2021 Labor and Employment Spotlight: A List of Key Legal Updates for Employers

Undeniably, 2020 was a year like no other. Faced with a global pandemic and a tumultuous election, employers were presented with a unique set of challenges and a myriad of new—and at times, very vague—laws and regulations. Despite the start of a new year and a new administration in just a week, much of 2020 still lingers on, including some of its novel policies. However, the new year and new administration also signal a shift in direction for labor and . . . Read More

SBA Provides Direction for PPP Round Deux Loans and Second Draw Loans

On January 6, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued its first round of formal guidance for the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the second-draw PPP loans, which we first discussed here . SBA also gave some indication of plans for the second round of the PPP. SBA’s guidance can be found here for the next phase of PPP and here for the second-draw program. Below are key updates for businesses that need access to this important source of relief funding. As . . . Read More

To Offer or Not to Offer FFCRA Leave?

Earlier this month we reported that under the latest stimulus bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) mandatory leave requirements expire on December 31, 2020. However, the bill, which was signed into law on December 27, does include the option for employers to voluntarily continue to provide employees with FFCRA leave – and in turn to receive a tax credit for such qualified leave – through March 31, 2021. Companies should note that while the deadline to take advantage . . . Read More

PPP Round Deux: Who Qualifies, For How Much, and Forgiveness Changes

While the President vetoed the 2021 NDAA—and has put COVID relief into question—he has not yet acted on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which contained the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the Act) dealing with the second round of PPP Loans.  So, while the Act may be in jeopardy of a veto also, it has not yet occurred and, regardless, it is likely many of the PPP Loan provisions contained in the Act will be . . . Read More

Second Wave of COVID Relief Is Here: 3 Key Provisions Employers Need to Know

After months of deliberation and endless negotiation, Congress sealed the deal late Sunday night on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package , finally delivering long-overdue help to businesses and individuals. While much of the relief seems to be an extension of benefits and rights afforded under the previously passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, there are some notable variations that employers should be aware of. The following summary outlines 3 key provisions employers need to know and should plan for immediately. Mandatory FFCRA Leave Expires at the End . . . Read More

Unsure Whether You’ll Lose Tax Deductions for a Forgiven PPP Loan? Wait Until 2021 to File for Forgiveness

As it hashes out the details of the next COVID-19 relief package, Congress is facing pressure from business groups to allow businesses to write off expenses covered by forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The groups explain that, without write offs, “millions of small businesses . . . will face a surprising, and, in many cases, insurmountable tax bill next year.” We have received questions about the quagmire of regulations covering tax treatment for businesses when PPP loan balances are forgiven. . . . Read More

Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping: 5 Things Contractors Should Do Now

The Trump administration issued Executive Order (EO) 13950 on September 22, 2020. The order prohibits federal contractors, federal agencies and certain federal grant recipients, as well as the military, from using workplace training that “inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating.” There are many uncertainties surrounding EO 13950, including whether it will survive legal challenges and a potential change in presidential administration. This blog discusses measures that contractors . . . Read More

What You Need to Know to Prepare for Maryland Sick Leave Requirements

Effective February 11, 2018, Maryland’s Healthy Working Families Act (the “Act”), Maryland’s sick leave law, will go into effect. Although Governor Larry Hogan had vetoed the measure, the Maryland General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto on January 11, 2018, leaving employers scrambling to prepare for implementation. Following are some of the pertinent, key provisions from the Act that will guide employers in making appropriate policy changes. Does Your Business Have to Comply? The Act covers all employers, but employers with . . . Read More

How to Tell Your Customer “Hands Off My Workforce!”: Understanding Your Rights as a Government Contractor

I need this project completed by next week! We decided to move your offices down two floors. Can you work through the weekend? Most contractors are used to their government customers’ idiosyncratic preferences. Satisfying the customer’s needs is par for the course. But at what point does a government official’s overbearing nature change from inconvenient to impermissible? This is a question we’ve been hearing more and more often from our clients. As a rule, the government is not supposed to . . . Read More

FLSA Overtime Rule Struck Down Leaving DOL and Employers in Limbo

In a decision issued on August 31, 2017, federal district Judge Amos Mazzant struck down as invalid the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime exemption rule which planned to significantly increase the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As explained further below, a welcome decision for employers is also leaving DOL’s path toward a new overtime threshold in question.   As most know, the FLSA requires that employers pay non-exempt employees overtime for any hours worked beyond . . . Read More