Friday, May 14, 2021

Benefit News Clips, Week of May 14th

The Littler® Annual Employer Survey Report

May 12, 2021 – Littler Mendelson P.C.

Excerpt: “While 71 percent of employers surveyed believe that most of their employees who can work remotely prefer a hybrid model and that only 4 percent prefer full-time in-person work, 28 percent of those employers plan to have most employees return full time and in person, and 55 percent will offer a hybrid model (i.e., a mix of remote and in-person work). Only 7 percent say their employees who are able to work remotely full time can continue to do so if they wish, despite 16 percent saying they believe most would prefer this option.”


Potential ERISA Fiduciary Duty Issues with BCBSA $2.67 Billion Settlement

May 12, 2021 – Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey, P.L.C.

Excerpt: “Employers that file a claim and receive settlement proceeds may need to determine what portion of the settlement proceeds are considered plan assets under ERISA, especially since we anticipate that only a minority of employees will make an individual claim. With a settlement fund of $2.67 billon, some employers may receive a significant amount from the settlement fund. As a result, we are hopeful that the DOL will provide guidance on the proper use of the settlement funds received by employers under ERISA in this specific lawsuit.”


Gifts and bonuses in exchange for vaccination could violate the law

May 11, 2021 – The Hill

Excerpt: “Employers considering a vaccine incentive program should use caution, delaying if possible, for clearer guidance. However, if a program is moving forward, employers must make the program voluntary, should keep any incentives small in value, offer accommodations for medical exceptions and religious beliefs, and offer non-monetary or in-kind incentives to avoid violations.”


IRS Announces 2022 Limits for Health Savings Accounts, High-Deductible Health Plans and Excepted Benefit HRAs

May 11, 2021 – McDermott Will & Emery

Excerpt: “The table below compares the applicable dollar limits for HSAs, HDHPs and excepted benefit HRAs for 2021 and 2022.”


Your State No Longer Requires Face Coverings in the Workplace – But Should You Continue To Mandate Them?

May 10, 2021 – Fisher & Phillips LLP

Excerpt: “This is a particular concern in states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, where the state has eased COVID-19 related restrictions, but the federal government has jurisdiction over workplace safety through OSHA. Other states where the state government has jurisdiction over workplace safety – like Virginia, Michigan, Oregon and California – have adopted their own COVID-19 OSHA standards, which include additional heightened mandates for employers in the workplace.”


Looming Federal Paid Leave Legislation Raises Important Questions for Employers Over Funding

May 7, 2021 – HR Policy Association

Excerpt: “With Congress mulling multiple paid family leave legislative proposals and a federal paid leave program seemingly on the horizon, questions remain regarding the best approach to how such a program—likely to be a UI-type insurance program—would be funded: through a payroll tax or general revenue?”