IRS Guidance on Tax Credits for Employee Leave Under the FFCRA (June 2021)

Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the IRS has released and updated FAQs and other resources on tax credits for employers that provide paid employee leave under the Act. This Compliance Bulletin provides information about the credits and the IRS guidance. Read more...

IRS Issues Guidance on American Rescue Plan’s COBRA Subsid (May 2021)

On May 18, 2021, the IRS issued Notice 2021-31, a guidance document on the American Rescue Plan Act subsidy for continuation health coverage under COBRA. This Legal Update discusses the guidance further. Read more...

DOL Updates Q&As on COVID-19 and the FMLA (May 2021)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has updated its “COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers” web page. This Compliance Bulletin contains the new guidance. Read more...

States Update Employee Leave Requirements for Coronavirus (May 2021)

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new employee leave laws and issued new regulations and guidance on existing leave laws and programs. This Compliance Bulletin summarizes new state (and select local) leave rules for workers affected by COVID-19. Read more...

IRS Issues Employer Resources on FFCRA Leave Tax Credits (April 2021)

The IRS has released new resources explaining tax credits for employers who opt to provide paid family leave and paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the American Rescue Plan Act through Sept. 30, 2021. This Legal Update discusses the resources. Read more...

President Biden Announces Tax Credit for Small Businesses Offering Paid Leave for Vaccination (April 2021)

President Biden recently announced a paid leave tax credit for small- and medium-sized businesses. This credit will allow eligible employers to fully offset the cost of paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and recover from any after-effects of the vaccination. This News Brief explains further. Read more...

What's in President Biden's American Jobs Plan? (April 2021)

At the end of March 2021, President Joe Biden introduced a new infrastructure proposal—titled the American Jobs Plan—which is focused on reestablishing the country’s economy. This proposal is the second component of the Biden Administration’s larger, three-part infrastructure package, known as the Build Back Better Plan. Review the following article for a summary of the proposal's main elements and next steps for the Build Back Better Plan. Read more...

IRS FAQs on Premium Tax Credit Changes Due to the ARPA (April 2021)

On April 9, 2021, the IRS released a fact sheet containing FAQs addressing changes for taxpayers who received advance payments of the 2020 premium tax credit due to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This Legal Update provides highlights of the IRS' guidance. Read more...

DOL Issues FAQs About American Rescue Plan’s COBRA Subsidy (April 2021)

On April 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued FAQs about the COBRA premium assistance provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act. This Compliance Bulletin contains the DOL FAQs. Read more...

IRS Publishes Guidance for 2021 Employee Retention Credit (Q1/Q2) (April 2021)

On April 2, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Notice 2021-23 to provide guidance for employers claiming the employee retention credit (ERC) for the first two quarters of 2021. The ERC was originally created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and has since been modified and extended by other laws—most recently, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11, 2021. Read more...

COVID-19 Exchange Special Enrollment Period Extended (March 2021)

On March 23, 2021, CMS announced that it is extending a special enrollment period through the Exchanges due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, eligible individuals have three additional months, through Aug. 15, 2021, to enroll in Exchange coverage via HealthCare.gov. This Legal Update provides information on the extended special enrollment period. Read more...

Paycheck Protection Program Loans – FAQs for Lenders and Borrowers (March 2021)

The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including both First Draw PPP Loans and Second Draw PPP Loans. This document is published and updated by the SBA. Read more...

Comparing the American Rescue Plan to Previous COVID-19 Relief Bills – Infographic (March 2021)

President Joe Biden recently signed into law a $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan. This infographic provides an overview of the highlights of the bill and how it compares to the two previous relief bills signed into law in 2020. Read more...

On-Site, Remote and Hybrid Model Workplace Strategies (March 2021)

The remote workplace is here to stay, but its role may change. This article discusses post-pandemic workplace trends, the advantages and challenges of on-site and remote workplaces, and strategies for hybrid model workplaces. Read more...

American Rescue Plan Contains Employment-Related Provisions (March 2021)

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, a relief bill benefiting individuals, governments and businesses, among others. Included in the law are provisions of particular interest to employers and employees. This Compliance Bulletin discusses these items further. Read more...

Overview of the American Rescue Plan (March 2021)

The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has been signed into law by President Joe Biden. Highlights of the bill include extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more. This article provides more details Read more...

HR Toolkit: Returning Workforces & and COVID-19 Vaccines (March 2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been raging for months. In that time, many businesses have ceased operations out of safety concerns and have waited for the right opportunity to resume. Now, with COVID-19 vaccines becoming available, employers can finally start planning for their immediate futures. This toolkit explores the COVID-19 vaccines and other workplace safeguards, and helps employers decide whether a vaccination policy is right for their organizations. Read more...

DOL Guidance on COVID-19 Relief for Employee Benefit Plans (March 2021)

On Feb. 26, 2021, the DOL issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 to provide guidance on the duration of the COVID-19-related relief regarding certain employee benefit plan deadlines during the Outbreak Period. Although the relief was expected to expire on Feb. 28, 2021, this guidance allows it to extend beyond this date in some situations. This Legal Update provides an overview of the guidance in Notice 2021-01. Read more...

President Biden Alters PPP Loan Rules to Benefit Smallest Businesses (February 2021)

The Biden administration recently announced a 14-day period of the SBA's PPP where only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief through the program. This News Brief explains further. Read more...

CDC Guidance for Workplace COVID-19 Vaccination Programs (February 2021)

This HR Insights article provides an overview of guidance from the CDC for workplace COVID-19 vaccination programs. Read more...

Considerations for Returning to Work Amid COVID-19 (February 2021)

This article compiles guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help keep employees informed about how to return to work safely amid COVID-19. Read more...

New York Issues New Guidance on COVID-19 Leave (February 2021)

The New York Department of Labor has issued new guidance on the state's COVID-19 sick leave law, addressing leave for employees not in quarantine or isolation but prohibited from coming to work by their employers, and other issues. Read more...

DOL Issues New Q&As About FFCRA Leave Requirements (December 2020)

On Dec. 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued two additional answers to questions in its series of Q&As on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The new Q&As address employees’ entitlement to FFCRA leave after Dec. 31, 2020, and their right to payment for FFCRA leave taken before Dec. 31, 2020. This Legal Update discusses the new Q&As. Read more...

Comparing the Two Major COVID-19 Stimulus Packages - Infographic (December 2020)

President Donald Trump recently signed into law an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. This infographic provides an overview of the bill and how it compares to the CARES Act passed in March 2020. Read more...

Congress Passes Surprise Medical Bill Ban as Part of Stimulus Bill (December 2020)

On Dec. 21, 2020, Congress passed H.R. 133, a $900 billion stimulus bill that includes emergency economic relief, government funding and tax cuts. The bill also includes the No Surprises Act, a ban on surprise medical bills, which will take effect beginning in 2022. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump. Read more...

Stimulus Bill Extends FFCRA Tax Credits but Not Leave Mandate (December 2020)

An appropriations bill passed by Congress Dec. 21, 2020, and expected to be signed into law by President Trump, does not extend the employee leave mandates created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which expire on Dec. 31, 2020. However, the bill does extend tax credits for employers who offer the leave through March 31, 2021. This Legal Update discusses this development. Read more...

In the Know: Understanding the $900B Stimulus Package (December 2020)

On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. Notably, the bill provides funding for unemployment benefits, small businesses, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance. This article provides an overview of what is included within the emergency relief bill. Read more...

CDC Announces Shorter Quarantine Guidelines After a COVID-19 Exposure (December 2020)

The CDC has announced an update to quarantine guidelines, offering options for shorter quarantine periods for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but are without symptoms. This News Brief explains further. Read more...

Virtual Workplace Holiday Parties (December 2020)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are evaluating how to engage employees safely this holiday season. Employers find themselves tasked with deciding whether they should cancel, postpone or offer an amended celebration that prioritizes safety—with many choosing to offer a virtual holiday party. This article gives an overview of virtual holiday parties and offers ideas and considerations for employers planning a virtual celebration. Read more...

Preventing Cyberattacks on Remote Employees (November 2020)

While remote work can be an exciting opportunity for employees, it also comes with unique challenges—namely, cybersecurity. This article discusses some cybersecurity risks that remote employees face and offers potential solutions. Read more...

5 Ways to Manage Poor Workplace Performance Among Remote Workers (November 2020)

Addressing poor performance isn’t always easy. This is especially true amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as remote working often makes accountability more complicated. This article offers five tips to help employers manage poor performance in the workplace, even while everyone is working from home. Read more...

Adjusting Paid Leave Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic (October 2020)

Many employers across the country are changing paid leave programs to comply with applicable federal, state or local guidelines during the pandemic and support employees through these challenging times. This article provides an overview of considerations for employers to keep in mind when evaluating their current programs. Read more...

California Expands Family and Medical Leave Under the CFRA (September 2020)

Recent amendments to the California Family Rights Act apply the law's leave requirements to small employers, in addition to expanding employee leave rights in other ways. This Legal Update discusses highlights of the changes, which take effect Jan. 1, 2021. Read more...

Time Tracking in the Time of COVID-19 (September 2020)

Keeping track of employee productivity has always been important, but it’s even more significant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article outlines an employer’s general time tracking responsibilities and offers some best practices to follow. Read more...

California Authorizes Stop-Work Orders and Requires Worker Exposure Notices for COVID-19 (September 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor has added to and updated its Q&As on employee leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The changes in guidance follow a court decision invalidating part of the FFCRA regulations and subsequent regulatory revisions. Read more...

Remote Verification of Form I-9 Documents Extended to Nov. 19 (September 2020)

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowing employers that are operating remotely to conduct a remote verification of approved Form I-9 documents. On Sept. 15, 2020, DHS extended yet again this exemption for an additional 60 days. The new expiration date for the exemption is now Nov. 19, 2020. Read more...

California Extends Workers’ Comp Presumption for COVID-19 (September 2020)

On Sept. 1, 2020, California passed a bill that makes it easier for certain employees to obtain workers' compensation benefits if they test positive for COVID-19 after working outside of their homes at their employers' direction. This Compliance Bulletin provides general information about California Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159). Read more...

DOL Revises FFCRA Regulations In Response to Court Decision-1 (September 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor has revised its regulations implementing the paid employee leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The revisions were undertaken in response to a federal court decision vacating parts of the regulations. This Legal Update summarizes the revisions, which take effect on Sept. 16, 2020. Read more...

California Mandates COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Workers (September 2020)

California has enacted a law extending supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19-related purposes to workers exempt from paid sick leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Legal Update discusses highlights of the California law. Read more...

IRS Guidance on Premium Tax Credit Eligibility and COVID-19 Testing (September 2020)

On Sept. 10, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-66 to provide guidance on whether certain Medicaid coverage of COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services affects individual premium tax credit eligibility. This Legal Update summarizes the IRS' guidance. Read more...

EEOC Adds 18 New FAQs on Coronavirus and the ADA (September 2020)

On Sept. 8, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission added 18 new answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to its existing guidance on how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act while also observing all applicable emergency workplace safety guidelines during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The agency also updated two existing FAQs. This HR Compliance Bulletin contains the new and updated FAQs. Read more...

HR Insights - Recognizing Employee Requests for ADA Accommodations (September 2020)

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities. This article provides guidance on how to prepare for, recognize and respond to reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. It also discusses the importance of training managers and supervisors to recognize and properly handle those requests—especially accommodations regarding COVID-19. Read more...

DOL FAQs on FFCRA Leave (September 2020)

Following passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the U.S. Department of Labor issued, and subsequently added to, Q&As about the implementation of the law's leave provisions. This Compliance Bulletin describes the DOL Q&As and links to them. Read more...

IRS Issues Guidance on Payroll Tax Deferment Presidential Order (August 2020)

On Aug. 28, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-65 (the Notice) to provide guidance for affected employers. Employer participation in these deferrals is permitted, but not required. Read more...

States Update Leave Rules in Response to Coronavirus (August 2020)

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new employee leave laws and issued new regulations and guidance on existing leave laws and programs. This Compliance Bulletin briefly summarizes new state leave rules for workers affected by COVID-19. It has been updated to include California supplemental paid sick leave, Philadelphia public health emergency leave, and new family leave rules in Oregon. Read more...

DOL Issues Guidance on Tracking Hours of Work for Remote Employees (August 2020)

On Aug. 24, 2020, the DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-5 to remind employers of their obligation to accurately account for the number of hours their employees work away from the employer’s facilities. While the bulletin was issued in response to the high number of employees working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOL is also reminding employers that the underlying principles apply to other telework or remote work arrangements. Read more...

COVID-19 Rescue/Recovery Package 4.0; PPP Expansion and Forgiveness; Payroll and Unemployment Benefit Executive Orders (August 2020)

Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are now in recess until September 8 and 14, respectively, leaving emergency unemployment compensation and Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness and additional funding hanging in the balance. Read more...

NY Federal Court Partially Vacates FFCRA Leave Regulations (August 2020)

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has struck down portions of regulations issued under the leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Legal Update summarizes the court ruling. Read more...

CDC Guidance Regarding COVID-19 Testing Scenarios (July 2020)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), employers may utilize employee testing as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. This HR Insights article provides an overview of each of the five scenarios as described by the CDC. Read more...

Deciding Who Should Continue to Work From Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic (July 2020)

This HR Insights article will provide an overview of best practices for employers to consider when determining which employees should continue to work from home during the pandemic. Read more...

States Update Employee Leave Requirements for Coronavirus (July 2020)

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new employee leave laws and issued new regulations and guidance on existing leave laws and programs. This Compliance Bulletin briefly summarizes new state leave rules designed for workers affected by COVID-19. The document has been updated for new measures in California, Colorado and the District of Columbia. Read more...

DOL Releases More Q&A's on Workplace Laws and Coronavirus (July 2020)

On July 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published additional Q&As addressing the application of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act in COVID-19 workplace situations. This Legal Update discusses the new guidance. Read more...

NY Order and Guidance Affect Employee Leave for COVID-19 (July 2020)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an order barring state leave for workers who travel to states on New York's COVID-19 travel advisory. In addition, New York state agencies have issued guidance on health care workers' eligibility for the leave. This legal update addresses the New York developments. Read more...

In the Know: Application Deadline for Small Business Loans Extended (July 2020)

Congress has passed legislation to extend the application deadline for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through Aug. 8, 2020. Prior to the extension, the deadline to apply for these funds was June 30, 2020. The extension enables eligible small businesses to apply for funding for five more weeks. The legislation has been sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign the measure into law. Read more...

DOL Launches Employee Tool for Assessing FFCRA Leave Eligibility (June 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor has created an online tool to help workers determine whether they qualify for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Legal Update describes the tool. Read more...

Determining Whether a COVID-19 Case Is Work-Related (June 2020)

This HR Insights piece will provide an overview of how employers can determine when a COVID-19 case is work-related, OSHA requirements for reporting illness and best practices for responding to an employee’s positive COVID-19 test. Read more...

SBA Releases Streamlined PPP Loan Forgiveness Form (June 2020)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury recently released a streamlined loan forgiveness application called the EZ Forgiveness Application. This In the Know article provides an overview of the newly released application. Read more...

FDA Warns of Possibly Toxic Hand Sanitizer (June 2020)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers to refrain from using nine brands of hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico. Learn more with this News Brief. Read more...

OSHA Issues Guidance for Reopening Nonessential Businesses (June 2020)

On June 18, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released guidance to help employers plan how to reopen nonessential businesses. The guidance also addresses issues employers should consider as they ask their employees to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more...

EEOC Updates Employer Guidance on Coronavirus and the ADA (June 2020)

On June 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an additional answer to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how employers should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. The additional FAQ, which addresses antibody tests, was added to guidance that the EEOC originally issued on March 18, 2020, and updated on April 9, 17, 23, May 7, and June 11, 2020. This HR Compliance Bulletin contains the EEOC's FAQs. Read more...

Preparing for a Second Wave of COVID-19 Cases (June 2020)

Even as stay-at-home orders and restrictions are lifted, daily operations won’t be business-as-usual for many across the country. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still going on, despite businesses reopening. Moreover, public health officials and experts are warning of a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases. Read more...

Contact Tracing in the Workplace (June 2020)

Weeks ago, businesses across the country sent workers home to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Now, America is opening back up. With the coronavirus barely under control and no vaccine in sight, employers are considering every option for keeping their workers safe while still keeping their businesses afloat. “Contact tracing” is one of those options. Read more...

States Update Employee Leave Requirements for Coronavirus (June 2020)

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new laws and issued new regulations and guidance about employee leave taken for COVID-19 reasons. These provisions are in addition to the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion requirements passed on March 18 as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Read more...

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act Signed into Law; Additional Guidance Necessary (June 2020)

On June 5, 2020, the President signed into law H.R. 7010, the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act.” TechServe Alliance’s previous Legislative & Regulatory Updates and webinars have discussed expected and necessary changes to the PPP and Small Business Administration guidance and interim rules. The new legislation addresses many of those issues, but some additional tweaks and guidance will be necessary. Read more...

Congress Passes Bill Amending Paycheck Protection Program (June 2020)

Congress has passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which is a bill that provides borrowers with greater flexibility in spending Paycheck Protection Program funds without compromising forgiveness eligibility. The bill has been sent to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law. This In the Know article provides an overview of the bill. Read more...

In the Know: SBA Issues Two Additional PPP Final Interim Rules (May 2020)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released two additional final interim rules to provide further guidance for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan borrowers and lenders. This article provides an overview of those two rules. Read more...

States Update Employee Leave Requirements for Coronavirus (May 2020)

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new employee leave laws and issued new regulations and guidance on existing leave laws and programs. This Compliance Bulletin briefly summarizes new state leave rules designed for workers affected by COVID-19. Read more...

Common Employment Practices Claims Arising Out of COVID-19 (May 2020)

This HR Insights piece will serve as a guide to the most common potential causes of action related to COVID-19 that may lead to employment-related litigation. As is the case with all inherently legal issues, employers are strongly recommended to seek the guidance of legal counsel when faced with any of the claims discussed herein. Read more...

Reopening Workplaces During COVID-19 Chart (May 2020)

This chart is designed to help employers that are making decisions regarding reopening workplaces during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more...

Handling the Influx of Remote Work Requests (May 2020)

This HR Insights article provides guidance for handling the influx of remote work requests as offices and worksites reopen. Read more...

Accommodating At-Risk Employees Amid COVID-19 (May 2020)

What happens when returning to work itself may prevent employees from safely accomplishing their job functions? This article compiles some guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to help employers during the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance focuses on ADA accommodations as they pertain to “at-risk” employees. Read more...

CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response (May 2020)

This document briefly summarizes CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government response to COVID-19. Read more...

Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Guidance Issued; More Changes Expected (May 2020)

On Friday evening, May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury released the overdue requirements and forgiveness guidelines for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The guidance is in the form of instructions, definitions, and a fillable PDF application that the borrower seeking forgiveness would submit to the lender. Read more...

In the Know: SBA Unveils PPP Loan Forgiveness Application (May 2020)

(On June 3, 2020, Congress passed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, making significant adjustments to the SBA guidance and loan forgiveness application. Updates will be posted as soon as available. In the meantime, a summary of the changes is posted here.) The U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application (Application) and instructions for small businesses to use when applying for PPP loan forgiveness with their lender. This article provides a general overview of the Application and information about loan forgiveness eligibility under the PPP. Read more...

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (May 2020)

(On June 3, 2020, Congress passed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, making significant adjustments to the SBA guidance and loan forgiveness application. Updates will be posted as soon as available. In the meantime, a summary of the changes is posted here.) This application, which was released by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration, is for small businesses to use when applying for PPP loan forgiveness with their lender. Read more...

Safe Harbor Guidance on Paycheck Protection Loans (May 2020)

On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued guidance in advance of the May 18, 2020 deadline for borrowers to return certain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. [The safe harbor deadline to return loans has been extended several times.] Read more...

Pre-employment Screening Amid COVID-19 (May 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic and its disease, COVID-19, have disrupted HR departments across the country. Now might seem like the ideal time for hiring since millions of Americans are out of work. But pre-employment screening is slowing down the process. Read more...

Conducting a Remote Layoff (May 2020)

Conducting a layoff is never easy—and conducting a layoff virtually adds new challenges for employers. This HR Insights article provides a general overview of how to conduct a remote layoff. Read more...

In the Know: What to Do After Receiving a PPP Loan (May 2020)

In response to the debilitating effect the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on small businesses across the country, the federal government funded a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). If your business secured a PPP loan, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. This article provides a general overview of PPP loans and what employers should do if they receive an approved PPP loan. Read more...

EEOC Delays EEO-1, EEO-3 and EEO-5 Reports Until 2021 (May 2020)

On May 8, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it will not collect EEO-1, EEO-3 or EEO-5 reports in 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This Legal Update provides more information. Read more...

PPP Guidance for Employees Refusing to Return to Work (May 2020)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently issued new guidance regarding the Payment Protection Program (PPP), established to offset the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This new guidance from the SBA concerns employees who refuse to return to work after a business reopens. Read more...

Business Travel After COVID-19 (May 2020)

This HR Insights article explores the ways that business travel may be different once the threat of COVID-19 subsides. Read more...

EEOC Updates Employer Guidance on Coronavirus and the ADA (May 2020)

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) during the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. The additional FAQs were added to guidance that the EEOC originally issued on March 18, 2020, and updated on April 9, 17, and 23, 2020. This HR Compliance Bulletin contains the EEOC's FAQs. Read more...

Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQ (May 2020)

These are frequently asked questions (FAQs) about paycheck protection program loans from the U.S. Treasury Department. Read more...

Federal Agencies Issue COVID-19 Relief for Employee Benefit Plans (May 2020)

The Departments of Labor and the Treasury have issued deadline relief to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and plan service providers that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This Legal Update summarizes the deadline relief. Read more...

Guide to Creating a Return to Work Action Plan (May 2020)

This guide can be used as a tool to create a return to work action plan in preparation for reopening a business following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please note that it follows health and safety guidance laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA, but does not account for state, local or industry-specific guidance related to COVID-19. Read more...

Effectively Leading Remote Teams (May 2020)

When leading virtual teams, employers can boost productivity and keep employees engaged by addressing the unique needs of remote employees. This article addresses challenges of leading remote teams, considerations for leaders and how employers can take actions for success in the remote environment. Read more...

IRS Section 139 Qualified Disaster Relief Payments and Coronavirus (April 2020)

Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code allows employers to provide qualified disaster relief payments to their employees free of income and employment taxes. A qualified disaster relief payment includes any amount paid by an employer to reimburse or pay “reasonable and necessary” personal, family, living or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a qualified disaster. This Compliance Overview presents information on how Section 139 works and how it may apply to the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more...

DOL Now Fully Enforcing FFCRA Paid Leave Rules for Coronavirus (April 2020)

After observing a 30-day nonenforcement period to help employers come into compliance with new paid leave rules, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it is fully enforcing all provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Read more...

NY Sues Trump Administration Over FFCRA Paid Leave Rules (April 2020)

A lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) alleges that regulations issued by the federal agency unlawfully narrowed workers’ eligibility for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA). Read more...

Designing a Post-coronavirus Office (April 2020)

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many aspects of the current workplace, and soon, employers should begin planning for what their post-coronavirus office will look like. Previously, social distancing and COVID-19-related best practices hadn’t been a topic on the mind of most employers or employees. By updating office layouts, encouraging new behaviors and expanding remote work options, employers can help prevent the spread of future diseases, and protect the health and safety of employees. Read more...

Return to Work Plans Following the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 2020)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has interrupted many businesses across the country. While it’s unclear how long COVID-19 will continue to affect organizations, many employers are looking to the future of employees returning to work. Read more...

Congress Passes $480 Billion Coronavirus Relief Package (April 2020)

On Thursday, April 23, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on and passed the newest coronavirus aid bill, which includes funding for small businesses, hospitals and coronavirus testing. The bill now heads to President Donald Trump, who indicated he will sign it into law quickly. Read more...

Senate Passes $484 Billion Coronavirus Relief Package (April 2020)

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer stated that an agreement had been reached regarding the newest coronavirus aid package, which includes funding for small businesses, hospitals and coronavirus testing. This News Brief explains further. Read more...

Reopening a Business After the Coronavirus Shutdown (April 2020)

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to have an unprecedented effect on daily life, many business owners are looking forward to the future and a return to normalcy. However, even when stay-at-home orders are lifted and nonessential businesses are allowed to resume operations, there’s a lot for organizations to consider before they reopen their doors. Read on to learn more. Read more...

Preventing Remote Employee Burnout During the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 2020)

This HR Insights article explains how employers can help prevent burnout while employees work remotely during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Read more...

Opening Up America Again Guidelines (April 2020)

This resource from the White House was provided to state governors on April 16, 2020, during a phone call about next steps for the country. The document outlines guidelines for reopening the states as the coronavirus pandemic eases. It's unclear how these plans may change in the future. Read more...

IRS Extends Deadline for Forms 5500 Due Before July 1, 2020 (April 2020)

IRS Notice 2020-23 extends the Form 5500 filing deadline for retirement and welfare plans that have an original or extended filing deadline on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. These plans have until July 15, 2020, to file their Forms 5500. This Legal Update summarizes the extension. Read more...

HR Insights: Furloughs and Layoffs (April 2020)

The last thing employees and employers want is lost jobs. However, reality sometimes forces the situation, as is the case with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Many businesses without the ability to have employees work from home have been ordered to close by the government, compelling employers to make tough decisions—namely, whether to lay off staff or furlough them. Read more...

CARES Act Makes Changes for Retirement Plans (April 2020)

The CARES Act makes a variety of coronavirus-related changes for retirement plans. These changes affect tax-qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, 403(a) and 403(b) plans, and governmental 457(b) plans. This Compliance Bulletin summarizes key changes, including the new rules for in-service distributions to COVID-19 impacted participants. Read more...

DOL Issues Corrections to FFCRA Regulations (April 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor has released corrections to recent regulations published under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Legal Update summarizes the corrections. Read more...

Treasury Secretary Says More Funding Coming for Small Businesses (April 2020)

On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that small businesses don’t need to worry about not being able to receive funding from the U.S. government in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This News Brief explains further. Read more...

Unemployment Benefits for Coronavirus Under the CARES Act (April 2020)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides federal funding for states to provide expanded benefits, including an additional $600 for certain weeks, under their unemployment insurance (UI) benefit programs. This Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of the UI provisions of the CARES Act and includes information about related guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. Read more...

DOL Regulations for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (April 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued temporary regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, providing employers with information to help them meet their new paid leave requirements under the law. This Compliance Bulletin addresses highlights of the regulations. Read more...

Updated DOL FAQs - Families First Coronavirus Response Act (April 2020)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides eligible workers with paid leave for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This HR Compliance Bulletin contains questions and answers issued by the DOL to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. This document includes the FAQs issued Apr. 3, 2020. Read more...

FFCRA Small Employer Exemption: DOL Guidance (April 2020)

Effective April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), requires all private employers that have fewer than 500 employees to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave (paid leave) for specified reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the FFCRA includes a provision under which certain small employers may qualify for an exemption from two of the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements. Read more...

IRS FAQs: FFCRA Tax Credits for Small and Midsize Businesses (April 2020)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the FFCRA) tax credits apply to small and midsize businesses. The FFCRA, was signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19. Read more...

Employee Retention Tax Credits for Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (April 2020)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) creates an employee retention tax credit, which is designed to encourage eligible employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19. Read more...

Employee Retention Tax Credits for Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus (April 2020)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) creates an employee retention tax credit, which is designed to encourage eligible employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19. Read more...

CARES Act – Small Business Loan Overview (April 2020)

In response to the American economy reeling from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the federal government recently signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Among other provisions, the CARES Act provides businesses suffering under the debilitating effects of the pandemic with unprecedented access to emergency loans. This document will serve as an overview of the loan programs available. Read more...

Federal Financial Relief Available for IT & Engineering Staffing Firms: The Details & Applications (April 2020)

In the past two weeks, Congress has passed two major financial rescue bills that provide economic relief to businesses and workers. While we have been taking educated guesses on how the laws will be implemented, the agencies have rapidly developed guidance and temporary regulations. Read more...

CARES Act Makes Changes for Health Plans (April 2020)

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law to provide $2.2 trillion in federal funding to address the COVID-19 crisis. The CARES Act makes a variety of changes affecting health plans. Read more...

DOL Clarifies Exemptions to Coronavirus Paid Leave Laws (March 2020)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide eligible employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Small businesses and employers of health care providers or emergency responders may qualify for exemptions to these leave requirements. This Compliance Bulletin includes the Department of Labor's FAQs on these exemptions. Read more...

States Update Employee Leave Requirements for Coronavirus (March 2020)

In the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new employee leave laws and issued new regulations and guidance on existing leave laws and programs. This Compliance Bulletin briefly summarizes new state leave rules designed for workers affected by COVID-19. Read more...

President Trump Extends Federal Social Distancing Guidelines Through April 30 (March 2020)

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, President Donald Trump announced he was extending the federal social distancing guidelines for an additional 30 days to help contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Learn more with this News Brief. Read more...

I-9 Form In-Person Rule May Be Deferred for Coronavirus (March 2020)

Under guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 20, 2020, employers will not necessarily have to be in the physical presence of a new employee when verifying his or her identity as part of the I-9 Form process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This Legal Update provides information about the DHS' guidance. Read more...

CARES Act Expands Health Coverage Rules (March 2020)

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide $2.2 trillion in federal funding to address the coronavirus crisis. The new law also includes several provisions affecting health plan coverage. This Legal Update summarizes the CARES Act's coverage changes. Read more...

$2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill Signed Into Law (March 2020)

On Friday, March 27, 2020—after days of debate— the president approved a $2 trillion economic rescue package designed to provide financial assistance to Americans and their families, and billions of dollars in loans for businesses. The package is the largest fiscal stimulus in modern U.S. history and is the government’s most recent response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Read more...

In The Know: Understanding the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package (March 2020)

This document provides an overview of the $2 trillion stimulus package, which is designed to provide financial assistance for those struggling as a result of the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak. Read more...

DOL: New Coronavirus Paid Leave Requirements Take Effect April 1 (March 2020)

The paid leave provisions of the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act will go into effect April 1, 2020, according to Q&As released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Specifically, the guidance states these provisions apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. Read more...

Relaxed Enforcement Expected as Coronavirus Paid Leave Law Becomes Effective (March 2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has directed its field staff to observe a temporary nonenforcement period for the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Read more...

Coronavirus Stimulus Direct Payments FAQ (March 2020)

Congress is close to passing a $2 trillion stimulus bill to help offset the financial burdens created by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The bill proposes to send direct payments to Americans. This article contains answers to questions you may have about those payments. Read more...

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Questions and Answers (March 2020)

As part of sweeping legislation—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)—signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020, two laws were enacted that provide workers with paid leave for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read more...

Employee Compensation and Benefits During Closures and Furloughs (March 2020)

As business closures increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are faced with questions about compensation and health benefit coverage for their employees. Government relief measures may provide compensation for businesses and individuals in certain situations. In other cases, existing rules on employee rights will apply. Read more...

Congress Agrees to $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill (March 2020)

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020—after days of debate—Congress agreed to a $2 trillion economic rescue package designed to provide financial assistance to Americans and their families, and billions of dollars in loans for businesses. Voting is expected midday. The package is the largest fiscal stimulus in modern U.S. history and is the government’s most recent response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Read more...

Cutting Sales In Challenging Times

TechServe Sales & Recruiting Management Program
March 2020 Newsletter
Driving results through increased activity of the right kind is what good sales and recruiting management is all about. Make certain that the methods, measurements, and activities are clearly defined and in place so that your organization weathers this perplexing storm. Read more...

DOL Outlines Coronavirus Relief Law’s Paid Leave Requirements (March 2020)

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued guidance explaining the paid leave requirements under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The FFCRA expanded the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow partially compensated employee leave for child care purposes related to COVID-19. The FFCRA also provided for employee paid sick leave for specific COVID-19-related reasons, including an employee’s own illness or quarantine. The Act included other measures to address the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on workers. Read more...

Engaging Remote Employees During the Coronavirus Pandemic (March 2020)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented changes for many industries. As social distancing is encouraged, gatherings with over 10 people are banned and stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders for all nonessential employees are issued, many employers are asking their employees to work from home. Read more...

IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus Paid Leave (March 2020)

Employers with fewer than 500 employees may begin using two new refundable payroll tax credits to obtain reimbursement for the costs of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 20, 2020. This document provides the guidance. Read more...

COVID-19 and Immigration Updates: Form I-9 Guidance, Border Closures, and More (March 2020)

This article briefly summarizes the recent governmental guidance on Form I-9 requirements, travel, and visa processing and services, among other matters, in response to the national emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. As this is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation, employers should monitor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) websites and consult with their employment immigration counsel to ascertain whether the guidance has evolved, warranting a reassessment of business strategies. Read more...

Important Updates on Coronavirus and the Workplace (March 2020)

COVID-19 is now a global pandemic and employers across the country must determine what measures to keep employees safe and comply with the law. This presentation outlines best practices for addressing the risks of communicable illness and disruption at work, discusses the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act and reviews agency guidance on how COVID-19 affects existing workplace laws. Read more...

New Coronavirus Relief Law Requires Paid Employee Leave (March 2020)

As part of sweeping legislation enacted in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Congress has enacted two laws requiring employers to provide paid leave for coronavirus-related reasons. This Compliance Bulletin discusses those laws. Read more...

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Detailed Analysis (March 2020)

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: New Law Provides Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave

On March 18, 2020, the Senate passed 90-8-2 H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.” The President immediately signed the bill into law, which is effective no later than 15 days of enactment.

The Families First Act requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide 14 days paid sick leave and 12 weeks of unpaid/paid family leave under certain, limited circumstances. Specifically, paid sick and family leave benefits may not payable if the employee is able to work remotely. The Labor Department is also authorized to issue regulations to exempt employers with less than 50 employees from the paid sick and family leave provisions. The paid leave provisions sunset on December 31, 2020. Read more...

Working Remote: Q&A with Scott Grausnick, CEO of Harbinger Partners

The possible spreading of COVID-19 is making the move to a virtual workplace a necessity. Businesses that haven’t allowed employees to work from home full-time are needing to make it happen quickly. For companies, it may be overwhelming right now, but there are enormous benefits for both the employer and the employee. Read more...

Legal Update--Coronavirus Law Enacted, Requires Paid Employee Leave (March 2020)

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed a coronavirus aid law previously passed by the House in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the measures included in the law are provisions requiring employers to provide paid leave for reasons related to the illness. This Legal Update summarizes those provisions. Read more...

Updated House Passes Corrected Coronavirus Relief Bill (See Legal Update) (March 2020)

On Monday, March 16, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved technical corrections to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) that make substantive changes to its provisions. The U.S. Senate may take up the bill on Tuesday, March 17. The bill must be passed by both the House and Senate, and signed by the president, to become law. Read more...

NEW - States Relax Unemployment Benefit Eligibility for COVID-19

As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, several states have announced adjustments to their unemployment insurance (UI) programs for employees who are out of work because of the COVID-19 outbreak. These states include Alabama, California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Additional states are expected to issue similar guidance in the near future. Each state administers a separate UI program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law. Read more...

DOL FAQs COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (March 2020)

In light of the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, the Department of Labor (DOL) has published answers to frequently asked questions on how employers can stay in compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which regulates wage and hour conditions for employees. Read more...

No Gatherings of 10 or More People, President Trump Says

In a press conference on Monday, March 16, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that Americans should avoid gatherings of 10 or more people and avoid seating at bars and restaurants to stem the spread of the coronavirus. This announcement comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that gatherings of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed for at least eight weeks, which would be until early May, due to the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Read more...

Updated House Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill (See Update) (March 2020)

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 14, 2020. President Trump has endorsed the legislation. However, there is uncertainty over when the U.S. Senate will vote on the bill. Read more...

Thinking It Through: Wage and Hour Implications of Employer Responses to the Coronavirus (March 2020)

The spread of the novel coronavirus and associated outbreak of the COVID-19 disease raise challenging questions for employers. This article describes some of the U.S. wage and hour implications resulting from employers’ measures addressing the COVID-19 outbreak, including compensation for employees who are quarantined or furloughed, business expense reimbursement, reporting time pay, and predictive scheduling laws.

50 State Resource on Paid Leave Obligations
Certain states and localities consider office or school closures due to public health concerns a "covered use" under Paid Sick Leave laws. TechServe Alliance members can use the ComplianceHR Navigator Leave compliance module, to quickly access up-to-date leave laws and requirements, get guidance on next step action items, and so much more – all while reducing your risk of exposure and liability. Read more...

Economic Analysis: The Impact of COVID-19 and the Collapse of Oil Prices (March 2020)

In an ongoing effort to keep you informed, your TechServe Alliance Member Services Team is providing the following link to the Trends Report available to members each month. This most recent report discusses ITR Economics' assessment of the economic impact of the coronavirus. It is a thoughtful non-emotional analysis of both the current and projected economic landscape. ITR Economics' key takeaway: Keep Calm and Carry On.

The ITR Trends Report is available to TechServe Alliance members each month. Read more...

Coronavirus - Resources for IT & Engineering Staffing Firms (March 2020)

As the number of reported cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rise, employers are increasingly confronted with the possibility of an outbreak in the workplace.

Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees, but are also subject to a number of legal requirements protecting workers. For example, employers must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in their approach to dealing with COVID-19. This Compliance Bulletin provides a summary of the compliance issues facing employers in this type of situation. Read more...

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