Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 15, 2020

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Chicago IL

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[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconRevised FFCRA Regs Take Effect on Wednesday September 16

"For the most part, the DOL respectfully disagreed with the court, provided more explanation of the rationale for the existing regulations, and made minor tweaks or corrections. However, health care employers should note that the 'health care provider' exclusion from FFCRA eligibility has been significantly narrowed.... [H]ealth care employers who are subject to the FFCRA -- either because they have fewer than 500 employees or because they are public-sector employers -- will no longer be able to take advantage of a blanket exclusion of all employees from FFCRA eligibility." Icon to read more

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP

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[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconDOL Revises and Clarifies FFCRA Leave Rules

"While the DOL suggests that it is merely 'clarifying' its earlier guidance that intermittent leave is available only by agreement between employee and employer, the revised rule redefines 'intermittent' leave to exclude the some of the most common intermittent leave scenarios.... Given the potential for further court challenges, employers should also exercise caution before denying intermittent FFCRA leave in other situations." Icon to read more

Franczek P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconFFCRA: DOL Gets Back on the Rail

"The DOL still has until October 2, 2020, to appeal the court's decision, and its issuance of the temporary rule does not foreclose an appeal. However, the DOL's revisions make clear how it will interpret the FFCRA through the law's December 31, 2020, expiration date. Specifically, the DOL has reaffirmed its original interpretation of the FFCRA in large part and conceded some ground to the district court, primarily in the definition of 'health care provider.' " Icon to read more

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconDOL Revises FFCRA Regs in Response to New York Federal Court's Decision

"The DOL stood firm on its original position that an employer must have work available for an employee in order for the employee to be eligible for FFCRA leave.... [T]he DOL's revised regulation appears to address the New York district court's admonishment that its previous definition [of 'health care provider'] was too broad.... [T]he DOL's explanation of what types of leave are considered 'intermittent' may vary from the general understanding." Icon to read more

Miller Johnson

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconCalifornia Enacts Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

"On September 9, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1867, which requires private employers that employ 500 or more employees in the United States to provide California employees with paid sick time for COVID-19-related absences. The Act also codifies Executive Order N-51-20, ... which provided supplemental paid sick leave to food sector workers.... The Act and its provisions become effective on September 19, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020, or upon the expiration of any federal extension of the FFCRA, whichever is later." Icon to read more

Paul Hastings LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Leasing Healthcare Employees? Don't Overlook the Benefits Traps, Part I

"Several states that broadly regulate employee leasing place significant limitations on the ability of the lessor to offer self-funded group medical plan coverage to the leased employees. A few states bar the use of a self-funded group medical plan for leased employees. In other states, the compliance burdens make offering such a plan impracticable." Icon to read more

Bradley

[Opinion]

Amicus Brief of American Benefits Council to Tenth Circuit on Ruling That Deferential Standard of Review Requires Disclosure of Plan Administrator's Discretionary Authority

12 pages. "In a nationally unprecedented ruling, the panel majority held that, under ERISA, a deferential standard of review on judicial review of a benefits claim applies only where a plan administrator has disclosed 'its reservation of discretionary authority.'... The majority's requirement is counter to ERISA itself, the precedents addressing ERISA's standard of review, and [DOL] regulations. Furthermore, the majority's rule undermines the important interests that the standard of review protects: 'efficiency, predictability, and uniformity.' " [Lyn M. v. Premera Blue Cross, No. 18-4098 (10th Cir. Jul. 24, 2020)] Icon to read more

American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

Overpaying and Undersaving: Correlated Mistakes in Retirement Saving and Health Insurance Choices

"Many employees pick a more expensive health plan option, even when, for all possible spending realizations, lower costs are more likely in the cheapest plan. People who make mistakes in health insurance choices are more likely to save too little for retirement and forgo employer-matching funds. Employees with lower salaries and longer tenure have higher rates of shared mistakes. Employees who are younger and have shorter tenure and higher salaries are less likely to make mistakes in either domain." Icon to read more

TIAA Institute

Press Releases

OneDigital Acquires Resourceful HR
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of DOL Temporary Rule: Paid Leave Under the FFCRA
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Text of Updated DOL Q&As: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

View COVID-19 News and Resources

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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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