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The COVID-19 pandemic is not only challenging the way Americans live on a daily basis, but also posing significant economic threats that could have a lasting effect on their financial well-being.

Financial well-being is the state in which a person is able to meet their current and ongoing financial obligations, feel secure in their financial future and make choices that allow them to thrive. Many find the road to financial well-being to be tough, and the pandemic is likely creating additional obstacles on that path. This article explores the importance of financial well- being and how employers can help employees, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vision Council reported that more than 70% of Americans don’t know—or don’t believe—that they could suffer from eye strain.

The reality is that most adults are on digital media for about four to six hours each day. If your job involves working on a computer and you’ve been logging on from home, you may be racking up even more hours than normal in front of a brightly lit screen.

HR Compliance Bulletin header imageThe U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule on defining and delimiting the exemptions for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees (EAP employees) became effective Jan. 1, 2020. Among other things, the final rule updated the standard salary level employees must satisfy to qualify for an overtime exemption.

The final rule also allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level if these payments are made at least on an annual basis. To enable compliance with the nondiscretionary bonus option, the final rule allows employers to make a “catch-up” payment at the end of each 52-week period. This Compliance Overview explains how this provision can be used.

HR Insights Blog HeaderA successful business is all about accountability. Each worker’s individual contributions build on one another and culminate into something greater, to the benefit of the company and its customers.

Conversely, when some individuals struggle with their performance, the entire organization can suffer. Unfortunately, addressing poor performance isn’t always easy. This is especially true amid the COVID- 19 pandemic, as remote working often makes accountability more complicated. This article offers five tips to help employers manage poor performance in the workplace, even while everyone is working from home.

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Many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are periodically updated for inflation by the IRS. The following commonly offered employee benefits are subject to these limits:

• High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs); • Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs); • 401(k) plans; and • Transportation fringe benefit plans. The IRS typically announces the dollar limits that will apply for the next calendar year well in advance of the beginning of that year. This gives employers time to update their plan designs and make sure their plan administration will be consistent with the new limits.

Legal Update HeaderThe IRS has released Revenue Procedure 2020-45, which includes cost-of-living adjustments for employee qualified transportation fringe benefits for the 2021 taxable year, along with annually adjusted numbers for 2021 for a number of other tax provisions.

The combined monthly limit for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle and a transit pass remains unchanged from 2020 at $270. The monthly limit in 2021 for qualified parking is also unchanged from 2020, also at $270.

News Brief headerWhile any workers’ compensation claims can result in costly ramifications for your organization, one category of claim in particular—known as a “mega claim”—has the potential to carry significant consequences.

True to its name, a mega claim is characterized as an exceptionally large claim— typically totaling $3 million or more in incurred losses. In the realm of workers’ compensation, these claims usually stem from employees experiencing severe injuries or illnesses on the job. Mega claims are not only expensive, but often lengthier and more complex in nature than a typical claim. Such claims can leave lasting impacts on your employees by way of life-altering injuries and illnesses, as well as your overall organization through hefty costs, lost time and the potential for severe reputational damage.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been citing establishments for violations related to COVID-19. These citations have resulted in more than $1 million in penalties since the pandemic began.

OSHA announces new enforcement actions weekly. These announcements provide penalty totals and the number of establishments that receive citations. Taken together, these announcements provide insight on how OSHA is enforcing compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety guidelines. Some common COVID-19 employer citations include failures to: