As the number of COVID-19 infections in certain states continues to rise, so does the number of states added to the tristate area travel advisory.  Ten additional states were added to the existing list, including the following: Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington.  Travelers from these states, as

The IRS recently issued further guidance under the CARES Act expanding the categories of individuals eligible for coronavirus-related plan distributions and loans, and providing additional administrative guidance on relief offered under the Act.

Background

As described in our April 3, 2020 Advisory, the CARES Act:

  • eliminates the 10% early withdrawal penalty on up to $100,000 in coronavirus-related distributions for qualifying individuals;
  • allows qualifying individuals to include coronavirus-related distributions in income over three years;
  • allows qualifying individuals to repay coronavirus-related distributions to a retirement plan in one or more installments within three years;


Continue Reading IRS Issues Guidance on CARES Act for Retirement Plans

Law360 (July 15, 2020, 4:21 PM EDT) — The coronavirus has been novel in more ways than one. On one end of the spectrum, employers confront new questions of almost philosophical dimensions.

How much risk is too much risk? What risks should we ask our employees to accept? Where is the line between ordinary risk

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Four months ago, the Dow was close to 30,000, employment rates were at historic highs, the coronavirus was still “novel,” and millions had not yet taken to the streets in global protests against police brutality and racial inequality. The workplace we now return to exists in

Here’s the scenario – Your Ambulatory Clinic just reopened in May, and since then one of the RN’s, let’s call her Rita, has been late multiple times, and is often on her phone when she should be working. When she was called in by the Director, Rita said, “I have been late because I feel this place is unsafe. Patients are coming in without face masks, we don’t have sanitizer at the desk, and this is just not a safe work situation. I want to make a complaint.”

  • Does Rita have a claim?
  • Can Rita sue?
  • Can you still give Rita the lateness warning?

The answer to all of these questions is YES. Rita may have a claim, she can sue, and finally, yes you should still give her the lateness warning. Healthcare providers beware, this type of complaint may well become more prevalent.


Continue Reading Not What The Doctor Ordered – A New Whistleblower Law for NY Healthcare Employers

As the number of COVID-19 infections in certain states continues to rise, so does the number of states added to the tristate area travel advisory.  Eight additional states were added to the existing list, including the following: California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee.  Travelers from these states, as well as Alabama, Arkansas,

In a press conference earlier today, the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced that travelers to the tristate area from states with spikes in COVID-19 infection rates would be required to quarantine for 14 days. The joint travel advisory applies to individuals traveling to the tristate area from the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas.

However, this list of states is subject to change based on the metrics set forth by the joint travel advisory.  Any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average, will be required to quarantine.


Continue Reading Quarantine Mandated For Travelers To Tristate Area, Effective June 25, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have each offered temporary relief from certain legal requirements applicable to employee benefit plans. Some of this temporary relief impacts participants’ rights under ERISA-covered employee benefit plans.

This Advisory focuses on the impact of the temporary relief on ERISA participant notice requirements, and also briefly summarizes that temporary relief.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Relief Triggers ERISA Participant Notice Requirements

U.S. employers are now in the thick of bringing employees back to physical offices, facilities and plants. Some of the myriad issues they must address are pure HR: how to deal with employee fears, for example, or how to figure out if an employee who is immunocompromised is entitled to telework as a form of disability accommodation. Some of the issues, however, are far more basic but at the least as important: how do we ensure physical safety? Happily, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”)—initially criticized for failing to provide definitive guidance on maintaining a safe workplace in a COVID world—has issued guidance on the use of “face coverings” (yes, masks) in the workplace.  This post summarizes the key takeaways from OSHA’s guidance.

Continue Reading OSHA Issues Guidance Regarding Face Coverings In The Workplace

On June 3, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2020-24 providing temporary relief from the physical presence requirement for participant elections that are required to be witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public, including spousal consents.  The relief covers the period from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 (the “Relief Period”).  While specifically intended to facilitate the payment of coronavirus-related distributions and plan loans under the CARES Act, as described in our Advisory of April 3, 2020, Notice 2020-24 applies to any participant election that requires the signature of an individual to be witnessed in the physical presence of a plan representative or notary.

Continue Reading IRS Issues Temporary Relief from Physical Presence Requirement for Spousal Consents Under Retirement Plans