Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

'Ask Us Anything' Employer FFCRA Update - Webinar Recording

In case you missed it, BMD's March 25 COVID-19 Employer Update Webinar included the latest information on FFCRA, leave policies and more.

Presented by Jeffrey Miller and the Employment and Labor team of BMD, we received many great questions from Employer participants.

Click here to listen.

DOL Finalizes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status, But Its Future Is In Jeopardy

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor announced its final rule regarding independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As described in a prior BMD client alert, this new rule was fast-tracked by the Trump administration after its proposal in September 2020. The new rule is set to take effect on March 8, 2021, and contains several key developments related to the "economic reality" test used to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee under the FLSA.

Bankruptcy Law Changes - 2020 Recap And What To Expect In 2021

In a year of health challenges and financial distress to many individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic, the year 2020 brought some significant changes to the bankruptcy laws. Some of these changes were in place prior to the pandemic; others were a direct response to the pandemic with the goal of helping struggling businesses and individuals. Ahead, we can likely expect further changes to the Bankruptcy Code with the incoming Congress.

UPDATE - SBA Releases Rules and Guidance for Second Round PPP Funding

Late yesterday (January 6, 2021), the U.S. Small Business Administration released rules and guidance for businesses wishing to take part in the long awaited second round of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funding. As most businesses are aware, the rules governing PPP loans have been updated as part of The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (“Act”). The Act was just one section of the massive 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on December 27, 2020. To combat the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Act generally provides (a) first time PPP loans for businesses that did not obtain a loan in the first instance, (b) PPP second draw loans for businesses that already obtained a loan but need additional funding, and (c) additional funding for businesses that returned their first PPP loan or did not get the full amount for which they qualified.

UPDATE - Vaccine Policy Considerations for Employers

If you read our post from November, you’re already an informed employer. This first post of 2021 is to share good news, give a few updates, and answer some other common questions. Q: What’s the Good News? First, the EEOC confirmed that employers may require employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Second, polling indicates that the number of Americans who said they will receive a vaccine has increased from around 63% to over 71%. The number of Americans who are strongly opposed to a vaccine is about 27%. Third, initial returns show that the efficacy rate for certain vaccines is as high as 95% for some at-risk recipients.

Changes to FFCRA Paid Leave: Congress’ Revisions to Employment COVID-19 Leave Benefits Signals the Light is at the End of the Tunnel

Late in the evening on December 27th, President Trump signed into law the government’s $900 billion COVID-19 relief package (the “Stimulus Bill”). Among other economic stimulus benefits, the Stimulus Bill contains the $600 stimulus checks that will be issued to eligible individuals as well as, relevantly, changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA was implemented in April 2020 and provided benefits to individuals who missed work as a result of an actual or suspected COVID-19 illness or to care for a child when their school or childcare service was closed because of COVID-19. Importantly, the Stimulus Bill extends eligibility for employer payroll tax refunds for leave payments made to employees on or before March 31, 2021 under the FFCRA, signaling to the American people that Congress believes many of the employed public will be vaccinated by this time, the light at the end of the tunnel. However, the Stimulus Bill does contain a caveat that employers are no longer required to provide FFCRA leave benefits after December 31, 2020, but if they do, they will receive the payroll tax credits, up to the maximums provided in the FFCRA, for payments made prior to April 1, 2021. Below we provide a list of questions and answers we received to date following the passage of the Stimulus Bill. We expect the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue additional questions and answers as the Stimulus Bill is implemented, and we will update this Client Alert as these are received.