Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 12, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Editor's PickIs There Any Relief for Working Pandemic Parents?

"[N]ot every parent qualifies for FFCRA leave, and even those eligible were limited to 12 weeks of leave.... The dependent care tax credit (DCTC) is another option for parents who cannot set DCAP money aside pre-tax through an employer's Section 125 cafeteria plan. Unfortunately, ... the federal reimbursement rules (which are essentially the same for both programs) are tricky to navigate and might benefit from pandemic-specific modifications."

MZQ Consulting, LLC

[Guidance Overview]

How Leave-Based Donation Programs Can Support the Business Community

"Employers generally may offer two different types of leave donation programs: [1] leave donation to an employer-designated public charity or private foundation and [2] a major disaster leave sharing program. Employees on leave for their own COVID-19 medical treatment could be beneficiaries of a medical leave sharing program; if an employee is not on medical leave, however, donating PTO to the employees would require a major disaster leave sharing program."

EisnerAmper

[Guidance Overview]

Complying with Colorado's New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Mandate

"Last month, Colorado enacted the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act requiring employers that are not covered by the federal [FFCRA] to provide COVID-related paid sick leave through December 31, 2020. Recent guidance from the Colorado [DOL] and Employment clarifies employer compliance obligations under the COVID-19 provisions of the new law."

Buck

IRS Allows Employees to Donate Paid Leave to Charity in 2020

"[Notice 2020-46] requires that the value of the leave be donated to a Code Section 170(c) charitable organization for the relief of victims of the COVID-19 pandemic in one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia or five U.S. territories ... The Notice also requires that the employer make the cash payments to the charity (or charities) by January 1, 2021."

Frost Brown Todd LLC

Caution Advised iconNY District Court Ruling Invalidates DOL's Final Rule Related to FFCRA

"The court's order would seem to render employees who are furloughed for lack of work to be eligible for EPSL if they experience a qualifying reason for EPSL while out on furlough.... The SDNY court also struck down any requirement that the employer must agree to intermittent leave under EPSLA. Intermittent leave is only available for conditions that are unrelated to any possible transmission of the virus by the employee." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC

Implications of COVID-19: Coverage Under Private Group Health and Disability Plans (PDF)

"While some states have regulations concerning short-term disability leave benefits for employees who are unable to work because they have COVID-19 symptoms, were exposed to COVID-19, or have been subject to mandatory or precautionary quarantine, states lack the authority to regulate most employer-sponsored benefits plans governed by ERISA. The DOL has not yet announced any analogous regulations specific to COVID-19. Overall, COVID-19 fears and financial instability caused by the pandemic are likely to cause a spike in the number of disability benefit claims that are filed over the next few months."

Robinson & Cole LLP, via For The Defense

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6055/6056 Reporting -- An Employer Cost or a Plan Cost?

"IRC section 6055/6056, as a result of ACA, requires reporting of health coverage. When the health coverage is provided under a single employer plan, is the cost to do this reporting an employer cost or is it a plan cost?"

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Benefits Litigation to Watch for Post-Pandemic
Holland & Knight, via Law360

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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