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<< Older News  |  April 7, 2020

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Text of Updated DOL FFCRA Questions and Answers
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 6, 2020

Two questions have been updated to provide additional detail:

  1. What records do I need to keep when my employee takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?
  2. What documents do I need to give my employer to get paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

Tags: FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

FFCRA Documentation and Record Keeping: What Employers Need to Know
Ice Miller LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"Somewhat surprisingly, the Regulations do not mention specific documentation for certain types of leave available under FFCRA, such as a copy of the doctor's order or advice to quarantine or isolate. Any records that are required must be retained by the employer for a period of four years."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

Legal Concerns Put Shadow Over Push for Alternative Investments in DC Plans
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"The recent pandemic-induced market volatility could make the concept of adding alternative assets to defined contribution plan lineups more attractive for sponsors, but litigation concerns persist[.]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments: Misc. Issues

DOL Regs Answer Questions About Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Under the FFCRA
Jackson Walker Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"Who is a covered employer for purposes of emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA? ... Which employees should be counted to determine if an employer meets the 500 employee threshold? Do furloughed employees count? ... Are separate but related entities to be combined to measure whether the 500-employee threshold applies? ... How do small businesses (i.e., employers with less than 50 employees) claim an exemption[?]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

Editor's Pick COVID-19 and the Pros and Cons of Paid Leave Donations and Leave-Sharing Policies in California
Ogletree Deakins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"In some workplaces, generous co-workers are willing to donate their paid time off to the sick employee, and employers are exploring ways to implement paid-time-off donation or leave-sharing policies. As with everything in California, paid-time-off donation and leave-sharing policies present challenges and, if not implemented correctly, could come back to haunt the employer and the employees."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

Michigan Governor Expands COVID-19 Paid Medical Leave Rights and Anti-Retaliation Protections
Ogletree Deakins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"[Under Executive Order (EO) 2020-36], employers must treat employees particularly at risk of infecting others with COVID-19 as if they were taking medical leave under the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act even if they do not have paid leave available to use. An employee in one [certain] categories is entitled to unpaid leave beyond the limits established by the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act until [specified] time periods have lapsed. However, employers may debit the time off from the employee’s accrued leave banks."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

Answering Questions About COVID-19 and Your Non-Governmental 457(b) Plans (PDF)
Fulcrum Partners LLC Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"As a participant in a non-governmental 457(b) plan, can I cancel, reduce, or change my deferral election? ... Can I take a distribution from my plan due to COVID-19?  ... As a plan sponsor, can I reduce or remove the match or other employer contributions?  ... How do I handle employees on leave?"

Tags: 457 Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DOL Publishes Fourth Round of FAQs on Paid Leave Law
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"In its latest round, DOL reiterated much of what it pronounced in EPSL and FMLA+ regulations issued earlier last week. Notably, the DOL again touched upon shelter-in-place orders and their impact on EPSL and FMLA+, further explained various reasons for EPSL, and fine-tuned some earlier answers."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

DOL Releases FFCRA Regs and Even More Informal Guidance: What Employers Need to Know
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"An employee working at their normal worksite may agree with the employer to utilize EPSLA leave intermittently to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable.... [A] school or place of care is 'closed' for purposes of EPSLA and EFMLEA leave even if instruction is being provided online.... [E]mployees on a voluntary leave of absence may end their leave of absence and begin taking EPSLA or EFMLEA leave if a qualifying reason prevents them from being able to work (or telework). However, employees may not take EPSLA or EFMLEA leave if they were on a mandatory leave of absence."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

CARES Act Waiver of 2020 Required Minimum Distributions
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"The CARES Act waives RMDs for 2020. Note that this waiver of RMDs for 2020 is not limited to those who are affected by COVID-19. This waiver of RMDs applies to [1] any account owner who is 72 or older in 2020, [2] any account owner who turned 70-1/2 in 2019, did not take his or her RMDs in 2019 and planned to take his or her delayed RMDs by April 1, 2020, and [3] all beneficiaries of inherited IRAs for decedents who died prior to 2020."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

COVID-19 Considerations: Midyear Reductions or Suspensions of Employer and Matching Contributions to 401(k) and Defined Contribution Plans
Mintz Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"An employer's ability to reduce, suspend, or defer these types of contributions is determined by plan type and terms and applicable law and guidance. Generally, it should be possible to make prospective changes to reduce an employer's contribution obligations. Doing so retroactively is more challenging. This post reviews the options for cost cutting available to employers under their defined contribution 401(k) and profit sharing plans."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Admininstration  •  Retirement Plan Design

DOL Issues Temporary Regs on the FFCRA
Stinson Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"A significant change from the previous DOL guidance is the rule's clarification that employees may qualify for paid leave due to a stay-at-home or other executive order, but only if two conditions are met: [1] the employee would have been able to perform work that is otherwise allowed or permitted by the employer; and [2] the employer has work for the employee."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

Reg BI and Form CRS: Firms Must Comply by June 30 But Examiners Will Apply a 'Good Faith Effort' Standard
Wilmer Hale Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"While the Chairman's statement acknowledged the challenges that firms are facing and the significant resources they are allocating in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the SEC will not provide an extension.... [R]egulators may show some restraint in their examination of firms, at least in the initial post-June 30th period,,, This restraint, however, will be predicated on firms having made a 'good faith effort' to implement policies and procedures necessary to comply with Reg BI and Form CRS by the compliance date."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments: Misc. Issues

March 2020 Pension Finance Update
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"Tumbling stock markets dealt another blow to pension sponsors in March.... Plan A lost 3% in March, ending the quarter 13% lower than at the end of 2019, while Plan B slipped more than 1% and is now down more than 4% for the year."

Tags: Funding of Defined Benefit Pension Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments: Misc. Issues

DOL Issues Regs to Help Implement the FFCRA
Duane Morris LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"[K]ey takeaways [discussed in this article]: [1] Employers with fewer than 50 employees can deny FFCRA leave if the employer determines that certain conditions are met; [2] Paid sick leave under the EPSLA is not available where the employer does not have work for the employee ... [3] An employer can require an employee to use leave available under a separate employer policy ... concurrently with paid leave under the EFMLEA; [4] Intermittent leave under the FFCRA is available only if the employee and employer agree ... [5] Employers and employees must comply with specific notice and documentation requirements relating to FFCRA leave[.]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

IRS Guidance on FFCRA Sheds Light on Tax Credits and Leave Requirements
Franczek P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"[IRS] published 'Basic FAQs' regarding these tax credits, which include information about how employers can claim the credits on their tax returns and obtain advances on refunds to cover the cost. The guidance also answers some important questions about how employers should interpret and document an employee's entitlement to leave under the FFCRA."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

How the Coronavirus Could Permanently Cut Near-Retirees' Social Security
Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"Assuming a 15 percent decline in the Social Security Administration's measure of economywide average wages in 2020, a middle-income worker born in 1960 could have his annual Social Security benefits in retirement reduced by around 13 percent, with losses over the retirement period in excess of $70,000. Methods of addressing this problem are discussed, including both ad hoc adjustments applying only to affected cohorts, and also permanent changes to the benefit formula to prevent similar benefit 'notches' from occurring in the future."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Social Security

Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer (PDF)
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

33 pages. "10% to 15% of participants are in plans that are projected to become insolvent in the next 20 years.... In its FY2018 Projections Report, PBGC indicated that the multiemployer insurance program is highly likely to become insolvent by 2025 and will be unable to pay 100% of participants' benefits at the guaranteed level." [R43305, updated Apr. 3, 2020]

Tags: Multiemployer Plans

Health and Welfare Provisions in the CARES Act
Trucker Huss Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"This article discusses: [1] the health plan provisions in the CARES Act, [2] possible plan amendments for those provisions, [3] certain other interesting health and welfare plan provisions in the CARES Act, and [4] some other potential legal updates that are not in the CARES Act, but that may appear in later legislation."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

COVID-19 Related Employee Benefits Issues for California Governmental Employers
Hanson Bridgett LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"[1] Must employers provide paid leave to employees who are absent from work due to the COVID-19 emergency? ... [2] Must employers continue to provide coverage under their group health plans while employees are on COVID-19 related paid sick leave or paid FMLA leave? ... [3] Does the [CARES] Act provide any tax relief for governmental employers? ... [4] Has CalPERS issued any guidance for contracting agencies about reporting employee data and contributions to CalPERS during the COVID-19 emergency, given the impact of COVID-19 closures to schools and public agencies?"

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA  •  Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Health Plan Administration Issues  •  State Regulation  •  State and Local Government Plans

D.C. Circuit Holds That Participant Who Signed Release Could Not Assert ERISA Fiduciary Breach Claims on Behalf of Her Retirement Plan
Mayer Brown Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"While many employers incorporate 'one-size-fits-all' release language into their agreements, when dealing with prospective ERISA claims, it is important to carefully review any applicable release language to ensure that it is both enforceable and sufficiently broad to cover ERISA fiduciary breach claims and other statutory claims.... [This article provides a list of items] employers should consider when evaluating their release agreements[.]" [Stanley v. George Washington Univ., No. 19-7079 (D.C. Cir. March 24, 2020)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties

Non-Qualified Plans and the Coronavirus
Newport Group Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2020

"This article provides timely information [about] ... [1] how participants may access their nonqualified plan accounts, [2] whether deferrals may be suspended, and [3] how to manage the plan in response to other human resources decisions including reductions in pay, changes to bonus programs, and temporary changes in an employee's status with the employer."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Comparing Paid Sick Leave Under U.S. and New York State Coronavirus Response Laws
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"Under both the federal and state laws, employees are only eligible for paid sick leave when they are scheduled to work but are unable to work (either on site or remotely via telework) for a statutorily specified reason.... Both the federal and state laws protect employees who take sick leave pursuant to the laws from retaliation or discrimination. [A chart] summarizes key differences between the federal and New York paid sick leave laws[.]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

City of Los Angeles Imposes New Paid Sick Leave Obligations on Employers with 500+ U.S. Employees
Hunton & Williams LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2020

"The Los Angeles City Council adopted an ordinance requiring employers with 500 or more employees nationally to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave in some instances. Designed to supplement the federal [FFCRA] ... the City's ordinance broadens the number of employers now required to provide paid COVID-19 related sick leave to certain employees."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Family and Medical Leave Benefits, Incl. FMLA

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Letter to Treasury, IRS, DOL, and PBGC on Benefit Plan Reporting Requirements
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Apr. 6, 2020

"Because of the current financial and staffing constraints, we request, among other items, that [1] the Agencies delay employee benefit plan reporting and disclosure to the full extent allowed by law; [2] provide for good faith compliance; and [3] allow employers additional time to comply with specific notice requirements."

Tags: Misc. Health Plan Administration Issues  •  Reporting by Plans to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Admininstration


<< Older News  |  April 7, 2020

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