ABC’s Chapter Attorney, Drewry Simmons & Vornehm, LLP, will be presenting a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EST via Zoom on:
Covid-19 and the FFCRA: Employment Law Impacts for Contractors
One of the biggest challenges for employers during this pandemic is understanding how new legislation like the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFFCA”) and the Governor’s Executive Orders will affect the workplace. Employers are faced with difficult decisions in how to manage in this new environment while promoting the health and safety of their employees. How do the new rules and norms impact the prior standards? This seminar will provide a breakdown and explanation of new legislation and the implications of recent Executive Orders, and provide recommendations and insight on best practices and how to navigate the various employment issues that stem from COVID-19.
Key Topics will include:
- Overview of Legal Issues and Impacts on Businesses
- Work From Home (WFH) Considerations
- Ongoing In-Person Operations
- Indiana EO 20-08 and EO 20-18 “Directive for Hoosiers to Stay at Home” and “Continued Directive”
- Federal FFCRA- Emergency Paid Sick Leave
- Federal FFCRA-Emergency extension of FMLA
- Unemployment Claims/WARN
- Pay Issues
- Special Considerations under Discrimination Statutes
Presenters: Melanie Dunajeski, Partner & Christopher Drewry, Partner, Drewry Simmons & Vornehm, LLP
Don’t miss out on this very informative presentation. Click HERE to register!
Thank you, and stay safe!
OSHA Issues New Guidance on the Recordability of COVID-19 Cases:
On April 10, OSHA clarified its position regarding the recordability of COVID-19 cases under its recordkeeping rules. According to the OSHA press release, “In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement services), and correctional institutions may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to 29 CFR Part 1904.” Read ABC’s statement on the new guidance as well as ABC general counsel, Littler Mendelson’s analysis.
|Date:||Tuesday, April 14, 2020|
|Time:||3 p.m. EDT|
|Speakers:||Brad Hammock, Littler Mendelson P.C.|
ABC Members Only
Join ABC OSHA counsel Brad Hammock for a webinar providing guidance to ABC members and chapter staff on OSHA compliance and enforcement during COVID-19, including recording and reporting workplace exposures to COVID-19, respiratory protection and more. Register HERE!
The CARES Act just passed the House Friday afternoon by voice vote and is expected to be quickly signed into law by President Trump today. ABC wanted to provide some additional information on the bill’s small business and tax provisions for you and your members. Lawmakers will leave town again and return to their home districts as the nation continues to combat this medical and economic crisis. The Senate isn’t scheduled to be back for any votes until April 20th.
ABC also encourages members to consult with their tax accountants on these provisions to see what best fits their business needs. Feel free to share with your members and reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
Paycheck Protection Program Overview:
The bill authorizes $2 trillion in federal funding for programs to support our nation’s hospitals and businesses, and the most critical of these programs for ABC and our members (a majority of which are small businesses) is the Paycheck Protection Program that authorizes $349 billion in forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration. PPP loans must be made during the period prior to June 30, 2020.
The bill defines eligibility for these loans as a small business, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a 501(c)(19) veteran’s organization, or Tribal business concern described in section 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act with not more than 500 employees, or the applicable size standard for the industry as provided by SBA, if higher. It also includes sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals as eligible for loans and allows businesses with more than one physical location that employs no more than 500 employees per physical location in certain industries, mainly franchise and food services, to be eligible.
The bill requires eligible borrowers to make a good faith certification that the loan is necessary due to the uncertainty of current economic conditions caused by COVID-19, and that they will use the funds to retain workers and maintain payroll, lease, and utility payments; and are not receiving duplicative funds for the same uses from another SBA program.
PPP loans can be as large as 250% of a business’s average monthly payroll costs over the last 12 months, however, the maximum loan amount under this program is $10 million through December 31, 2020. It also specifies allowable uses of the loan to include payroll support, such as employee salaries, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage, rent, and utility payments.
PPP loans are made by SBA-certified lenders (over 800 financial institutions currently), in all 50 states, through delegated authority from the SBA. In addition, the SBA Administrator and Secretary of Treasury may further authorize additional lenders to join the program, as needed. SBA-certified lenders simply need to verify that a small business was in operation on February 15, 2020, and paid employee salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors, as reported on Form 1099- MISC, for eligibility in the PPP.
The SBA is required to issue regulations on the application process within 15 days after the enactment of the CARES Act, and ABC will be sure to provide updates on any agency guidance that comes out.
Principal amounts on PPP loans, for the first 8-week period from when the PPP Loan is made, may be forgiven, if loan funds are used to cover payroll costs, interest payments on mortgages (not including prepayments or principal), rent and utilities.
The amount of a PPP loan that may be forgiven cannot exceed the principal amount of the loan. The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation. To encourage employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.
Other critical provisions in the bill include tax provisions that will help businesses maintain liquidity through this national crisis.
- Retention Tax Credit. Creates a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Qualifying Employers are those whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19-related shut- down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
- For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees, qualified wages are wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to the COVID-19-related circumstances described above.
- For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shut-down order.
- The credit is capped at $10,000/quarter per employee, including health benefits paid.
- The credit is provided for wages paid or incurred from 3/13/2020 through 12/31/2020.
- Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes. Payment would be due over the course of two years with half due 12/31/2021 and the balance due 12/31/2022.
- Modification for net operating losses (NOL). This provision would allow five-year carryback for 2018, 2019, and 2020 tax years, respectively.
- Modification of limitation on losses for taxpayers other than corporations. The 80 percent carryback limitation would be lifted for pass-through entities to harmonize with corporate NOL treatment for 2018, 2019, and 2020.
- Modification of credit for prior year minimum tax liability of corporations. This would accelerate the ability of companies to recover AMT credits in the form of refunds.
- Modification of limitation on business interest. This would loosen the limitation on interest deduction to 50 percent of EBITDA for 2019 and 2020.
- Technical amendments regarding qualified improvement property (QIP). This fix to the so-called “retail glitch” would unlock $15 billion in liquidity for QIP expenses incurred by hard-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels, and retail, among others.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act—DOL Resources
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
- Fact Sheet for Employers (Spanish pdf)
- Fact Sheet for Employees (Spanish pdf)
- Poster—Employee Rights
- Posting Requirements—FAQs
- Field Assistance Bulletin—Enforcement Guidance
- March 26 DOL Press Release
- DOL’s WHD COVID-19 and the American Workplace
ABC Coronavirus Update webpage: https://abc.org/coronavirus
Additional updates will be sent as they become available.
Thank you, and BE SAFE!
North Central Council Manager – Accounts Payable
5001 North Shadeland Ave.
Indianapolis IN, 46226
As ABC members, business owners, and managers, we want to help prepare you for changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Attached you will find an update from ABC National’s attorney, Littler Mendelson P.C. regarding the Senate approved bill that is expected to become law. This bill includes information on the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act, Emergency Paid Sick Leave, Tax Credits and Other Efforts, Going Forward: Economic Stimulus, More Employment Provisions?. We hope you find this information helpful.
In addition, today Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb held a press conference which covered the following:
• Extending the state of emergency another 30 days once it expires April 30
• The closing of K-12 schools until May 1
• Economy updates – includes low interest small business loans
• Unemployment Insurance Benefits
• Social Services
• Health and Professional Licensing
A copy of the press release is attached, and to see the press conference video, see below.
As you are aware, ABC apprenticeship classes were cancelled through March 26. The Trust Board will reevaluate and provide an update by the end of next week.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
We are all in this together, so be healthy, be safe and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need us!