Tips To Help Businesses Prepare To Re-Open

Posted by on May 4, 2020 in Covid-19

Written by: Susan L. Swatski, Esq.

As businesses are starting to re-open their doors, workers and employers need to prepare their workplaces for the new normal to try to keep everyone as healthy as possible in the new COVID-19 reality. These are challenging times to be sure and we’re here to help you navigate them by providing guidance on key legal issues to consider as you re-open your business.

1. Employer Screening of Employees for COVID-19

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently provided guidance that expressly permits employee screening and stating that such screening does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provided any mandatory medical test is job-related and consistent with business necessity. In the case of COVID-19, the virus poses a direct threat to the health of others thereby satisfying the business necessity standard. 

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The Coronavirus Aid, Response, and Economic Security Act “CARES Act”

Posted by on Mar 30, 2020 in Covid-19

Written by: Susan L. Swatski, Esq.

The following is a brief summary of the CARES Act.

Health Care

  • Clarifies that all testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) is to be covered by private insurance plans without cost sharing. The Act covers all services provided during a medical visit, including an in-person or telehealth visit to a doctor’s office or an emergency room, that results in coronavirus screening. This coverage is in effect only while there is a declared public health emergency.
  • Changes the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) paired with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) by allowing a HDHP with a HSA to cover telehealth services prior to a patient reaching the deductible.
  • Includes certain over-the-counter medical products, without a prescription, as “qualified expenses” under HSAs, Flexible Spending Accounts, Archer medical savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. This benefit applies to all amounts paid or expenses incurred after December 31, 2019.
  • Allows an employee who was laid off on or after April 1, 2020 to have access to paid family and medical leave in certain instances if they are rehired by the employer.
  • Allows employers to receive an advance tax credit from the Department of Treasury instead of having to be reimbursed on the back end. Creates regulatory authority to implement tax credit advancements.
  • Amends Section 518 of ERISA to provide the Department of Labor the ability to postpone certain ERISA filing deadlines for a period of up to one year in the case of a public health emergency.

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DOL Guidance for the FFCRA

Posted by on Mar 27, 2020 in Covid-19

Written by: Susan L. Swatski

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance in the form of a fact sheet for employees, a fact sheet for employers, and a Q&A document addressing critical questions on the paid leave requirements under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA expanded the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to allow partially compensated employee leave for child care purposes related to COVID-19. The FFCRA also provided for employee paid sick leave for specific COVID-19-related reasons. The law included other measures to address the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on workers. The guidance addresses issues such as:

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