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.
All Illinois employers must provide yearly sexual harassment prevention training starting this year. Illinois Public Act 101-0221 amended the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) , Section 2-109,requiring Illinois employers to provide annual sexual harassment prevention training by December 31, 2020, and then annually thereafter.
Since January 1, 2020, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation & Tax Act has legalized the production, sale, transport and consumption of recreational cannabis. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act also legalized banking for Cannabis Related Businesses (CRB’s) in Illinois, stating that financial institutions assisting CRB’s, such as banks or credit unions, are exempt from state criminal laws.
Approximately one year after a public law went into effect limiting the size of a civil jury to 6 persons, the Illinois Supreme Court has deemed the act unconstitutional.