Latest from Employment Lawscene Blog

On September 11, 2020, the Department of Labor  issued updated regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act  and leave available under that law. These updates were issued in response to a recent federal district court ruling out of the Southern District of New York that invalidated portions of DOL’s original rules under the FFCRA because the agency exceeded its authority in issuing certain portions of its rules. These updated regulations are effective on  September…
On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Memorandum directing the Secretary of the Treasury to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the employee portion of the Social Security tax (6.2% of wages) for the period beginning on September 1 and ending on December 31, 2020. The deferral applies for employees whose pre-tax bi-weekly wages or compensation is less than $4,000. On an annualized basis, this equates to a salary not exceeding $104,000.…
An August 31, 2020 deadline applies both to individual retirement account participants who want to repay a required minimum distribution received in 2020 and to employer plan sponsors who wish to reduce or suspend certain 401(k) or 403(b) safe harbor employer contributions. Details on each of these special tax relief provisions are summarized below. Employers and individuals who wish to avail themselves of these special tax relief provisions should take prompt action. Deadline for Repayment…
Today, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency and issued an Emergency Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings. This Emergency Order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020 and will expire on September 28, 2020, unless there is a subsequent superseding emergency order. The Emergency Order applies to all individuals over the age of five when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside of…
Today, June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling holding that an employer who fires an individual based on his or her sexual orientation or transgender status violates Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination “because of . . . sex.” In a 6-3 decision, the majority found that “[s]ex plays a necessary and undisguisable role” in a decision to terminate an individual for being homosexual or transgender, which is “exactly what Title…
For the period from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the CARES Act permits employers to pay directly, or to reimburse employees for, up to $5,250 of qualifying employee student loan payments. Like many CARES Act provisions, this new opportunity results from an expansion of an existing law or program. In this case, the ability for an employer to assist employees with student loan payments arises from an amendment to Internal Revenue Code Section…
As we previously covered here, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) requires that, with certain exceptions, employers with 500 or fewer employees must provide employees with leave in certain circumstances pursuant to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLA”). Both the EPSLA and the EFMLA require leave if an individual is unable to work or telework because they need to care for their son…
Today, April 16, 2020, the State of Wisconsin has extended the statewide Safer at Home Order through May 26, 2020, with some minor changes. The full text of the Extended Order can be found here and an updated FAQ can be found here. The changes to the Safer at Home Order implemented by the Extended Order will go into effect on April 24, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 26, 2020 or…
Yesterday, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its temporary rules regarding Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The 124-page temporary rule, which is immediately in effect, provided much of the same information we have already seen under the questions and answers DOL has been publishing, but also clarified some additional matters. The highlights: What is a “Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order”? This includes “shelter in place” and “safer…
Under a flurry of recent legislation, Congress has created several tax credits to reimburse employers for paying certain types of wages during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Until now, the precise mechanism for claiming these tax credits has been unclear. With the March 30 IRS issuance of guidance and a draft version of Form 7200, however, the process by which employers may realize the tax relief is coming into view. With respect to tax…