February 2021

Business News Digest

3 min

Venable attorneys produce periodic alerts and newsletters covering a variety of topics and practice areas. For your convenience, we have assembled below a collection of the latest alerts and newsletters.

Virginia Adopts Permanent COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standard for Employers

Virginia's permanent COVID-19 workplace safety standard for employers became effective on January 27, 2021, after Governor Ralph Northam approved the standard adopted by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry's Safety and Health Codes Board. The permanent standard closely tracks the emergency temporary standard the Safety and Health Codes Board adopted in July 2020. It is intended to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and protect Virginia workers by requiring employers to implement certain policies and procedures relating to personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces. The standard applies to all employers, employees, and places of employment that are under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program.

Board Diversity – a Passing Fad or the Wave of the Future?

In late 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 979, which requires publicly held corporations headquartered in the state to diversify their boards of directors. This bill was modeled after Senate Bill 826, signed into law in 2018, which similarly required publicly held corporations headquartered in California to include women on their boards. Driven at least in part by these legislative measures, businesses across the country are beginning to diversify their boards. In this Q & A, Venable partner Belinda Vega discusses the pros and cons of government mandates, how diversity impacts companies' bottom lines, and why this trend is likely to continue.

New Year, New Laws: Tax Changes in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). It combines various relief measures for the pandemic with a slew of other legislative changes—including changes to the tax laws, many of which became effective January 1, 2021. Below is a high-level summary of the tax law changes included in the CAA.

Combating Hate, Racism, and Extremism: A Conversation with AG Karl Racine and Author Christian Picciolini

On January 21, Venable hosted a conversation with Karl A. Racine, District of Columbia attorney general, president of the National Association of Attorneys General, and former Venable managing partner, as he discusses his newly launched initiative, The People v. Hate: Standing up for Humanity. AG Racine was joined by Christian Picciolini, anti-extremism activist, former white-supremacist leader, and author of Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism. They discussed the country’s history of radicalization, hate and extremism, and their respective efforts to counter hate and bias and promote social and racial justice.