DOL Issues Guidance on the American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Subsidy

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that contains a new, temporary COBRA subsidy. From April 1, 2021 through September 31, 2021, the ARPA requires employers to cover 100% of an employee’s cost of continuing group health coverage under COBRA if the employee was eligible for COBRA continuation coverage during the indicated period regardless of whether the employee may not have previously elected coverage or discontinued coverage. Employers that provide such paid coverage may recover the cost through deductions on quarterly payroll filings. On April 7, 2021, the Department of Labor released answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the ARPA COBRA subsidy and published model notices for use with the ARPA COBRA subsidy. Learn More

Recent Updates to CDC N95 Guidance: What Employers Need to Know

On April 9, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its “Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators.” The update includes changes to respirator-provision strategies at Conventional Capacity, Contingency Capacity (periods of expected N95 shortages), and Crisis Capacity (periods of known N95 shortages). Employers required to provide respirators as personal protective equipment (PPE) should review the updated guidance for any changes that may impact their PPE strategies. Learn More

West Virginia Enacts Legislation to Clarify Worker Classification

Governor Jim Justice recently signed into law Senate Bill 272, the West Virginia Employment Law Workers Classification Act, which goes into effect on June 9, 2021. The legislation provides standards for determining who is an employee and who is an independent contractor under certain West Virginia statutes. Learn More

Philadelphia Hotel, Airport Hospitality, and Event Center Businesses Face Significant New Recall and Retention Obligations

Philadelphia has imposed significant new recall and retention obligations on hotel, airport hospitality, and event center businesses as they struggle to recover in this uncertain COVID-19 economy. The new obligations are contained in a legislative package, styled as the Black Workers Matter Economic Recovery Package, which became law in January 2021. The new laws are expected to affect over 12,000 employees in Philadelphia. Learn More

California Supreme Court Expands the Reach of the California Prevailing Wage Law

The trend over the last 20 years has been for California’s prevailing wage law to spread to areas previously unimagined. This spread has been due to inexact drafting of the law, constant tinkering by the legislature, and expansive readings of this arcane statute by the courts and agencies charged with its enforcement. It has been aptly described as the “Winchester Mystery House” of California wage and hour law: always under construction or modification, never finished, with strange and inexplicable features like its namesake’s stairways that stop at ceilings and doorways that lead nowhere. Learn More

Because of Winn-Dixie: What Does the Eleventh Circuit’s Ruling Mean for Website Accessibility Claims?

In a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a trial court ruling and held that Winn-Dixie had not discriminated against a visually impaired customer who alleged that Winn-Dixie’s website was not accessible to him. The appellate court reasoned that he had not shown that it was necessary for Winn-Dixie’s website to be accessible for him in order to access the goods and services Winn-Dixie offers in its physical store. With the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling in Gil v. Winn-Dixie, there is a widening split in the way the federal courts of appeals analyze website accessibility claims brought against companies under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This ruling may serve as a basis for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn More

New Mexico’s Healthy Workplaces Act Brings Paid Sick and Safe Time Law to the Land of Enchantment

On April 8, 2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law House Bill 20, the Healthy Workplaces Act (HWA). This law, effective July 1, 2022, will require all private employers to provide paid leave to employees that they can use for sick time, safe time, or other reasons for themselves or to care for or assist a broad list of family members. Learn More

Be Audit-Secure™

Lisa Smith, SPHR, SHRM-SCP


Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Corporation and Chief Content Developer at HelpDeskSuites.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more in her Compliance Warriors Facebook Group.

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