Resecō Inform

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During a press briefing on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that Americans don’t travel for Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The recommendation—which is not an official federal order against traveling—comes just one day after the United States surpassed 250,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule requires employers to monitor employees’ drug and alcohol violations.

Employers must have drug and alcohol violation queries pulled from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse by Jan. 6, 2021.

The rule applies to employers and commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers. The FMCSA considers owner-operators as both employers and employees, so they must conduct queries on themselves as well.

The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is an online database that allows employers to conduct queries on prospective and current CDL drivers. Queries are electronic checks used to determine whether CDL drivers are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions due to unresolved drug and alcohol program violations.

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OSHA has issued respiratory guidance focused on protecting workers in nursing homes, assisted living and other long term care facilities (LTCFs) from occupational exposure to COVID-19.

Control Measures

Under the guidance, health care providers should use source control measures, regardless of whether they present COVID-19 symptoms. Source control measures include, but are not limited to:

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Average health plan premiums rose more modestly in 2020. At 5.4%, up slightly from the 4.6% increase in 2019, but still considerably less than the nearly 10% increase seen in 2018 (which marked a ten-year high).

As the Coronovirus pandemic sweeps the nation in 2020, a crucial pillar supporting the U.S. workforce is employer-sponsored healthcare. While we wait to see how postponed preventive care and delayed elective surgeries will affect the health of the nation's workforce, and how the total costs of COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccinations will be financed, we are already leveraging our local knowledge, as well as the data from this survey to recommend renewal strategies for 2021.

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There are numerous factors that can contribute to higher workers’ compensation expenses for an organization. Specifically, one emerging cost driver is the concern of comorbidities.

A comorbidity occurs when an individual experiences multiple health conditions at the same time. The presence of comorbidities within your workforce can carry significant consequences—namely, elevating the severity of workplace injuries and lengthening employees’ recovery time following an injury. These ramifications can, in turn, lead to an increase in both the overall cost and complexity of workers’ compensation claims.

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The tax industry, state tax agencies and the IRS are warning taxpayers about a new scam that criminals are using to try to trick people into disclosing their bank account information in order to receive an Economic Impact Payment, or as it’s commonly referred to, a stimulus check.

What’s the Scam?

In this new scam, criminals are texting individuals with a message reading:

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On Nov. 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published two new opinion letters providing the DOL’s official position on how the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to employee pay when there is work-related travel or employee training.

Voluntary Training Programs

The FLSA requires employers to compensate their employees for all hours of work. While the FLSA does not define what qualifies as “work,” the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that employees should be compensated for any time that “is spent predominantly for the employer’s benefit.”

As many people in the United States begin to plan for holiday celebrations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends and communities from COVID-19.

These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial or tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply. When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel or limit the number of attendees.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance on the effectiveness of cloth masks to include protection for the wearer of the mask, in addition to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the CDC's scientific brief, observational and epidemiological studies demonstrate that wearing a cloth mask can offer protections from contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.