Friday, May 29, 2020

Benefit News Clips, Week Ending May 29th

Majority of employers help with cost of COBRA coverage for furloughed employees
May 28, 2020 – Wolters Kluwer (one-time registration may be required)
Excerpt: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have made changes to their workforce, according to a recent report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). The Employee Benefits in a COVID-19 World: April 2020 Survey Report found that 31 percent have temporarily furloughed workers, 29 percent have reduced worker hours, and 21 percent have laid off workers.”

School’s Out For Summer: Unavailability Of Child Care And The FFCRA
May 26, 2020 – Fisher Phillips LLP
Excerpt: “In response to Question 93 in its FFCRA Questions and Answers, the USDOL recently clarified that employees may not take paid leave to care for children because school is closed for the summer. However, the USDOL further advised that employees may be eligible to take leave if their child’s care provider during the summer — including a camp or other program in which the employee’s child is enrolled — is closed or unavailable due to a COVID-19 related reason.”

When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19
May 24, 2020 – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Excerpt: “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms. You can be with others after…I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms. If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after…”

FFCRA FAQ: Must an Employee Enroll their Child in a Summer Program as a Precondition to Taking FFCRA Leave if the Program is Cancelled?
May 22, 2020 – Littler Mendelson P.C.
Excerpt: “But I also am worried FAQ #93 is a trap for employers. It seems pretty clear that many of your employees will be able to show that…”

COVID-19 Return to Work: Wage & Hour Claims for Loss of Exempt Classification
May 21, 2020 – World at Work
Excerpt: “Under the FLSA, exempt employees must be paid their entire salary for the week even if the employer has them work less than a full week. Therefore, simply paying an exempt employee a pro-rated reduced salary is not permissible. Rather, employers must implement proportional salary reductions in advance and provide employees with notice of the change.”

Tenth Circuit Upholds Health Plan's Denial of Surrogacy Expenses
May 21, 2020 – Thomson Reuters
Excerpt: “Despite being informed in 2011 by the plan's claims administrator that the plan did not cover surrogate maternity, the participant acted as a surrogate in 2013 and 2015. The plan covered the participant's pregnancy expenses for the 2013 surrogacy, apparently because it was unaware that the participant was acting as a surrogate.”

COBRA in the Time of COVID-19
May 20, 2020 – Foley & Lardner LLP
Excerpt: “COBRA compliance requires extra attention right now. There has been a wave of litigation surrounding COBRA election notices. Regulatory agencies have extended certain COBRA deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the Department of Labor recently released new COBRA model notices. Now, more than ever, employers need to take COBRA seriously and ensure that they are prepared to address these issues.”