The outbreak of the novel coronavirus strain known as "COVID-19" is creating significant business and legal challenges for companies throughout the world. In response to client demand, Miller & Chevalier Chartered has formed an interdisciplinary task force, comprised of attorneys in seven main practice areas, to help businesses navigate the complex legal issues created by this global event. The Miller & Chevalier Coronavirus Task Force advises clients in a wide range of industries regarding legislative, regulatory, and strategic implications of the COVID-19 outbreak, including:

  • Employee Benefits & Employment: Health privacy issues under state law and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), potential health plan and health savings account (HSA) coverage of prescriptions, protective devices (masks, etc.,) for non-symptomatic individuals, duties owed by employers under the OSHA "General Duties Clause" in connection with employee travel, ADA issues in employer-mandated fitness-for-duty tests for employers returning from travel, obligations under federal leave laws (FMLA) or company leave and PTO policies, and mitigation of discrimination risks (disparate treatment or impact). 
  • Domestic & International Tax: Tax issues relating to supply chain and other business disruptions, including the treatment of losses and the permanent negative international tax consequences, which may be particularly dramatic given recent changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; potential for legislative business tax relief (e.g., enhanced net operating loss relief, enhanced charitable contribution incentives) modeled after "disaster relief" packages that are commonly enacted in response to natural disasters; tax filing and compliance issues.
  • Government Contracts: Schedule delays, suspensions of work or stop work orders, changes, terminations for convenience, increased costs and other performance issues impacting prime contractors and subcontractors; negotiating contractual and statutory indemnity for the performance of high-risk work; availability of rapid acquisition techniques for COVID-19 response supplies and services. 
  • Customs & Import Trade: Planning for supply chain disruption; evaluating alternative suppliers and logistics providers; outreach to customs administrations; application and enforceability of force majeure clauses in international trade contracts.
  • Economic Sanctions & Export Controls: Humanitarian and medical assistance to sanctioned countries and parties; evaluating alternative suppliers, vendors, and partners in response to supply chain disruptions; liaising with government agencies to secure guidance, licenses, and other authorizations; impact and enforceability of trade-related contract obligations, including force majeure and other grounds for rescission.
  • Commercial Disputes: Business disputes arising from supply chain disruption, event, and travel cancellations, and policy/regulatory changes; invocation of force majeure, reformation principles and other contractual issues stemming from the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Cross-Border Investigations and Corporate Due Diligence: Fact-gathering challenges in investigations and due diligence, including in government-led investigations and due diligence required for ongoing mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, or relationships with third parties.

For more information, please contact:

Employee Benefits: Erin M. Sweeney, esweeney@milchev.com, 202.626.6053

Domestic & International Tax: Jorge E. Castro, jcastro@milchev.com, 202.626.5859

Government Contracts: Alex L. Sarria, asarria@milchev.com, 202.626.5822

Commercial Disputes and Employment: Preston L. Pugh, ppugh@milchev.com, 202.626.5842

Customs & Import Trade: Richard A. Mojica, rmojica@milchev.com, 202.626.1571

Economic Sanctions & Export Controls: Brian J. Fleming, bfleming@milchev.com, 202.626.5871

Cross-Border Investigations & Corporate Due Diligence: Ann Sultan, asultan@milchev.com, 202.626.1474

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748, P.L. 116-136)

Precursor Materials for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (introduced as S. 3548)

Families First Coronovirus Response Act (H.R. 6201, Public Law 116-127)

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 6074, Public Law No: 116-123)

House Democratic Leadership Proposed Legislation: Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act (H.R. 6379)

IRS Coronavirus Tax Guidance

Delayed Filing Deadline

Paid Leave

IRS Enforcement and Compliance

  • IRS announcement postponing certain payments related to Installment Agreements and Offers in Compromise and limiting certain enforcement actions
  • IRS announcement on its internal operations and administrative priorities during the coronavirus crisis
  • IRS memorandum on accepting images of signatures and digital signatures and approval to receive and transmit documents by email 
  • Guidance on payroll support to aid airline industry employees and on loans to airline industry

High Deductible Health Plans

  • IR-2020-54: IRS: High-deductible health plans can cover coronavirus costs
  • IRS Notice 2020-15: High deductible health plans and expenses related to COVID-19