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Record Keeping Requirements to Receive FFCRA IRS Tax Credit

Employee Requirements The employee must provide documentation to their employer containing the following information prior to taking Paid Sick Leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) or Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA):

  1. Employee’s name;
  2. Date(s) for which leave is requested;
  3. COVID-19 qualifying reason for leave; and
  4. A statement representing that the employee is unable to work (or telework) as a result of the COVID-19 qualifying reason.

These initial employee requirements are consistent with the Leave Request Form developed by BMD’s Labor & Employment team.

In addition, to be eligible for Paid Sick Leave under Sections 826.20(a)(1)(iii)-(iv) — the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis or is caring for someone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 — the employee must additionally provide their employer with either:

  1. The name of the government entity that issued the Quarantine or Isolation Order to which the individual being cared for is subject; or
  2. The name of the health care provider who advised the individual being cared for to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.

To be eligible for Paid Sick Leave under Sections 826.20(a)(1)(v) or Expanded Family and Medical Leave — the employee is caring for a child whose school or childcare is closed — the employee must additionally provide their employer with:

  1. The name of the son or daughter being cared for;
  2. The name of the school, place of care, or childcare provider that has closed or become unavailable; and
  3. A statement representing that no other suitable person will be caring for the son or daughter during the period for which the employee takes leave (this includes spouses and is a request where employers can nail down specifics). The DOL issued additional guidance that this payment should not be made if there is another suitable parent or individual residing inside the house.

Although these documents and information are provided by the employee, they should be retained by the employer. Beyond the above requirements, an employer may additionally request any material needed for the employer to support a request for tax credits under the FFCRA.

Employer Requirements

An employer is required to retain all documentation relevant to FFCRA leave for a period of no less than four (4) years (best practice is 7 years), regardless of whether leave was granted or denied. Additionally, if an employee provides any oral statement(s) to support their time off, the employer is required to document and maintain that information for four (4) years.

If an employer believes it qualifies for the small business exception, and accordingly denies an employee’s request pursuant to Section 826.40(b), the employer must document the determination and retain that information for four (4) years (best practice is 7 years).

In order to claim tax credits from the IRS, the Department of Labor advised that employers should retain the following:

  1. Documentation to show how the employer determined the amount of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid to employees that are eligible for the credit, including records of work, telework and Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave;
  2. Documentation to show how the employer determined the amount of qualified health plan expenses that the employer allocated to wages;
  3. Copies of any completed IRS Forms 7200 that the employer submitted to the IRS;
  4. Copies of the completed IRS Forms 941 that the employer submitted to the IRS or, for employers that use third party payers to meet their employment tax obligations, records of information provided to the third-party payer regarding the employer’s entitlement to the credit claimed on IRS Form 941, and
  5. Other documents needed to support its request for tax credits pursuant to IRS applicable forms, instructions, and information for the procedures that must be followed to claim a tax credit.

For questions, or more information, please contact any member of BMD’s Employment/Labor Law team.

Lockdowns, Landlords, & Litigation: Abercrombie & Fitch Flips The Script on Simon Property Group Inc.

Novel litigation between commercial property owners and tenants arises from COVID-19 lockdowns. Typically, owners sue for nonpayment of rent. But in Franklin County, Ohio, a large retail tenant turned the tables and sued the owner to recoup payments.

UPDATE: Ohio Businesses Remain Required to Post Exceptions to State-Wide Mask Mandate at All Entrances

On August 1, 2020, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an amended order continuing the requirement that Ohio businesses post at all entrances any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings.

2020 Marcum National Construction Survey Marks a New, Post-Pandemic Construction Environment

The results of the 2020 Marcum National Construction Survey are in, and the construction industry’s outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beginning of 2021 remains cautiously optimistic despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ability to find skilled labor, healthcare expenses, and material costs remain the top concerns for the industry, while “lack of future work” joins the list.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the Wake of COVID-19

Several major “essential business” employers, including Walmart and Tyson, have been served with wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19. As many Ohio employees begin to return to work, employers should be prudent in following workplace safety practices.

We are Working in a Virtual, Video-Conferencing World – But What About Wiretapping?

Businesses and other organizations often have a need or desire to record telephone conversations related to their business interests and customer dealings; however, this practice is not always permissible as federal and state laws vary on this issue. Knowing and understanding your jurisdiction’s rules and regulations on this practice is essential to remaining in compliance with the law.