Icard Merrill continues to serve our clients, both individuals and businesses, who have been affected during this challenging time. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting Executive Orders, regulations, and laws have created a flurry of employment, financial, and business issues. We are here to help you.

We are working remotely as possible. Answers to phone calls & emails may be delayed. If you call, please leave a voicemail & we will call you back asap.


Read our latest Employment newsletter with important COVID-related compliance updates for employers
August employment newsletter

Can employers require coronavirus testing

EEOC Issues New Technical Assistance Questions and Answers for Employers

APRIL 17, 2020 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an updated COVID-19 Guidance in the form of common workplace questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The topics covered include:
  • Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Exams
  • Confidentiality of Medical information
  • Hiring and Onboarding
  • Reasonable Accommodation
  • Pandemic-Related Harassment Due to National Origin, Race, or Other Protected Characteristics
  • Furloughs and Layoffs
  • Return to Work


What You Should Know

New Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Implementation

APRIL 1, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The Department is promulgating regulations to implement public health emergency leave under Title I of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and emergency paid sick leave to assist working families facing public health emergencies arising out of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The leave provisions are created by a time-limited statutory authority established under the FFCRA and are set to expire on December 31, 2020. The temporary rule is effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. > GO HERE for more details.

The Wage and Hour Division will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020 to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA.  > VIEW THE WEBINAR

Families First Coronavirus Response Act – A summary of benefits and corresponding employer obligations

MARCH 18, 2020 – The Senate passed and President Trump signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (the “Act”). The Act contains an extension of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) under which employees can receive paid family and medical leave, as well as paid sick time. These provisions will significantly affect businesses with less than 500 employees.

There is a posting requirement. If you would like a copy of the model notice for use by employers, contact Employment Attorney Jessica M. Farrelly. Send a request to

We can provide guidance on:

  • Employers obligations under the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) to provide paid sick time and emergency paid family and medical leave
  • Whether advanced notice needs to be provided to employees regarding reducing pay
  • Re-classifying or re-structuring workforces
  • Lay-offs
  • Telecommuting
  • Wage and hour issues
  • FMLA issues
  • Separation strategy and agreements
  • Potential risks and/or claims arising out of all the above

If you have business clients (or family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. who run or manage a business) who have questions about how to navigate the current and quickly changing situation, please have them contact us for assistance.

New EEOC Webinar on Pandemic & Anti-Discrimination Laws

MARCH 27, 2020 – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted a recorded webinar addressing questions arising under any of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recorded webinar answers questions submitted by the public about how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in light of the federal employment nondiscrimination laws the EEOC enforces – including the American’s with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII, and GINA.  The webinar supplements the COVID-19 publications already available on the EEOC’s website: “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19” and “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act“.

EEOC Chair Janet Dhillon also issued a message about unlawful national origin and race discrimination against Asian Americans in the workplace during the pandemic. The agency will continue to monitor developments and provide assistance to the public as needed.

If you have any questions regarding your business’s obligations under this new Act, please reach out to Jessica Farrelly in the firm’s Employment Law Group.

Jessica Farrelly, Employment Attorney

Jessica M. Farrelly
phone  //  941.366.8100
fax  //  941.366.6384


Bankruptcy Options to Save Your Home from Foreclosure

If you’re facing foreclosure because of COVID-19, it’s important to know what alternatives are available. Attorney Mark Martella shares how to save your home using two bankruptcy options.

The Foreclosure Process – What to Expect

As moratoriums end, foreclosure is going to become a reality for some people who can’t make the required payments. Being informed can help alleviate the fear about what lies ahead. Attorney Mark Martella shares an overview of the foreclosure process and what to expect.

Should I Get a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgage applications are on the rise. How does it work? What are the consequences? They are not right for everyone and there may be serious financial repercussions. Attorney Mark Martella shares the three things you should consider before signing that application.

The CARES Act and Key Bankruptcy Provisions

The CARES Act amends several provisions of the Bankruptcy Code providing short-term relief to financially distressed small businesses and individual debtors. In this video, Attorney Mark Martella explains how these changes may affect current debtors and those filing bankruptcy in the future.

The Toughest Decision Facing Small Business Owners

What is the most difficult question facing small business owners? How do you decide whether or not to reopen? In this video, Attorney Mark Martella answers these questions, gives recommendations, and shares mistakes to avoid when trying to save your business.

Three Tips on How to Deal with Your Creditors

Attorney Mark Martella shares three tips (plus a bonus tip!) to help you deal with your creditors if you have always paid your bills on time and now you can’t because of the repercussions of COVID-19.

> GO HERE to read the article

Navigating the CARES Act – How It Affects Your Small Business

In this article, Attorney Patrick Seidensticker gives a summary of the CARES Act and how small business owners can receive the maximum allocation of resources.

Navigating the CARES Act – How It Affects Your Small Business

Should I use my retirement account to pay the bills?

The CARES Act offers the option of tapping into your retirement account to help pay the bills. In this video, Attorney Mark Martella shares how to know if it’s a smart move for you.

I can’t make my car or credit card payments! What should I do?

In this video, Attorney Mark Martella shares some tips and tools regarding what you need to do during this COVID-19 crisis if you can’t make your credit card or car payments. It starts with communicating with your creditors.

Options for Tenants & Landlords in a COVID-19 World

The rent is due and this is a tense and anxious time for both tenants and landlords. In this video, Attorney Mark Martella provides recommendations for both parties on how to get through this crisis by working together.

Government Stimulus Payments FAQ

Attorney Mark Martella addresses the frequently asked questions concerning the stimulus payments, including who is eligible and if you have to pay taxes on it.

CARES Act – Mortgage & Foreclosure Relief

Congress passed the CARES Act which will provide mortgage payment relief and foreclosure relief to those who have federally backed mortgages. Attorney Mark Martella gives the details.

Missed Chapter 13 Payment

What happens if you can’t make your Chapter 13 payment to the trustee? Don’t panic! Attorney Mark Martella explains your options.

Five Options if You Can’t Pay Your Mortgage

What happens if you can’t make your mortgage payment. In this video, Attorney Mark Martella shares some good news on 90-day deferrals as well as four other options to save your home. 

Pros & Cons of Florida Small Business Bridge Loans

The State of Florida announced it is offering interest-free bridge loans for small businesses who have experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. Attorney Mark Martella explains the pros and cons of taking out one of these loans.

Buyer Wants Out – What Now?!

Buyers are getting the jitters. If you are selling your home, what can you do if the buyer backs out? Attorney Mark Martella talks about this issue in relation to the world we are living in today.

Contact Mark if you have any questions about business law and business practices, real estate matters, bankruptcy, foreclosure, or estate planning.

Mark Martella

Mark Martella
phone // 941.206.3700
fax // 941.206.3701

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