News and Analysis
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has announced an interim final rule to help workers determine their retirement readiness by allowing them to estimate how their current savings in a 401(k)-type plan might translate into lifetime monthly payments. The rule implements section 203 of the recently enacted SECURE Act. 8/19/2020
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and OSHA will present a webinar for Ohio employers and HR professionals to discuss the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as well as safety guidance for returning to work and maintaining a safe working environment. The webinar is set for 10 a.m. (ET) today (Friday), Aug. 14. There will be a segment for questions and answers. Register here. 8/14/2020
OMA Connections Partner One Source Advisors reports that the IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2020-36 to index the contribution percentages to determine affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act. For plan years beginning in 2021, employer-sponsored coverage will be considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed:
- 9.83% of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of both the pay or play rules and premium tax credit eligibility; and
- 8.27% of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of an individual mandate exemption (adjusted under separate guidance). Although this penalty was reduced to zero in 2019, some individuals may need to claim an exemption for other purposes.
This is a slight increase from the affordability contribution percentages for 2020. As a result, some employers may have additional flexibility in setting their employee contributions for 2021 to meet the adjusted percentage. 8/10/2020
This week, a New York district court set aside several U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rules that interpreted and restricted eligibility for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), finding them inconsistent with the underlying FFCRA statute.
Read this analysis from OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine, which says the ruling means the emergency paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave under the FFCRA are — at least temporarily — available to more workers, subject to whether the DOL appeals the decision.
Also, see this summary of the court action as analyzed by OMA general counsel Bricker & Eckler. 8/5/2020
At last check, employees from across the country had filed more than 430 COVID-19-related lawsuits against their employers. Not all of the claims have focused on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — the federal legislation governing paid sick leave and family leave requirements — but rather a substantial number of lawsuits have alleged employer impropriety using COVID-19 as a factual backdrop.
How should employers prepare for potential litigation? Read this update from OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips. 8/5/2020
A new national survey by the Cato Institute — a libertarian think tank — provides insight into today’s political climate. The poll found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of Americans are reluctant to openly discuss their political beliefs, especially at work. Nearly one-third say they fear their political views could harm their employment.
Substantial numbers of respondents said they would support the firing a business executive who donated his/her own money to a particular presidential candidate. Half of “strong liberals” supported firing Trump donors, while 36% of “strong conservatives” supported firing Biden donors. 8/3/2020
OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine will host a free webinar Thursday, Aug. 13, at 1 p.m. (ET) to provide guidance on COVID-19-related employment issues. Topics will include:
- COVID-19-related absences and requests for leave, including for quarantines and the re-opening of schools;
- Requests for COVID-19 accommodations such as those for employees with underlying health conditions or those who are pregnant;
- Federal and state COVID-19-related orders that are impacting employers and the workplace; and
- Updates from the Department of Labor regarding OSHA, wage and hour, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Register for this important webinar. 7/30/2020
OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published this update following the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) release of streamlined forms employers may use to coordinate leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Dinsmore’s experts note that “although employers are not required to use the WHD forms, employers should be sure to include all relevant information as required by the FMLA and its regulations.” 7/28/2020
If you have 30 minutes on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 1:30 p.m. (ET), you can learn how the OMA helps members offer their employees affordable, comprehensive health care plans similar to what much larger companies offer. Register here for the free webinar.
The collaboration of the OMA, the National Association of Manufacturers, Mercer, and UnitedHealthcare, allows members to offer an easy, Fortune 500-type benefits buying and enrollment experience to employees and their families. 7/29/2020
During the COVID era, more employers have questions about accommodating employees with high-risk underlying disabilities and mental health impairments, ADA experts say. This article by HR Dive addresses steps employers can take to accommodate workers with disabilities, including those that are not obvious. 7/27/2020