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NY HERO Act Activation

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory As mentioned in our earlier blog, What You Need to Know About the HERO Act, NY private employers were obligated to develop a safety plan should COVID-19 ever be designated an infectious disease. New York’s Governor Hochul has now made this designation, thus triggering activation of the safety plans created by employers under the NY HERO Act. As a result of this designation, NY employers must implement the plans they had adopted.  Employers...

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Biden’s Announcement on Employer Vaccine Mandates

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory Employers have been grappling with whether to enforce vaccine mandates in their companies, however President Biden’s recent Executive Order may now take that decision out of their hands. Late last week, the President announced his multi-level strategy for combatting the continued spread of COVID-19 – a key piece of which includes sweeping vaccine mandates for many employers. The mandate for private employers affects those with 100...

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End of COBRA Premium Subsidy: Notice Obligations by September 15

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory As mentioned in our earlier blog, American Rescue Plan: Free COBRA Coverage, certain qualified Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) have been eligible for a COBRA premium subsidy between the months of April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021.  With the expiration of this subsidy at the end of this month, employers need to make sure they are providing the required notice to individuals. One of the obligations of employers has been to...

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What You Need to Know About the HERO Act

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory Private employers with worksites in New York State will soon need to comply with the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  This Act mandates all employers to adopt a written plan that meets minimum standards that are designed to combat the spread of infectious disease in the workplace. The New York State Department of Labor has published a model standard and model template...

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The Masks are Off! …Or Are They? 

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory Business leaders are grappling with how to manage company practices regarding mask mandates and vaccinations. The CDC’s recent announcement that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks or social distance, except in limited circumstances, is welcome news to so many people.  Employers need to tread carefully, however since many states and localities have their own legislative requirements that companies may still need...

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Guidance from the IRS on COBRA & ARPA

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory In an earlier blog, we highlighted the COBRA premium subsidy that was provided under the American Rescue Plan Act.  As expected, the IRS has now issued further guidance that provides additional clarification on the subsidy.  Notice 2021-31 has been released and addresses some of the many questions that have been outstanding since the passage of the new law.  There is an extensive list of questions and answers in the newly released...

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COBRA Model Notices Issued by Department of Labor

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory The Department of Labor has now released model notices as well as additional guidance regarding the COBRA premium subsidies provided under the American Rescue Plan Act.  You can review our recent blog for background on the original Act. The model notices and election forms can be found on the Department of Labor website, and are summarized below. These notices can be used to help employers satisfy the new notice requirements under...

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FFCRA Update – Tax Credits Extended to September 30

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory American Rescue Plan New Extensions One of the provisions of the recently passed American Rescue Plan covers paid sick and family leave, as originally provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  While the requirement to provide leave under FFCRA expired December 31, 2020, the rescue package extends the tax credits until September 30, 2021 for employers who voluntarily continue to provide paid leave under the same...

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New York State Paid Leave for COVID Vaccine

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory New York State employers will now be required to provide paid leave to employees who receive the COVID vaccine.  The recently passed legislation, already signed into law by Governor Cuomo, takes effect immediately and ends December 31, 2022. The new law requires all employers in New York State to provide their workers with a “sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours”, for each injection.  Employees must be paid their regular...

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American Rescue Plan: Free COBRA Coverage

By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), now signed by President Biden, includes important changes which employers need to be aware of regarding COBRA coverage for certain eligible employees and their dependents.  It provides up to 6 months of free COBRA coverage for Assistance Eligible Individuals, a special COBRA enrollment window, and new notice obligations. Premium Subsidy for Assistance Eligible Individuals One of the major provisions...

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