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March 2020 Archives

CARES Act Makes Paycheck Protection Program Loans Available For Businesses -- Application Released

UPDATE: On March 31, 2020, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury released the Application Form for the new SBA PPP Loan forgiveness program, which we have included at the end of this article.

New DOL Guidance Clarifies Families First Coronavirus Response Act

A new compliance assistance guidance from the DOL ("Guidance") has been posted concerning the paid leave provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"), which includes Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion leave ("Expanded FMLA") and Emergency Paid Sick Leave ("EPSL") provisions, all of which become effective April 1, 2020.

Essential Resources for Managing Your Business in Uncertain Times

Your business is or will be under unprecedented pressure. We have created the Resource Center to provide you with critical tools to manage through this uncertainty, including a Toolkit, Cash Flow Projection template, and essential information for accessing government programs such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the new Paycheck Protection Program included in the CARES Act.

The CARES Act and Its Impact on Retirement Plans

This is the third in a series of articles discussing the impact that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the governmental responses to it have had on employee benefits. The first two articles dealt with employer group health plans, continuation coverage, HIPAA privacy, and other welfare benefit plans.

COVID-19 and its Impact on Health Plan Continuation Coverage, HIPAA Privacy, and Other Welfare Benefit Plans

This is the second in a series of articles discussing the impact that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the governmental responses to it have had on employee benefits. The first article addressed key issues involving employer group health plans. This article focuses on the impact on group health plan continuation coverage, HIPAA privacy, and other welfare benefit plans.

DOL Issues Q&A Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Late on March 26, 2020, the Department of Labor ("DOL") issued new guidance answering many but not all of the questions that businesses have regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"). Some of the key takeaways pertaining to emergency paid sick leave ("EPSL") and expanded family and medical leave ("EFMLEA") are as follows:

UPDATE 3.27.20: Small Business Administration Simplifies Disaster Loan Online Application Process For Direct Government Funds Up To $2 Million For Qualified Small Businesses

Congress Passes and President Signs CARES Act, Expanding SBA Disaster Loan Program and Loosening Program Requirements, As Well As Other Relief Programs

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Group Health Plans

The world has been hit hard by the loss of life, human suffering, and financial repercussions of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Here in the U.S., federal, state, and local governments have been issuing guidance and directives that affect the general population as well as businesses and employees. At current count more than 100 million Americans are under state or local directives to stay at home or otherwise "shelter in place." In several states, governors have required or otherwise encouraged "non-essential" businesses to suspend operations and even "essential" businesses are experiencing reductions in working hours, layoffs or furloughs. This situation has directly impacted employees and their families, not only from a pay perspective, but also as to the employee benefits they receive. 

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Workplace Poster on Employees' Rights to Protected and Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") Wage and Hour Division ("WHD") released a workplace poster detailing employees' rights to expanded medical leave and paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

COVID-19's Impact on Workers' Compensation

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all aspects of life. Workers' Compensation is no exception. In an effort to slow the spread of the disease, the following changes have been implemented by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and Industrial Commission:

UPDATED: All Statutory Court Deadlines In The State Of Ohio Postponed By Legislature

On Wednesday March 25, 2020, the Ohio General Assembly passed emergency COVID-19 legislation known as Sub. H.B. 197 ("the Bill"). Governor DeWine quickly issued a statement applauding bipartisan work on the Bill and pledging to sign it soon. On Friday March 27, 2020, Governor Dewine signed the Bill into law during his now daily press conferences. Significantly, the Bill provides that a number of deadlines that were set to expire between March 9, 2020 and July 30, 2020 are tolled, including the following:

DOL Issues Initial Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued its first form of guidance on the leave provision contained in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA") passed last week. The DOL notes that it will also be promulgating official new regulations in the coming days. The entire DOL Q&A is linked here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.

Coronavirus Unemployment Update

Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued an "emergency declaration" expanding and clarifying eligibility for unemployment benefits during the current COVID-19 ("coronavirus") pandemic.

Urgent Planning Suggestions in a Downturn

While COVID-19 wreaks havoc today, Coolidge Strategic | Advisory Services (https://www.coollaw.com/Strategic-Advisory/) is thinking about your future and what you can do to protect it. In these situations, it is critical that businesses approach the dynamic environment like they were in a turn-around: Assess, Plan, Manage Cash, Communicate, Execute and Review. For an overview see: COVID-19: Urgent Two-Step Planning.pdf or contact us to discuss the planning process and tools for cash flow management and contingency planning in a difficult environment.

Ohio Health Director Issues "Stay at Home Order" Dated March 22, 2020

On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Governor DeWine announced a new "Stay at Home Order" issued by Ohio Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH (the "Order"). In addition to severely restricting the ability of individuals in Ohio to leave their residences for two weeks, the Order contains specific and dramatic instructions to Ohio employers on managing their workforces. The employment-related restriction in the Order includes numerous exceptions. Below are details concerning the Order and its impact on essentially all private businesses in the state.

New Law: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On the evening of March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law a significant legislative response affecting employers and workers coping with the COVID-19 ("coronavirus") pandemic.

COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know For Now

The outbreak of COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels, prompting public and private action. Governments at all levels nationwide have issued emergency orders and resolutions establishing public health strategies and guidance for employers, communities and individuals to abide by during this time. Businesses are designing and implementing plans to prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace with the hope that business operations can continue with minimal disruption.

The Passage of Time Can Minimize the Effectiveness of Your Estate Plan

Estate planning is the process for how you transfer your personal and investment assets, business interests, and wealth in general to heirs and others. This process can be very important for anyone who wants to be certain that their loved ones are adequately provided for and taken care of, and that the process is streamlined and cost effective. When done properly, estate planning aims to allow you to pass on your assets as you see fit, minimize the tax issues associated with transfer of wealth, avoid probate court proceedings to transfer title to certain assets, and provide protections for your heirs.