Each year, the seasonal flu has a marked impact on businesses and employers, causing increased absenteeism, decreased productivity and higher health care costs. The past few flu seasons have seen high hospitalization and mortality rates, which has public health experts fearing another deadly flu season.
Unfortunately, the 2020-21 flu season isn’t the only health crisis employers and employees have to address this year. The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting the workforce, and the combination of another potentially bad flu season and the pandemic has public health experts worried.
As an employer, you are well-positioned to help keep your employees healthy and minimize the impact that influenza has on your business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends strategies to help employers fight the flu and talk to employees about what a flu season during the pandemic looks like.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance on safety protocols employees can use when wearing cloth face coverings in hot, humid indoor and outdoor work conditions. Wearing face coverings has become necessary in multiple industries because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The arrival of the fall and winter months signals many things, including the beginning of flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity peaks between December and February. This means that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only public health concern as we approach the winter months.
This combination has public health experts fearing a potential “twindemic” in surges of COVID-19 cases and another deadly flu season. As such, the CDC is urging the public to take action to avoid another deadly flu season and prevent further spread of COVID-19 cases.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a waiver that extends and revises dates for commercial motor vehicle drivers’ (CMVs) licensing and medical certification.
The waiver starts Oct. 1 and applies to certain commercial driver’s license (CDL), commercial learner’s permit (CLP), and medical certification requirements. This waiver provides the same relief as waivers that were granted on March 24 and June 15, 2020, but have since expired.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service final rule became effective Sept. 29, 2020. The final rule revised the previous regulations on hours of service and affect the sleeper berth provision, adverse driving exception, short-haul exception and the 30-minute break rule.
The FMCSA says it believes these changes will provide more flexibility and allow for more productivity while ensuring safety.
Many health plans provide coverage for employees’ dependent children. Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has imposed strict requirements on plans that provide dependent coverage. These requirements prohibit restrictions that employers had frequently used to limit dependents’ eligibility for coverage prior to 2010.
Specifically, group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual coverage that provide dependent coverage to children on their parents’ plans must make coverage available until the adult child reaches age 26.
As employers look for ways to reduce the costs of providing coverage to employees and their families, they may be considering limiting dependent coverage, or imposing additional costs or restrictions on eligibility. However, these measures may be prohibited by the ACA. This Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of the rules that employers must follow when offering dependent coverage.
Terminations aren’t easy, and the current pandemic is causing new challenges for the process. Conducting terminations in-person may be the standard procedure for many organizations, but with more employees working remotely than ever before, an in-person termination isn’t always feasible—or might be logistically impractical.
When conducting remote terminations, having an effective process in place can ease this difficult task and reduce risk for an employer. This article offers considerations for conducting a remote termination.
Employers should ensure that those involved with terminations are aware of all applicable laws. The considerations outlined in this article are not legal advice. Laws and guidelines related to terminations may vary by locality. Employers should consult with local legal counsel for any termination-related issues.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stigma associated with working remotely has disappeared. And, as the pandemic continues, working from home is likely to stick around.
If you haven’t already, it’s important to assess how you’re doing working from home and whether you need to make adjustments. Distractions are all around, regardless of whether you are in the workplace or in the comfort of your home. Both work settings have their own set of productivity killers, and a lot can hinge on an employee’s personal ability to avoid distractions.
New York City has amended its Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESST) to align with the state’s paid sick leave law (PSL), which was passed in April 2020 as part of the state budget. Both the amendments to the city ESST and the accrual and notice portions of the state law take effect Sept. 30, 2020.
The ESST amendments make a number of changes to the law, most notably how much leave must be provided by employers of different sizes, as follows:
On Sept. 2, 2020, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2020-68, which provides guidance on certain provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act).
Key SECURE Act provisions addressed by the notice include:
The small employer automatic enrollment credit (Section 105);
The repeal of the maximum age for traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contributions (Section 107);
Participation of long-term, part-time employees in 401(k) plans (Section 112); and
Qualified birth or adoption distributions (Section 113);