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The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This major funding bill included the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020. Following are highlights of the provisions affecting employer-sponsored benefit plans: Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) The CAA allows for certain relief pursuant to health care and dependent care FSAs as follows: Carryovers — All unused benefits in plan years…
In Opinion Letter FLSA2020-20, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided guidance on paying overtime to live-in caregivers who work shifts of more than 24 hours based on an expected number of hours worked, and whether these overtime payments can be excluded from the regular rate and credited for overtime. The employer addressed in the Opinion Letter employs caregivers to provide in-home or live-in care services for shifts of 24 hours…
  The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020 (the “Act”), changes a myriad of different rules for employer-sponsored retirement plans and health and welfare benefits. Among the more significant of the Act’s changes is a temporary rule to provide relief for certain events related to COVID-19 that would otherwise be considered partial retirement plan terminations (which can have costly implications for the employer). The partial plan termination rules, and temporary…
In response to the widespread shift to remote workforces due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to clarify how employers can comply with federal laws requiring the display of certain notices in the workplace that inform employees about their rights under federal employment law. Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-7 was issued on December 29, 2020, to give guidance on permissible electronic posting of required workplace notices. The DOL guidance…
On December 29, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance stating that a telemedicine visit with a health care provider to verify an employee’s serious health condition can be used to support FMLA leave. Under the FMLA, one avenue for an employee to prove a serious health condition is to visit a health care provider in person. Under the FMLA a “serious health condition” is an “illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition…
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” web page with a new Q&A section about COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. The new section addresses how employers that require vaccinations for workers should respond to any employee unwilling to receive a vaccination because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief. Refusal Based on Disability The guidance strongly suggests…
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020, did not extend the December 31, 2020, expiration date for the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Therefore, FFCRA-covered employers are no longer required to provide emergency paid sick or family leave under federal law. However, the Act did extend the FFCRA tax credits for covered employees until March 31, 2021, under these circumstances: If an employee still…
On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, was signed into law. The Act included a measure entitled the “No Surprises Act” to restrict medical providers from sending consumers surprise medical bills.  Once the Act goes into effect in 2022, consumers will not receive balance bills for the following: Emergency care; Transport by air ambulance; or Non-emergency care at an in-network facility, when patients are unknowingly treated by an out-of-network doctor or lab In…
    Portfolio Media. Inc. | 111 West 19th Street, 5th floor | New York, NY 10011 | www.law360.com Phone: +1 646 783 7100 | Fax: +1 646 783 7161 | customerservice@law360.com By Eric Schillinger and Anne Hall (January 27, 2021, 5:22 PM EST) The Consolidated Appropriations Act, a year-end budget bill that included COVID-19 stimulus relief, was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump in December 2020. The act also included numerous provisions related…
joint notice issued by the DOL and IRS on May 4, 2020 required group health plans to extend certain timeframes for participants during the COVID-19 “outbreak period” (defined as the period from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the announced end of the national emergency for COVID-19).  The Notice requires a tolling of the following COBRA deadlines: The 14-day deadline for plan administrators to furnish COBRA election notices; The 30 or 60-day deadline…