Tagged: Medical

IRS Issues Guidance on an Employee’s Reduction in Hours and Involuntary Termination of Employment to Qualify for the 100 Percent COBRA Premium Subsidy

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 enacted on March 11, 2021 (the “Act”) provides a federally-funded, 100 percent subsidy for the premiums for COBRA continuation coverage from April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 for assistance eligible individuals. On May 18, 2021, the IRS issued Notice 2021-31, which provides comprehensive guidance on all aspects of the subsidy. The Notice is in the form of 86 questions and answers and spans 41 single-spaced pages. This news alert focuses on the guidance dealing with the two events that trigger entitlement to the subsidy: a reduction in hours and an involuntary termination of employment. The guidance on reduction in hours is found at Q&A 21 to 23, and on involuntary termination of employment at Q&A 24 to 34. Definition of Assistance Eligible Individual The Act defines an assistance eligible individual as an individual who: Is a qualified beneficiary for a period of COBRA continuation coverage that includes the months between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021; Is eligible for COBRA continuation coverage due to a reduction in hours or an involuntary termination of employment other than for gross misconduct; and Elects COBRA continuation coverage. Other COBRA qualifying events, such as a voluntary termination of employment, a child’s aging out of dependent status, or divorce, do not...

Employers and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA)

The recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is an economic stimulus bill that will inject $1.9 trillion into the American economy to accelerate the recovery from the economic downturn and health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of special interest to employers, the ARPA in a number of respects expands legislation enacted in 2020 to address the COVID-19 crisis, such as the CARES Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Perhaps the most publicized aspect of the ARPA is the direct $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals. However, other aspects of the ARPA are more directly of interest to employers. Non-Mandated Extension of FFCRA-Related Tax Credits Employers are not required to, but may voluntarily provide to employees Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave that previously had been mandated under the FFCRA. This program will terminate on September 30, 2021. This means employers may grant leave under the FFCRA to employees with eligible leave remaining and continue to receive the corresponding tax credits for those leave payments until that date. Otherwise, this program would have expired on March 31, 2021. While the emergency leave extensions under the ARPA are voluntary, employers should also consider any state or local leave requirements. Under the new legislation: Employers who provide up to...

Governor Murphy Signs New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law

On May 2, 2018, Governor Murphy signed the comprehensive paid sick leave bill passed by the New Jersey Legislature in April. For a description of the law and how it will affect New Jersey employers, please see our previous blog post. For questions regarding this bill, or paid sick leave laws generally, please feel free to contact an attorney in the Gibbons Employment & Labor Law Department.

NJ Legislature Passes Paid Sick Leave Bill

On the heels of sweeping pay equity legislation, the New Jersey Legislature has passed a comprehensive paid sick leave bill that, if signed, will require employers to provide employees with paid time off for a variety of purposes. For What Purpose Can Leave Be Taken? Employees can use paid sick leave for the following purposes: diagnosis, care, treatment, or recovery related to the employee’s illness; to care for a family member during diagnosis, care, treatment, or recovery related to a family member’s illness; for certain absences resulting from the employee or a family member being a victim of domestic or sexual violence; for time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee, in connection with a public health emergency or a determination that the presence of the employee or child in the community would jeopardize the health of others; or to attend school-related conferences, meetings, or events, or to attend other meetings regarding care for the employee’s child. Paid time off used for these purposes must be paid at the same rate of pay with the same benefits as the employee normally earns. How Much Leave Must Be Provided? Employees will be entitled...

Amendments to FMLA Mean Changes to Military Leave Provisions, Forms and Postings

On February 6, 2013, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published final regulations that amend the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (“FMLA”) military leave provisions and eligibility requirements for pilots and flight crews. Other changes impacting the minimum increments of time allowable for measuring FMLA leave and recordkeeping requirements are also part of the final regulations. The new regulations take effect on March 8, 2013, giving employers only a few weeks to ensure that their policies and forms are updated.

How Employers Can Combat the Flu

Flu season is here. Even when pandemic levels of the influenza virus are not expected, the flu nevertheless impacts businesses whose employees become ill and/or need to take time off for flu-related reasons. With limited restrictions, employers are permitted to adopt policies and practices to encourage flu prevention, to control workplace flu outbreaks and to maintain optimal efficiency during flu season, provided that their practices are applied consistently, non-discriminatorily and in keeping with published employment policies and handbooks.

Third Circuit Rules That Employers Need Not Accommodate Work Restrictions at End of FMLA Leave

Are employers required to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee to facilitate his or her return to the same or equivalent position at the conclusion of an FMLA leave? According to a recent decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the answer is no, provided the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his job position. The case, Macfarlan v. Ivy Hill, provides important guidance for employers who must make such determinations upon an employee’s return from FMLA-protected leave.

Supervisor Can Be Held Liable Individually Under FMLA, Third Circuit Holds

In a case of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a supervisor may be individually liable for violating the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). While noting that individual liability is not recognized in some Circuit Courts, the Third Circuit in Haybarger v. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole reached a contrary conclusion.

EBSA Provides Additional Guidance Regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) recently provided additional guidance on its website regarding implementation of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This guidance, which is provided in the form of Frequently Asked Questions and responses, was prepared jointly by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury.

EEOC Issues Final Rule for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

The EEOC issued its final rule implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) and provided background information regarding the new regulations, which shall take effect on January 10, 2011. GINA generally restricts employers and other covered entities from deliberate acquisition of genetic information, prohibits use of genetic information in employment decision-making, and strictly limits disclosure of genetic information.