HR and Operations

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News Brief header Restaurants may begin submitting applications May 3, 2021, to the Small Business Association (SBA) for a grant program geared toward combating the economic impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry.

The grant program, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, was allocated $29 billion from the $1.9 trillion economic relief bill passed earlier this year. Through the fund, eligible restaurants can receive up to $10 million per business or up to $5 million for a single physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

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Legal Update Header The IRS has released new resources explaining the tax credits available for employers who opt to provide paid family leave and paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through Sept. 30, 2021.

The new resources consist of a fact sheet and a “snapshot” document published on April 21, 2021, in conjunction with public remarks by President Joe Biden calling on employers to help their employees get vaccinated.

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News Brief header Recently, President Joe Biden issued a call for employers to take additional steps to help get their employees and communities vaccinated against COVID-19.

As part of that effort, president Biden announced a paid leave tax credit for small- and medium-sized businesses. This credit will allow eligible employers to fully offset the cost of paid leave for employees to get vaccinated and recover from any after-effects of the vaccination. Eligible employers include businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees. The credit will offset the cost of paid leave for each employee for up to two weeks (or 80 work hours) and up to $511 per day of paid leave offered between April 1 and Sep. 30, 2021.

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Legal Update Header On April 9, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a fact sheet containing FAQs addressing changes for taxpayers who received advance payments of the 2020 premium tax credit (PTC) due to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Understanding how recent legislative changes for the PTC affect individuals, families and their 2020 tax return is important. The IRS developed this fact sheet to explain what taxpayers need to know about claiming a net premium tax credit (net PTC) and what to do if they have excess advance payments of the premium tax credit (APTC) for tax year 2020.

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Know Your Benefits Header image During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have purchased masks or personal protective equipment (PPE) for the purpose of preventing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Now, according to a recent announcement from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), those PPE purchases may be deductible from your income for tax purposes and eligible to be paid or reimbursed under certain savings accounts. The recent IRS guidance provided that amounts paid by individuals for PPE—including masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes used for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19—are deductible medical expenses. Therefore, the amount you paid for the PPE that is not compensated for by insurance may be deductible as long as your total medical expenses are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

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HR Insights Blog Header The COVID-19 pandemic has been testing the limits of every organization. It’s tested resilience, it’s tested adaptability and, critically, it’s tested the trust between managers and their employees.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, entire workforces were sent to work from home, regardless of whether they had any experience with the arrangement. This sudden autonomy illuminated trust issues, perceived or otherwise, between individual employees and their managers. After all, monitoring performance while expressing trust is a balancing act made all the more difficult when workers are isolated and cannot be visually monitored.

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HR Compliance Bulletin header image In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, states have passed new laws and issued new regulations and guidance about employee leave taken for COVID-19 reasons.

These provisions are in addition to the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, passed on March 18 as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In general, employee leave permitted under new state COVID-19 rules and guidance varies with respect to factors like which employers and employees are covered by the leave, the length and purpose of the leave, whether the leave is compensated and at what rate, and whether the leave is provided under a new law or rule, or covered under an existing provision.

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HR Compliance Bulletin header image Under a new law, California employers with more than 25 employees must provide up to 80 new hours of supplemental paid sick leave for specific COVID-19-related reasons.

The leave requirement takes effect March 29, 2021, but is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.

Reasons for Leave

Employees may take leave if they cannot work or telework because of:

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News Brief header Congress has passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, a 60-day extension of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payment Protection Program (PPP), which was set to expire on March 31.

The bill will be sent to President Joe Biden shortly, who is expected to sign the extension before the expiration of the program. The bill pushes back the application deadline for borrowers until May 31. The bill also allows 30 additional days for the SBA to finish processing applications received by the May 31 deadline. The extension passed by Congress does not provide any additional funding for the current round of the program.

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HR Compliance Bulletin header image The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted March 11, 2021, includes changes to emergency paid sick leave and paid family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The ARPA extended tax credits through Sept. 30, 2021, for employers that continue to provide FFCRA leave voluntarily (beyond the Dec. 31, 2020, expiration date) and made changes to tax credit eligibility for both types of FFCRA leave.