Blog

Is Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan constitutional as applied to churches?

Lawsuits have sprung up nationwide against state and local authorities who have imposed shutdown orders in an effort to thwart the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Washington, two lawsuits challenging our state’s shutdown order have been filed. The first, by gubernatorial candidate Joshua Freed, was voluntarily dismissed after Mr. Freed was reassured that his backyard Bible […]

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Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

COVID-19 has caused a complete economic shut down as social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and quarantines are now the norm. Many businesses had the foresight to purchase business interruption insurance to provide financial certainty during uncertain times. The question is whether business interruption insurance covers a pandemic such as COVID-19 and the answer depends on the […]

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SBA Affirms Loan Eligibility for Faith-Based Nonprofits

When the Paycheck Protection Program rolled out the morning of April 3, many faith-based nonprofits had legitimate concerns about their eligibility for such loans or the impact of receiving federal financial assistance. We explored those issues in this post and advised faith-based nonprofits that were otherwise interested to apply but watch for the SBA’s promised […]

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Washington State and Seattle Residential Eviction Moratoriums During COVID-19

In light of the unprecedented worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, state and local governments have imposed restrictions on residential evictions throughout Washington State. Specifically, Governor Inslee issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions through at least April 17, 2020, and the City of Seattle has imposed an even more widespread ban on most residential evictions.             […]

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Paycheck Protection Loans for Faith-based Nonprofits

The Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act goes live today (though lenders are expressing concern about preparedness). This post is intended for religious nonprofits that have questions about the strings attached to governmental aid. What rights will they relinquish as a condition of accepting a government-guaranteed, forgivable loan? These concerns are rooted in the […]

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Preparing for a Paycheck Protection Loan Application

The CARES Act allocates $349 billion for forgivable paycheck protection loans for small businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, sole proprietors, self-employed (even gig economy) workers, and others. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has an excellent four-page summary here:  Generally limited to employers with less than 500 employees, the maximum loan amount is 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly payroll cost up to a maximum of $10 million. The loan can be completely forgiven to […]

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Streaming worship services under Washington’s shelter-in-place order.

On March 23, Governor Jay Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation. It requires all residents to stay at home except to conduct or participate in essential activities or for employment in essential business services. The proclamation is clear that multi-person gatherings, including spiritual and faith-based activities, are prohibited. But what about churches livestreaming […]

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Mandatory Paid Leave: Paid Sick Leave

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act  The recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (Act). Effective as of April 2, 2020,  employers that employ less than 500 employees must provide additional paid sick leave to their employees for certain absences related to COVID-19 (C19 Paid Sick Leave). The Act provides full-time employees 80 hours of C19 Paid Sick Leave. Part-time employees have C19 Paid Sick Leave equal to the number of hours […]

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