Sunday, May 10, 2020

Benefit & COVID-19 Updates, Week Ending May 10th

May 5, 2020 – McGriff Insurance Services
Excerpt: “Echoing the sentiments of public health officials, a return to normalcy won’t be like flipping a switch, but rather a gradual effort. In preparation for reopening your business and asking employees to come back to work, it’s imperative that your company thoughtfully constructs a return to work plan for its employees to keep everyone healthy and safe following the COVID-19 pandemic.”

May 5, 2020 – McGriff Insurance Services
Excerpt: “A McGriff COVID-19 Reopening Best Practice Advisory”

May 5, 2020 – McGriff Insurance Services
Excerpt: “A dependent care assistance program (DCAP) allows employees to pay for qualifying dependent care expenses, such as day care expenses, on a tax-free basis, up to certain limits. With many schools and day care facilities closing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, employees may want to change the amount of their DCAP contributions. Also, employees may be concerned about not being able to use all of their DCAP funds this year due to changing child care needs and availability.”

May 7, 2020 – McGriff Insurance Services
Excerpt: “On May 7, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued additional answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) while also observing all applicable emergency workplace safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic. The new FAQs were added to guidance that the EEOC previously issued on March 18, 2020, and updated on April 9, 17 and 23, 2020.”
May 7, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Labor
Excerpt: ‘New Questions 89-93’
May 7, 2020 – The Internal Revenue Service
Excerpt: “The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll by providing them an Employee Retention Credit. It also helps to make sure workers aren't forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the coronavirus. Eligible employers can claim this credit for wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.”

May 7, 2020 – Thomson Reuters
Excerpt: “However, budget legislation passed in December 2019 reinstated the PCOR provision and continued the fee requirements through plan years ending before October 1, 2029.”

May 6, 2020 – Fisher Phillips LLP
Excerpt: “The case, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Indiana, is one of the first of many anticipated lawsuits as the country begins to emerge from the worldwide pandemic. What can all employers – especially those who believed they were well outside the reach of the FFCRA – learn from this claim?”

May 5, 2020 – Littler Mendelson P.C.
Excerpt: “Employers are not required to follow the model notices, so there is no specific “effective date” for implementing the changes recommended in the model notices. Employers that follow the model notices, however, will be deemed to have complied with COBRA’s notice requirements.”

May 4, 2020 – Poyner Spruill LLP
Excerpt: “The Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service have provided relief to certain plan participants, which plan sponsors and administrators will be required to implement. Essentially, the plan must disregard the coronavirus "Outbreak Period" when it is calculating certain plan deadlines.”

May 4, 2020 – Baker & Hostetler LLP
Excerpt: “The IRS has issued extensive FAQs addressing application of the employee retention tax credit (ERTC), including employer eligibility and determination of qualified wages. Enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to incentivize employers to maintain their payrolls, the ERTC allows eligible employers to claim a credit equal to 50% of qualified wages paid between March 13, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, up to a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.”

May 1, 2020 – Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Excerpt: “More than 100,000 San Francisco employees can now access funds contributed by their employers under the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) to pay for necessary expenses during COVID-19, including food, rent, mortgage payments, and utilities…Thus far, there is no requirement that employers notify employees of this opportunity. The SF City Option program will be reaching out to eligible employees to inform them of their right to request a one-time disbursement of funds in their accounts.”

May 2020 – Fisher & Phillips LLP
Excerpt: “As we look toward life after the worst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has passed, business recovery will be paramount. This includes assessing business operations, bringing employees back to work, and ensuring a safe workplace.”