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Category: Employment

New OSHA Recommendations for Employers Regarding Vaccinations

OSHA has taken its COVID-19 guidance a significant step further by recommending employers require their employees to vaccinate against COVID-19. As of August 13, 2021, OSHA has included these new recommendations for employers to protect workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. OSHA’s revised recommendations to employers include the following: Allow employees to be vaccinated during business hours; Encourage employees to wear masks in public outdoor settings (except for those unable to due to disability or religious accommodations); Work with public health authorities to provide vaccinations to employees; and Modify business policies or a COVID-19 protection program that require employees to be vaccinated or require regular COVID […]

ARPA AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) extending and expanding the employee retention credit (“ERC”), originally implemented as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and extended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“CAA”).  The ERC is a refundable credit applied against payroll taxes based on certain “qualified wages” not exceeding 70% of up to $10,000 per employee, per quarter, paid by an eligible employer.    In the original 2020 CARES Act, the ERC was capped at 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid per employee, per year (or $5,000 per employee).  The CAA increased […]

EMPLOYER OPTIONS DURING BAD WEATHER

Not one RLF attorney or staff member can remember a time when the entire 268,820 square miles of Texas was covered in a winter storm warning, much less covered to some degree in ice and snow, and dealing with the aftermath of power and water outages. That just doesn’t happen here. But in 2021 fashion, it did! And now, San Antonians have a lot of questions to work through. While there are legal conditions regarding pay and employment, there are also the “human factors” that will influence payroll decisions during the week of forced closure. What is required by Texas employment law if your business closed due to bad weather, […]

UPDATES TO COVID PAID SICK LEAVE

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), signed into law on March 18, 2020, required employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees twelve weeks of paid leave through a combination of “Emergency Family Medical Leave” and “Emergency Paid Sick Leave” in certain COVID-related scenarios.  The FFCRA provided a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the sick-leave paid for by eligible employers.  Although many expected the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 would extend the FFCRA mandate, it eliminated the mandate while extending the tax credit eligibility.  Employers only option was to offer paid sick leave as defined under the FFCRA to their employees through March 31, 2021.  The Biden Administration’s “American Rescue […]

EMPLOYEE RETENTION AND THE CAA ACT

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 signed into law on December 27, 2020 (the “CAA Act”) expanded and approved the Employee Retention Tax Credit created by the CARES Act in March 2020.  The Employee Retention Tax Credit, contained within in the CARES Act, provided a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021, with an annual cap of $5,000 per employee.  Eligible employers could immediately access the credit by reducing otherwise required employment tax deposits.  Eligible employers included: (1) businesses with operations partially or fully suspended due to governmental orders caused […]

PAYROLL TAX DEFERRAL EXTENSION – DEADLINES and RESPONSIBILITIES

On August 8, 2020, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order directing the Treasury Department to temporarily defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of the employee’s share of Social Security taxes on wages or compensation paid by employers from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Under IRS guidelines, required these deferred taxes to be repaid by additional withholding of the employee portion of Social Security Taxes between January 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021. However, on December 27, 2020, President Trump signs the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, whereby affected individuals now have until December 31, 2021, instead of April 30, 2021, to repay the deferred taxes. For any employee that […]

WEBINAR, SEPT. 16th: OVERCOMING CURRENT HR CHALLENGES

As we’ve explored previously, COVID-19 has affected all aspects of business, from the top to the bottom and every level in between. One side of your business that you may find particularly impacted is HR. Listen as our expert panel discusses practical advice for handling HR challenges during COVID-19 from small and larger business owners. Julia Rendon-Reinhart, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration, oversees legal aspects of Valero’s Human resources policies, discipline, litigation and immigration. She will be sharing her immense knowledge of human resources and how COVID-19 affects it. Ray Luna, Owner of Champion Glass for over 15 years, will be joining and sharing his knowledge and […]

NEW GUIDELINES FROM THE EEOC and OSHA

As the nation begins to reopen businesses and employees return to the workplace, employers are facing many decisions regarding the safety of their employees, particularly those considered “high risk” for suffering the ill-effects of COVID-19.  Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued new guidance for employers with “high risk” employees and about the use of face masks in the workplace. COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) As a best practice, the EEOC advises employers with on-site employees to provide the accommodations for an employee with a disability upon returning to the workplace: Employers can either (i) provide a […]

TITLE VII UPHELD for LGBT EMPLOYEES

On June 15th, in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the United States Supreme Court held Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against employees based on LGBT status. Most employers are familiar with Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex to mean an employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on gender (i.e. not hiring someone because they are female) or engage in or condone sexual harassment.  In Bostock, Court determined in addition to biological sex, the word “sex” as used in Title VII extends to transgendered and homosexual individuals because by taking into account someone’s LGBT status, the employer is either penalizing someone for being […]

BEST PRACTICES for SAFE RE-ENTRY INTO WORKPLACE – RECORDING

On May 12th, Rosenblatt Law Firm hosted an Expert Panel with James Rosenblatt, President of Rosenblatt Law Firm, Dr. Charles Lerner, Infectious Disease Specialist and Tom Cuthbert, Vistage Master Chair and CEO Coach, regarding how employers can prepare for a safe and mindful re-entry for their employees. For those who missed the webinar, or wish to review the discussion, the webinar in it’s entirety has been uploaded for viewing below.