Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 23, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Emergency Leave Is Running Out Across the Country -- What to Do If Employees’ Kids Are Still Not Back to School?

"With schools still largely closed to students, employers may accommodate continuing absences when employees cannot find care for their children, to the extent the accommodation does not interfere with ongoing business operations.... Similar to addressing expired leave under the FMLA and ADA, the employer should be cautious in simply letting an employee go when leave entitlements expire.... Matters get even more complicated with state and local ordinances that may obligate employers to provide additional leave for similar reasons, including general paid 'sick leave' laws that existed pre-COVID-19." Icon to read more

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconNew York State Addresses Paid Sick Leave Requirements in New Guidance

"[T]he guidance confirms that employers may create their own 'calendar year' (any 12-month period) when determining employees' use and accrual of leave ... The guidance further provides that employees who telecommute are covered by the law only for the hours they are physically working in New York State. The guidance does not address whether out-of-state employers with employees working on temporary assignments (e.g., business trips) are eligible for sick leave accrual and use." Icon to read more

Mintz

Ex-NFL Player's Disability Case Remanded Yet Again

"[T]he court also found the plan's imposition of an 'objective evidence' requirement was an abuse of discretion. The court cited the opinion of the plan's medical director, which acknowledged that pain results from degenerative arthritis of the spine, but cannot be quantified or predicted. As a result, the court ruled the plan's objective evidence requirement was 'illogical' and 'without support in inferences that may be drawn from the facts in the record.' " [Dimry v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Ret. Plan, No. 16-01413 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 22, 2018)] Icon to read more

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C.

Election Day Leave Policies: What Employers Need to Know Before November 3

"[O]ver 1,500 companies have made the decision to give its employees a paid holiday or paid time off on Election Day. Although these efforts are voluntary, states across the country require that employers give their employees time off to vote. Unfortunately, each state's laws are different and varyingly complex." Icon to read more

Dickinson Wright

New York Employers Must Post Election Notice and Provide Eligible Employees PTO for Election Day

"Employees are eligible for up to two hours of PTO to vote if they do not have 'sufficient time to vote.' An employee has 'sufficient time to vote' if the employee has four consecutive hours to vote, either from the opening of the polls to the beginning of their work shift or from the end of their work shift to the closing of the polls." Icon to read more

Clifton Budd & DeMaria, LLP

Continued Growth in Employer-Paid Healthcare Premiums May Spur Employers to Find Alternative Solutions

"In 2020, family coverage for employee-sponsored insurance cost $21,342 or 31% of gross household wages, with the employee picking up $5,588 of the costs or about 8% of gross wages.... Where might employers look to take a more active role in driving health reform? ... More aggressive, localized purchaser coalitions ... Data and benefit design ... Virtual primary care first network designs." Icon to read more

Healthcare Financial Management Association [HFMA]

More Than Half of CFOs Make Health Benefits Strategy Decisions

"[T]hree-quarters consider time-off or wellbeing programs as part of the benefits strategy.... CFOs recognize the non-financial impacts of illness ... Less than half of CFOs are very confident that their health benefits strategy supports employees' ability to function well on the job.... [T]he biggest confidence boosts come from data linking employees' health to operation outcomes, followed by health care utilization and employees' mental health conditions." Icon to read more

Integrated Benefits Institute

Benefits in General

COVID-19 Driving Benefit Offerings and Potentially Forcing Tough Budget Decisions

"The top issues addressed through financial wellness initiatives were health care costs and retirement preparedness ... Personalized credit/debt counseling, coaching, or planning is one financial wellbeing benefit that saw an increase in prevalence in 2020. The benefits that declined in prevalence were employee discount programs/partnerships, tuition reimbursement, and bank-at-work partnerships." Icon to read more

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

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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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