 1922.  Headquartered along the Miami River, the company remains open. He told us “All our government projects with…
Stores may be closed and many folks stuck in their homes for the foreseeable future as a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus but the business of construction rolls on.  We reached out to some of our construction clients to find out how they were coping with the virus and the regulatory orders being issued daily. Josh Aberman, Executive Vice President of Lehman Pipe and Plumbing Supply, a 73 year old Miami company selling…
This is a question we often hear from contractors, and the answer is a little complicated.  First, it is important to make the distinction between the virus and other diseases as well as the varied responses to these problems. The disease The disease, COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus.  If several employees miss work because they have contracted the disease, there is probably no basis for a claim for delay.  This situation has occurred in…
In a March 17th press conference to update the public on the coronavirus, the White House made a plea to the construction industry to donate their N95 face masks to local hospitals so as to help healthcare workers on the frontlines protect themselves in this fast developing crisis. Vice President Pence said, “We would make one specific request, and that is we would urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 masks to your…
During the public health crisis which is now upon us and is likely to worsen before it gets better, many employers, large and small, are growing increasingly concerned with the challenges they foresee in keeping their contractual obligations, sustaining their business and the possibility of reducing workforce. To assist with decision making, employers should become acquainted with the applicable law in this regard. In Florida, employees fall into two classifications–‘contract’ or ‘at-will’. How you…