In May of 2021, the CDC issued guidance that fully vaccinated individuals could stop wearing masks and observing social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings.  However, in the following months, the delta variant of COVID-19 has presented a resurgence in cases across the country.  This uptick forced the CDC to reevaluate its guidance to again recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks in certain indoor public spaces, especially considering many of these COVID spikes are occurring in the least vaccinated areas of the United States.
Continue Reading Delta Directives: Retailers Consider Mask and Vaccine Mandates

The COVID-19 pandemic caused supply chain interruptions across industries, from toilet paper and cleaning supplies, to red meat.  Although most states have resumed close to “normal” capacity and operations, the nation still faces an historic and unprecedented lumber shortage.  As a result of this perfect storm, prices for lumber and other building materials have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, and have only just begun to fall, as the increasing supply struggles to catch up with still very high demand.
Continue Reading Pandemic Demand Causes Unprecedented Building Supply Shortage

Signed into law on December 27, 2020, the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA) provides amendments to existing federal trademark law that will assist US retailers and other businesses with branding decisions. Congress passed the TMA as part of the COVID-19 relief and government-funding bill.
Continue Reading How Does the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 Help You Protect Your Brand?

Commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent as a result of COVID-19 shutdown and capacity-limit orders have, thus far, found little relief from courts, who have by and large rejected their common law defenses seeking a discharge of lease obligations. One recent Massachusetts case, however, sides with a commercial tenant, albeit under narrow circumstances, approving of the often-unsuccessful “frustration of purpose” defense.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Court: COVID-19 Closure Order Partially Discharges Commercial Rent Obligation Under “Frustration of Purpose” Doctrine

During his 2020 campaign, now President Biden promised to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, something progressives have long been proposing.  The Democratic-held House of Representatives introduced and passed the Raise the Wage Act in 2019, but the bill never reached a vote in the then-GOP controlled Senate.
Continue Reading Proposed Federal Minimum Wage Raise and its Effect on Retailers