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

The first three installments of our five-part series analyzing the US Department of Labor regulations interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) examined eligibility and coverage issues.  Part One looked at which employees are eligible to take, and which employers are required to provide, emergency paid sick leave and public health emergency paid family … Continue Reading

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

The first two installments of our five-part in-depth analysis of the emergency paid sick leave and public health emergency paid family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – see here and here – analyzed the statutory language and regulations governing employer coverage, employee eligibility, the circumstances under which employees can request … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Paid Sick Leave Program and Extends PAUSE Restrictions (US)

In light of the ongoing pandemic crisis, on April 6, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he is extending the “PAUSE” restrictions in New York State, which means that non-essential businesses will remain closed until at least April 29, 2020. Additionally, last week on April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the FY 2021 Executive Budget: … Continue Reading

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

In the first part of our in-depth analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its accompanying regulations, we addressed employer coverage and employee eligibility issues under the new law.   In the second installment of this series, we turn to looking at the coronavirus-specific reasons upon which an employee can obtain FFCRA leave, … 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

EEOC Reminds Employers: Antidiscrimination Laws Continue to Apply During the COVID-19 Pandemic (US)

The United States currently is experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency due to the COVID-19 virus.  The economic fallout of this crisis has been sudden and brutal on US employers, with vast numbers of businesses ordered to close and nearly 1 million new unemployment claims filed in the past two weeks alone.  In response, Congress … 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

IRS Guidance Enables Employers to Immediately Access Tax Credits Under Coronavirus Relief Legislation (US)

Tax credits may be available to employers who are required to pay additional wages to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”).  Specifically, tax credits may be available to employers who are required to pay employees under the Emergency Sick Pay Leave and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave portions of the … Continue Reading

SBA Publishes Sample Application for Paycheck Protection Program Loans Under CARES Act (US)

Employers with fewer than 500 employees and those that are under the applicable Small Business Administration size standards have been eagerly awaiting more information on how to apply for and obtain loans under the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) portion of the CARES Act, passed to address the economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The … Continue Reading

UPDATED: New York State Issues Additional Guidance for Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill (US)

New York State’s COVID-19 sick leave law has been in effect since March 18, 2020 (see our prior posts here and here). Since then, several questions have remained largely unanswered for both New York employers and employees as they navigate the eligibility and application requirements of the new law, which offers individual job-protected paid or … Continue Reading

UPDATE: US Department of Labor Publishes Further Guidance Concerning Paid Sick Leave and Paid FMLA Leave under FFCRA; Finally Clarifies Small Business Exemption (US)

Since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became law last week (amazing how long ago that feels, right?), the US Department of Labor (DOL) has been publishing and updating guidance concerning the public health emergency paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave required under the law.  (See our prior … Continue Reading

NLRB General Counsel Issues Memorandum Summarizing Bargaining Obligations During Emergency Situations (US)

For those employers whose employees are represented by labor unions, the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have presented unique complications not shared by their employer counterparts whose operations are union-free.  Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), an employer is obligated to bargain with its employees’ exclusive bargaining representatives concerning mandatory subjects … 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

US DOL Releases Additional Guidance Regarding Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Coverage, With Special Focus on Employers Facing Furloughs and Worksite Closures

On March 25, we reported that the US Department of Labor (DOL) had begun to release informal guidance regarding its interpretation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires that certain employers, including, among others, private employers with fewer than 500  employees, provide paid sick and paid family leave in certain circumstances resulting … Continue Reading

CARES Act Passes Senate—Current Version Contains Major Implications for Employers (US)

In a late night vote on March 25, 2020, the Senate unanimously passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (‘‘CARES Act’’).  The CARES Act will, among other things, inject $2 trillion into the US economy if passed by the House of Representatives and signed by President Trump.  This is widely anticipated to occur … 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

US Department of Labor Releases Required Notice of Employee Rights Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

  The US Department of Labor (DOL) released on March 25, 2020 the notice to employees required under Section 5103 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The Notice is available here. The DOL also published responses to frequently asked questions about the notice, including where the notice must be posted and how it must … Continue Reading

DOL Issues Guidance, Clarifying Families First Coronavirus Response Act is Effective April 1 and Answering Some Open Questions (US)

While promising that the official regulations are still forthcoming, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has just issued additional guidance in the form of questions and answers for employers and employees regarding application of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These questions and answers – available here – include confirmation that the FFCRA’s paid … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Issues ADA Work-from-Home Decision, Right Before We All Start Working from Home (US)

Our colleague Justin DiCharia at Squire Patton Boggs’  Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog recently discussed the Sixth Circuit’s decision in a case involving an employee’s request to work from home as a disability accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  As Justin notes below, this decision came prior to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the massive … Continue Reading

Regulations under Families First Coronavirus Response Act Not Anticipated Until April (US)         

As we previously blogged, last week Congress passed and the President signed into law the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which contains sweeping provisions requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees impacted by in specific, enumerated … Continue Reading

Ohio Stay at Home Order as Applied to Schools and Other Public Employers (US)

All individuals in Ohio have been ordered to stay home except as necessary to engage in essential activities, and all non-essential businesses and operations have been ordered to cease, beginning at 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 23, 2020, under the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Stay at Home Order issued on March 22, 2020. The Stay at Home … Continue Reading

US Department of Homeland Security to Permit Flexibility Relating to I-9 Compliance for Hiring of Remote Employees

On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) in relation to hiring and re-verifying employees.  Prior to this announcement, DHS policy required employer representatives to conduct the I-9 verification process in person, examining an employee’s … Continue Reading

US Issues Joint Initiatives with Canada and Mexico Temporarily Restricting Travel Across Borders

Effective March 21, 2020, the United States entered into joint initiatives with Canada and Mexico to restrict travel across the land borders with each country.  All non-essential travel across the US-Canada and US-Mexico borders is temporarily restricted.  The restrictions are to remain in place for 30 days subject to review by each of the respective … Continue Reading
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