Essential Resources for Managing Your Business in Uncertain Times

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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. TOOLKIT – A 4-Step Process to Address COVID-19 Uncertainties.pdf Changes to PPP in SBA’s Interim Final Rule.docx SBA Issues Last Minute Interim Rule on PPP Critical Leadership Traits during Crisis SBA Affiliation Rules as They Pertain to The CARES Act Key Features …

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

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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. Group Health Plan Continuation Coverage Requirements Employers have certain responsibilities under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). If employees experience a loss of coverage as a result of a business closure-for example, due to a termination of employment or a reduction …

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

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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: Documentation (Question 15). The DOL makes it clear that employers must require its employees to provide it with appropriate documentation supporting the reason for any leave requested under the Act, including the employee’s name, qualifying reason for requesting leave, statement that the employee is unable to …

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Group Health Plans

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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 …

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

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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). The DOL poster can be located here: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Federal.pdf This poster must be posted by all covered employers (employers with fewer than 500 employees) in frequently used common areas, on or before the effective date of the FFCRA, in order to satisfy the notice obligations under the new federal law. Covered employers must ensure that the FFCRA notice is posted in a conspicuous …

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

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

Congress Passes and President Signs CARES Act, Expanding SBA Disaster Loan Program and Loosening Program Requirements, As Well As Other Relief Programs As the COVID-19 outbreak wreaks havoc across many sectors of the economy, small businesses in particular are shouldering a heavy burden. While other relief packages may be forthcoming, the Disaster Loan Assistance program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers direct government funds through an existing program to private for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations of up to $2 million with low interest (3.75%), long-term payback provisions (up to 30 years). Here is a summary of the program …

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

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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: 1. A statute of limitations, as follows: (a) For any criminal offense, the applicable period of limitations …

DOL Issues Initial Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

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. One of the significant questions addressed by the DOL is when and how employers should count employees to determine whether they fall within the “under 500” requirement for purposes of coverage under the FFCRA. According to the guidance, employers should calculate total “head counts” …

COVID-19 Helpful Links

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

The COVID-19 situation is moving fast, and there are numerous ways to obtain information. Click here if you are interested in the world-wide map of infections published by Johns Hopkins University or review information available from the World Health Organization (www.who.int) or the United States Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov). Is your business considered “essential” to U.S. national interests in cybersecurity and infrastructure? Review the March 19, 2020, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response that you can find here [https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce#download ] To view the …