Posts tagged Coronavirus.

Between COVID-19 and social unrest, this year has seen many reservists and other members of the military called to active duty.  Unfortunately, military leave seems to be an issue with which even sophisticated employers struggle.  While not an exhaustive list, here are five things for employers to bear in mind about military leave.

  1. USERRA is extremely broad. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects civilian employment of military personnel, is very broad. Unlike most employment laws, it applies to almost all employers regardless of ...

Earlier this month, the Ohio legislature passed and the Governor signed into law House Bill 606, which provides qualified immunity to employers who are accused of spreading COVID-19. It goes into effect on December 13, 2020 and covers conduct between March 9, 2020 and September 30, 2021.  The new law provides immunity for businesses from customers and employees bringing lawsuits alleging exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19 in a place of business, unless the owner’s or employer’s actions amounted to reckless conduct or willful misconduct.  This is obviously good ...

As summer winds down, a lot of attention has been given to schools resuming classes.  Some schools are meeting in person fully or partially but many have moved to online classes for the foreseeable future.  Even schools meeting in person may be forced to change course depending on circumstances, e.g. students or teachers contracting COVID-19.  All of this means a great deal of uncertainty for working parents and a major issue for employers who will have to manage attendance and leave issues. 

As businesses begin the process of re-opening, many are finding that due to changed conditions, they are overstaffed. One possible solution to this problem is a reduction in force (RIF). In planning a RIF, there are a great many factors for employers to consider in the current environment, including the points listed below.

Today, the DOL announced publication of a final rule that expands the ability of retirement plans to deliver participant disclosures online or via email by establishing a new, voluntary safe harbor that allows the use of electronic media as a default for participant disclosures. The final rule is in response to the previously reported October, 2019 proposed rule which allowed plan administrators to notify retirement plan participants that required disclosures, such as SPDs, will be posted on a website. Here are some key points of the final rule:

As employers bring employees back into the workplace, many are considering various forms of testing as a means to promote employee safety. While some forms of testing are fairly straightforward, such as taking employees’ temperatures, laboratory testing for COVID-19 is not as simple. 

In Notice 2020-29 released on May 12, 2020, the IRS provides expanded options for participants with respect to 2020 mid-year election changes and also provides increased flexibility to apply unused amounts in health FSAs to medical care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020, and unused amounts in dependent care assistance programs to dependent care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020.  Although the temporary relief under Notice 2020-29 was issued in response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the relief is not limited to individuals affected by the pandemic. Specifically:

On May 4, 2020, the IRS issued Q&As on the coronavirus-related distribution and loan provisions added by Section 2022 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Section 2022 of the CARES Act (discussed in the March Monthly Minute) temporarily:

As Ohio businesses prepare to re-open, a question that has frequently come up is what to do about employees who refuse to return to work. We are referring to employees who are not sick or under any quarantine orders but do not want to return to work. Their reluctance is usually based on (1) fear of being exposed to COVID-19, (2) a lack of childcare because schools and daycares are closed or social distancing with nannies or other family members, or (3) making more money by staying home and collecting unemployment than they would by returning to work. 

Yesterday, the Governor issued guidance for the partial re-opening of Ohio’s economy.  The guidance includes specific directions for employers whose employees will be returning to work in several business sectors. 

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