The first blog in a four part series about filing for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy.
By Sara E. Cook
Often when a large corporation files for bankruptcy, you will hear that it is the right business decision, it gives them a chance to right size, change direction, get rid of unprofitable businesses and on and on. There is no stigma, it is just another business decision, and often heralded as the right one. Individuals, however, often see an individual bankruptcy as a sign of their failure or inadequacy. They avoid even entertaining the idea for fear of the stigma, the perceived shame and guilt for not paying bills. But the very same conditions that afflict large corporations, afflict individuals and families trying to survive in a world of low pay, pandemic, high child care costs, medical bills, furloughs and on and on. For all the same reasons bankruptcy makes sense for a big business, it may make sense for an individual or family and it should not be a shameful or guilt filled decision.
As more states loosen the COVID-19 Shelter in Place laws and people begin to return to previously sheltered business, it is essential that businesses have a plan for how that return to work will look and, equally important, convey relevant portions of the plan to its employees.Continue Reading
Illinois’ amended COVID-19 Shelter in Place rules permits essential workers, which includes most businesses that contract with the State of Illinois for essential services, including construction and healthcare, to continue to perform their essential functions.
For businesses bidding for work with Illinois during this COVID-19 time they must understand and comply with the Illinois Human Rights Act regarding sexual harassment prevention policy and training.
With COVID-19 news taking center stage in our lives, it is easy to push aside Illinois’ new Workplace Transparency Act enacted to protect employees against sexual harassment.
The landscape of insurance coverage in this era of the COVID-19 Pandemic is likely to change as insurance lawsuits are being filed to determine scope of insurance coverage. Meanwhile, in direct response to COVID-19, several states are attempting to modify Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance policies through legislation to provide coverage, particularly business interruption insurance, post hoc-after the fact. President Trump has commented that businesses have paid premiums for business interruption insurance for years and relief should be available to insureds. It is important for businesses to take precautionary measures to preserve whatever coverages might be available, especially as the case law and legislation changes to meet the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both federal law and the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (765 ILCS 1065/et seq.) allow a person to recover money damages caused by the misappropriation of trade secrets. 765 ILCS 1065/4; 18 U.S.C. § 1836. Generally, a “trade secret” is information kept confidential for economically advantageous reasons. See 765 ILCS 1065/4; 18 U.S.C. § 1839(3). Trade secrets often consist of technical or business information, such as, for example, designs, codes, prototypes, procedures, or plans. See 765 ILCS 1065/4; 18 U.S.C. § 1839(3). In some instances, a trade secret may include lists of customers and/or potential customers. 765 ILCS 1065/4.
Different programs are available to assist small businesses during this COVID-19 disaster which has swept the country. Small businesses employ over 50% of our employed workers, and are straddled with great challenges in trying to navigate this crisis. Various sources are being developed to help small businesses, which may make the difference between survival and liquidation. These include loans, loans with forgiveness and outright grants with no repayment.
Illinois issued an executive order to protect healthcare workers against liability for negligent treatment of COVID-19 patients.
As more than a billion people are under some sort of quarantine law and numerous US states and foreign countries have “shelter in place” laws now shuttering many businesses, COVID 19 has caused a financial crisis for many businesses.
Less than three weeks ago, I wrote a blog regarding why employers needed to be prepared for the reality that the Corona COVID – 19 virus could shut down business. At that time, there had only been two confirmed Illinois cases – three weeks later, Illinois has over 1,000 known cases of COVID 19s, the Governor has issued a “shelter in place” order for all non-essential workers, and employers are forced to face a reality that their workplace and workforce may never look the same.