COVID-19

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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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News Brief header In a joint statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called for an immediate halt on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Wednesday, April 14, to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. Until that process is complete, the agencies are recommending a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine out of an abundance of caution.

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After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll be given a vaccine card. If you receive a two-dose vaccine, you should receive your card after your first dose, which will be updated upon your second dose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this card tells you which vaccine you received, how many doses, the date(s) you received it and where you received it. When you receive this card, you may be wondering what its purpose is, what you’ll need it for and what you should do with it. Here’s what you need to know.

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News Brief header On Friday, April 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced relaxed travel recommendations for vaccinated Americans.

The agency said that fully vaccinated individuals may resume travel at a low risk to themselves without tests or quarantines within the United States. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final vaccine dose. The CDC stressed that COVID-19 preventive measures should still be maintained during this time, including social distancing and mask-wearing, even for those who are fully vaccinated.

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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 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in real-world conditions.

The study found the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 twodose vaccines to be 90% effective at preventing infections two weeks after the second vaccine dose. Additionally, the study found the vaccines to be 80% effective at preventing infections two weeks after one dose. The study was conducted on 3,950 health care personnel, first responders and other essential and frontline workers who completed weekly COVID-19 testing for 13 consecutive weeks.

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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.