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HOW THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT & THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, & ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT AFFECT PEOS

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., reacted by passing two significant pieces of legislation that have profound impact on PEOs. As PEOs continue working with clients to ensure compliance with the new leave requirements and help clients understand the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), it’s worth taking a step back to look at the changes to federal law these two significant bills made.  

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) temporarily expands paid sick, family, and medical leave requirements for the employees of small businesses. 
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes $350 billion worth of emergency loans to small businesses. 
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COVID-19 RELIEF INCLUDES NEW TAX CREDITS & TAX DEFERRAL FOR EMPLOYERS

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed a series of broad relief packages, which collectively provide a wide range of financial assistance options for employers affected by the novel Coronavirus. This article focuses on three new employer tax credits and the ability to defer certain employment taxes due during the remainder of 2020. PEOs have a critical role to play in helping their clients navigate and quickly take advantage of the new credits and tax deferral. 

PAID LEAVE UNDER THE FFCRA

By now, most employers are generally familiar with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Although the FFCRA addresses more than just paid leave,[1] this article reviews only the parts that amend and extend the Family and Medical Leave Act (eFML) and add emergency paid sick leave administered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (ePSL) (collectively referred to as leave). 


COVID-19 & WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: LIKE DRINKING FROM A FIRE HOSE

I’m sure many of you can relate to this sentiment. So much is coming at us in rapid-fire succession, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. A few ways to keep this feeling at bay is to have a plan, quick access to key resources, and know where to find help to manage the entire life cycle of the COVID-19 crisis. Below are some of the most widely asked questions and their answers to keep you abreast of regulatory changes affecting workers’ comp. 

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION DURING A PANDEMIC

As I write this, the nation is gripped in the jaws of a pandemic. These are not normal times, and American business is striving mightily to reshape itself for today’s business environment as well as the recovery that will come once we are beyond the worst. High levels of unemployment are a natural consequence of the patchwork of state and local stay-at-home orders. Fortunately, Congress provided relief in the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the first two key federal pandemic response laws. 


STATE RESPONSES TO COVID-19

It’s safe to say that we are in uncharted territory as the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects continue to loom over the United States. While states look at loosening stay-at-home orders and re-opening their economies, state agencies and governors continue to look for ways to assist employers and employees impacted by this pandemic. But what does that mean for PEOs? This article will attempt to provide you with insight into the progression of how states have addressed labor and insurance-related issues and how many of these subjects have evolved since the first executive orders were issued in mid-March. 

 


Tracks

Letter from the NAPEO Chair

BEING HERE FOR OUR CLIENTS DURING COVID-19 BY ANDREW LUBASH

When I initially started to write this article (on a completely different topic), the world was a very different place. Each time I proofed the article for submission, the world changed even again. One constant: PEOs are here for our clients and NAPEO is here for our members. A lot has gone on over the past few months. Legislation is being passed that affects every one of our clients. Guidance is being issued daily, and that guidance often contradicts the guidance issued the prior day. Our clients are depending on us to provide accurate information. 

Quick Hits

BREAKING NEWS • COVID-19 • NAPEO

• Keeping teleworkers engaged • Join NAPEO’s leadership council meet ups, community conversations, & town hall meetings • NAPEO COVID-19 survey results • NAPEO continuing education credits • How the coronavirus has affected business • COVID -19 WARN act guidance • Mistakes for businesses to avoid during COVID-19


PEO Voices

CRISIS SHOWS WHY RELATIONSHIPS MATTER BY BRENT R. TILSON

COVID-19 brought devastation across America and the world, impacting life as we knew it. In fact, it almost destroyed the PEO industry if not for the most intense lobbying efforts ever put forth to fight for our survival. The federal government moved swiftly to pass laws to stabilize the economy, businesses, and employees. Within 10 days, both the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law.

Legal, Legislative, & Regulatory

BUSINESS DISRUPTION BY ROGER J. ROVELL, J.D., LLM

With the economic downturn related to COVID-19, employers who are struggling financially may need to lay off significant numbers of employees. According to the IRS, if the layoffs cause more than 20 percent of retirement plan participants to lose the ability to participate (the “turnover rate”), this triggers a “rebuttable presumption” that a “partial termination” of the plan has occurred. 


HR, Employment, & Benefits

COVID-19’S IMPACT ON WC COSTS & WHAT PEOS CAN DO BY FRANK HUANG

As the novel coronavirus continues to change the way we live and work, uncertainty continues to grow for PEOs providing workers’ compensation (WC) coverage. To understand how PEOs can move forward, I will first look at WC costs during a more traditional recession and then discuss how this recession may be different. I will conclude with thoughts about what PEOs can do now to prepare for the future. 

Operations & Technology

IMPLEMENTING CHANGES IN YOUR OPERATION QUICKLY TO SUPPORT CLIENTS THROUGH COVID-19 BY THAD INGE

As the harsh realities of COVID-19 began to impact small businesses everywhere, PEOs were acutely aware that the ability of many of their clients to survive was at risk and that these businesses would be leaning on their PEOs to help navigate the many challenges. In March, we saw a flood of legislative and regulatory activity as Congress and the administration took swift action to protect both businesses and workers as shelter-in-place policies went into effect across the country. 


PEO Growth

MARKETING IN THE COVID-19 ERA BY RYAN MCINERNEY

And just like that, first-time in-person appointments, stopping by, and shaking hands with prospects gave way to online marketing and fully virtual sales interactions. This particular crisis has no doubt revealed the strengths and weaknesses of your digital investments and your historical view about their importance in your sales operation. Whether you made the right strategic bets on digital strategy or not, you’re likely grappling with questions about what to do now and how to emerge from the economic gridlock on top.

Letter from the NAPEO President

WORKING TOGETHER IN TIMES OF CRISIS BY PAT CLEARY

In my column last month, I mentioned the coming threat of COVID-19. At the time, we didn’t really know what to expect. In the ensuing month, we’ve seen the fallout, which was probably unthinkable a month ago. Once again, this industry is on the front lines. I am so proud of how PEOs have stepped up—in the face of some heroic odds—to continue to help their small business clients, to get them through a global pandemic, to answer the myriad of questions about paid leave, to hold their hands through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan process, and to lend a hand, and an ear, and a shoulder. Kudos to you all. 


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