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Category: COVID 19

Have Questions About the Imminent Vaccine Mandate? So Do We.

Posted By Brandy King
October 04, 2021 Category: OSHA, OSHA ETS, Vaccine Mandate, COVID 19, Compliance, Federal Contractors, HR, Safety

Last month, President Biden directed OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires private employers with 100+ employees to ensure all employees are either vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or are able to produce a negative test each week. Employers (of any size) that are federal contractors or receive certain federal funding will also be expected to meet the employee vaccination requirements – without the option of a “test out.” We expect OSHA to issue an ETS in the near future, which will hopefully answer some of the questions surrounding this mandate. Until this summer’s COVID-related ETS for healthcare workers, OSHA had not successfully issued an Emergency Temporary Standard since the 1980s (pertaining to asbestos). Effective July 2021, the agency issued its first ETS in decades highlighting the need for healthcare employers to provide certain protection measures against COVID-19 for employees. By design, an ETS will remain in effect until a permanent rule is issued. Many details of how this is all expected to work have yet to be disclosed, which makes it very difficult for our team to provide the best possible guidance. In the meantime, we can direct you to the most helpful reference we’ve found thus far, which is an article published by the National Law Review.  We encourage you to stay tuned to our blog, LinkedIn page and your outside counsel – things are changing rapidly and we’ll do our very bes

BWC Excludes COVID-19 Claims from Experience

Posted By Brandy King
August 02, 2021 Category: Ohio BWC, Workers Compensation, Experience Period, COVID 19, Coronavirus, COVID 19 Workers Comp Claims

Ohio BWC recently amended a portion of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) as it applies to employers’ experience periods. A subsection was added to 1423-17-03 (subsection 4 of Section G) with the following language: “Actual losses where COVID-19 was contracted by an employee arising during the period between the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, issued March 9, 2020 and July 2, 2021 which is fourteen days after the executive order was repealed, shall be excluded from employer's experience for the purpose of experience rating calculations.” BWC’s Board of Directors noted in its Executive Summary on the proposal that pandemics are typically considered catastrophes due to scope and severity, and are typically excluded from the experience rating process. This comes as a huge relief to thousands of Ohio employers who had workers’ compensation claims filed to their policy as a result of employees presumably contracting COVID-19 while on the job. Even with contact tracing, it is difficult to determine where an employee may have contracted the virus – therefore difficult to determine the employer’s level of liability. Experience Rating refers to the calculation of an employer’s payroll and loss history within a certain period of time, and is used to determine future rates (insurance premiums) as well as EMR (experience modifier rate). You can view the entirety of the ORC entry

Continued COVID Guidance: New OSHA ETS, FFCRA Update, Mask Mandates and Re-Entry following Travel

Posted By Brandy King
June 09, 2021 Category: FFCRA, ARPA, FMLA, EFMLA, Ohio Mask Mandate, Dewine, Compliance, COVID 19, Employer Requirements, Employee Leave, International Travel, OSHA ETS, Emergency Temporary Standard, Healthcare Industry

June 2021 OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard  More guidance has been issued from OSHA, directed at healthcare industry employers such as hospitals, emergency responders, long term care, etc. The new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Covid-19 went into effect June 10, 2021.  You can find a great summary here that also includes a link to the flowchart on OSHA.gov.    June 2021 COVID & FFCRA Update The FFCRA was mandatory for many employers until December 31 of 2020.  The previous administration extended the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA through March 31, 2021 – however, the extension was no longer mandatory. If employers chose to provide paid leave benefits due to COVID, they were still eligible to receive the tax credit to offset the costs of paying employee leave.  Additionally, President Biden extended the FFCRA provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) through September 30, 2021.  Biden also added some new components of the paid leave, which include: •    Additional reasons employees can take paid leave        o    Time spent in order to get the vaccine        o    Time from work missed due to complications from the vaccine  •    The 80 hour limit reset on April 1, 2021        o    Meaning if an employee exhausted their Paid Sick Leave before Ma

How the American Rescue Plan Act Could Impact Your Business

Posted By Todd Kereszturi
April 01, 2021 Category: ARPA, COVID 19, American Rescue Plan ACT, FFCRA, FMLA, EPSL, COBRA, EFMLA,

  The American Rescue Plan Act is Signed Into Law The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is the latest bill to address the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19, has been signed into law. Most aspects of the law do not directly affect the HR function, but those that do—optional extension of sick and family leave and establishment of COBRA subsidies—are outlined below. OPTIONAL EXTENSION OF SICK AND FAMILY LEAVES Part of ARPA is an extension of the current tax credit scheme for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA required many employers to provide EPSL and EFMLA in 2020, but became optional when it was previously extended to cover January 1 through March 31, 2021. The new extension under ARPA takes effect April 1, 2021, and lasts through September 30, 2021. Like the current version, it remains optional. In addition, tax credits are available but only to employers with fewer than 500 employees and up to certain caps. To receive the tax credit, employers are required to follow the original provisions of the FFCRA. For example, they can’t deny EPSL or EFMLA to an employee if they’re otherwise eligible, can’t terminate them for taking EPSL or EFMLA, and have to continue their health insurance during these leaves. Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Changes Here are the key changes to EPSL, in effect from April 1 through September 3

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