Murthy Law Firm Monitoring COVID-19 Situation30 Mar 2020
Note that this page has been updated from the original post.
At this time of uncertainty, health and safe practices to avoid spreading or contracting COVID-19 are paramount for our families and the wider community. The State of Maryland considers law practices and law firms to be essential businesses, and we want you to know that we continue to be here for you, while also protecting our employees.
Like many businesses, we have had to make adjustments, but we also already had many systems in place before this emergency that are serving our employees and our clients well during this difficult time. Remote access to work from home has been in place for our staff. The internet, telephone, and FedEx services have always been integral to our business, and they continue to keep us functional. Employees working from home have been equipped with appropriate technology, and workflow is nearly seamless.
At the Firm
With so many staff members working offsite, this has emptied much of our physical office space, so that critical staff who still are needed there are easily able to practice safe distancing from one another. We have educated our staff on daily measures they can take to stay safe, including frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing, which includes utilizing conference call lines for meetings and, whenever possible, communicating by phone and eMail rather than face-to-face interaction.
We have always had an amazing team, but their spirit of commitment to get through this time together, and to continue serving our valued clients, has been an inspiring thing indeed!
The various federal entities that administer and enforce U.S. immigration laws and regulations have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but are still operating. For example, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended routine in-person services, such as biometrics appointments. The USCIS service centers that process most petitions and applications are still operating, however.
A number of accommodations have also been made for stakeholders to better deal with this unprecedented event. Among these, the USCIS has extended deadlines for responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs), while the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has provided universities and F-1 students additional flexibility with meeting certain normal F-1 requirements. [More case types have been added to receive this flexibility. Please see the MurthyDotCom NewsFlash, Expanded Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests, dated 30.Mar.2020.]
We continue to check advice from the CDC, Maryland Department of Public Health, and other state and government agencies to ensure we are keeping our staff as safe as possible, making any necessary adjustments, while continuing to provide the services that our clients need.
We hope that you and your families are safe. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. We look forward to continuing to work together for years to come.
Copyright © 2020, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved