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Free and Extended COBRA Coverage Under The American Rescue Plan Act Of 2021: Update (US)

Section 9501 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”)[1] requires employers to offer free COBRA coverage to certain individuals between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. The ARPA provides tax credits to employers to offset the cost of the COBRA coverage. The right to free COBRA coverage extends to some individuals … Continue Reading

American Rescue Plan Tax Credits for Employers Who Voluntarily Provide FFCRA Leave – Supplement

This is a Supplement to our post on March 25, 2021 regarding Section 9641 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”). This Supplement addresses state and local governmental employers. Section 9641 of the Rescue Plan makes available tax credits to offset the costs borne by certain employers who voluntarily provide emergency paid … Continue Reading

American Rescue Plan Tax Credits for Employers Who Voluntarily Provide Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave (US)

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Rescue Plan”).[1] This post reviews Section 9641 of the Rescue Plan, which makes available tax credits to certain employers who voluntarily provide paid time sick leave and family and medical act leave to employees for absences occasioned by the … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of March 15, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of March 15. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this … Continue Reading

Free and Extended COBRA Coverage Under The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (US)

Section 9501 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”)[1] requires employers to extend offers of free COBRA coverage to certain individuals for the period from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. The ARPA then provides tax credits as means of offsetting the costs of the free COBRA coverage. The law also … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends the Availability of Student Loan Forgiveness (US)

Section 2206 of the CARES Act allowed an exclusion of up to $5,250 from an employee’s gross income, if an employer paid principal or interest on an employee’s “Qualified Education Loan”. Section 2206 of the CARES Act was only designed to be in effect for calendar year 2020. However, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the … Continue Reading

Qualified Disaster Tax Relief – Retirement Plans and Employee Retention Credits (US)

Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has also had its share of other disasters, including hurricanes, floods and fires. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”) has provisions that are designed to provide tax relief for individuals and employers who have been adversely affected by one of the numerous federally declared “Qualified Disasters”. These provisions of … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends the Availability of Employee Retention Credits (US)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”) extends through June 30, 2021, the Employee Retention Credit provisions of Section 2301 of the CARES Act. It also favorably modifies the rules for claiming the Employee Retention Credits. These changes are generally effective as of January 1, 2021. These provisions of the CAA are found in Sections … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Ruling Limits Insurer and Employer Contraceptive Obligations (US)

Earlier this month the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a regulation adopted under the Trump administration significantly cutting back the requirement that insurers and group health plans provide coverage for contraceptives without cost sharing under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).… Continue Reading

School’s Out For….Ever?? Preparing for COVID-19-Related Attendance Challenges (US)

It seems like just yesterday that spring school terms were cancelled thanks to the coronavirus. Employees left the workplace en masse, sometimes without choice thanks to government shutdown orders, while others left suddenly to begin involuntary tours of duty as homeschool teachers with no training whatsoever, myself included. (My daughter’s strident request for a substitute … Continue Reading

New Electronic Delivery Option for ERISA Retirement Plan Information (US)

There is a new electronic delivery option for retirement plan sponsors who are looking for an easier and more efficient means of providing required plan information disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries. Retirement plan administrators can now electronically notify participants and beneficiaries that certain disclosures are available on a specified website. In addition, retirement plan … Continue Reading

IRS Guidance Provides Employers with the Ability to Offer a Second Open Enrollment Period for the 2020 Plan Year and Provides Greater Flexibility for Making Mid-Year Cafeteria Plan Elections (US)

Providing much needed assistance to employees’ who were blindsided by COVID-19 and who were incapable of making health care coverage elections with COVID-19 in mind, the IRS on May 12, 2020, provided temporary relief that allows employers, during 2020, to expand the permissible reasons for employees to make prospective mid-year election changes to their health … Continue Reading

Top 10 Employment and Employee Benefit Issues in US Bankruptcy Cases

Bankruptcy is a term that tends to instill images of “For Sale” or “Everything Must Go” signs posted in windows, but this often is not the case. In fact, a bankruptcy filing is one way for a business to refocus its efforts and reorganize. Indeed, throughout history, many Fortune 500 companies have at some point … Continue Reading

Navigating Employee Return-to-Work Issues (US)

On Friday, May 15, 2020, Arizona’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order will expire. At that time, only a handful of states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) will still be under broad stay-at-home restrictions, but even those remaining states will begin the phased reopening process between May 15 and 30. As employers begin … Continue Reading

Employer’s Guide to Return-to-Work Issues: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (US)

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has changed life as we know it, including by severely disrupting business on a nationwide scale.  In some cases, employers have been forced to temporarily close their doors and cease operations, while others have had to make radical changes to the workplace in order to maintain operations. … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part One of a Five-Part Series (US)

During the second half of March 2020, the US Congress passed three landmark pieces of legislation addressing the COVID-19 (a/k/a novel coronavirus) pandemic.  One of these was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  Under this law, employers of fewer than 500 employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to 80 hours of … Continue Reading

US Department of Labor Publishes Regulations Clarifying Various Aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Some questions answered, many still remain On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new regulations (29 CFR Part 826), attempting to clarify certain provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  As we previously reported here, under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provision of the FFCRA, certain public employers and … Continue Reading

The CARES Act of 2020: Key COVID-19 Relief Provisions Impacting Your Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans (US)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, enacted and sent to the President for his signature on March 27, 2020, is bipartisan legislation providing more than US$2 trillion in relief for both companies and families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It includes a number of provisions designed to … Continue Reading

Looking for a Way to Save on Severance Costs? Why Not Consider a SUB Plan? (US)

US employers who pay severance benefits may realize substantial savings by structuring their severance payments under a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan. A SUB plan provides benefits similar to a traditional severance plan. Unlike traditional severance payments, benefits under a SUB plan are tied to the former employee’s receipt of state unemployment insurance (SUI) benefits … Continue Reading

Reducing personnel costs in the Corona crisis: how Germany supports employers

Germany supports employers by facilitating the payment of short-time work benefits (“KUG”). KUG is a service provided by the Federal Employment Agency to safeguard jobs and avoid redundancies when employees are temporarily unable to be employed. The previous regulations in this regard have been considerably improved. The new regulation is limited in time and is … Continue Reading

Top 10 Employee Benefits Issues in a Slowing Economy (US)

The changes in the economy brought on by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly known as the “coronavirus,” present challenges to employers trying to manage their greatest resource – employees. A cross-practice team involving our Tax Strategy & Benefits, Labor & Employment and Data Privacy & Security lawyers have published this alert that identifies some of … Continue Reading

Changes in Polish employment laws bring new costs:benefits equation

This Autumn brings quite a few changes for Polish employers. Not only do new pension plans called PPK (Pracownicze Plany Kapitałowe) became a reality for the biggest Polish employers in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the Labour Code and Code of Civil Procedure see changes too. Some of them result in a need to … Continue Reading

Growing Trend Towards Unlimited Paid Time Off: Best Practices (US)

Unlimited paid time off (“PTO”) is one of the new “it” workplace policies.  Adopted as both a means to attract and retain employees as well as to avoid having to coordinating and track specific grants of paid PTO or vacation– a task which can be arduous, particularly for smaller businesses – some employers have done … Continue Reading
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