The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued updated guidance on COVID-19. Fortunately, the latest guidance is basically the same as the EEOC’s previous guidance. Read this summary from Constangy to learn what has changed, and which obligations remain in place for employers.
The Supreme Court Has Blocked the Federal “Vax or Test” Rule. Now What?
Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court decided that the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard (“OSHA ETS”) cannot be enforced in its current form. OSHA had drafted the ETS to require employers of 100 or more employees to mandate COVID vaccination or regular testing within its workforce. As employers wait to see how OSHA responds, please see this article from Fisher Philips for guidance on how employers can best position themselves.
Federal Vaccine Mandates Are All on Hold
This fall, the federal government announced rules and standards to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in certain workplaces, including workplaces employing over 100 individuals, federal contractors, and certain healthcare facilities. Due to legal challenges throughout the country, those federal measures are now on hold. Read this article from Venable to learn about the status of the three federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
EEOC Issues Guidance on Religious Objections to COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements
Your nonprofit has a mandatory workplace vaccination requirement. You have an employee requesting an exemption based on a religious objection. How should you proceed with this request if you think that the objection may not be based on sincerely held religious beliefs? Read this article from Seyfarth Shaw with tips based on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s latest guidance on managing religious accommodation requests from COVID-19 vaccines.
Asking Job Applicants About Their Vaccination Status?
That may be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read this article from Constangy for tips on what to do if an applicant brings up their status themselves and recommendations on when it may be okay to collect this medical information.
SBA Enhancements to the COVID-19 EIDL Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced some changes to the COVID-19 EIDL (Emergency Injury Disaster Loan) Program. These enhancements include an increase in the EIDL cap, which expenses the loan funds can be applied towards, and an extended repayment period. Read this article from Taft to learn more details about these, and other, COVID-19 EIDL Program developments.
Vaccination Requirements in the Workplace: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know about Testing, Vaccines & the Latest from OSHA
In early September, President Biden announced a federal rule that some employers will be required to ensure their employees are vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. Could this apply to your nonprofit? If it does not, what can and should your nonprofit do regarding vaccinations among your workforce? In this episode of the PBPA Podcast, Chris Caiaccio and Katie Barton of Kilpatrick Townsend answer questions about employer vaccine mandates, employees asking for an exemption, and practical considerations for keeping track of who is vaccinated and who is not.
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All Together Now: Practical Tips to Reduce Your Nonprofit’s Legal Risk for In-Person Events
Slowly but surely more in-person events are happening, whether they be client programming, outdoor festivals or indoor mini-fundraisers. As your organization contemplates how and when to recommence in-person gatherings, we offer a few practical tips to mitigate your legal risks associated with holding live events in this article.
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OSHA Announces New COVID-19 Guidance to Protect Employees in the Workplace
Recent Changes to the 2021 Employee Retention Credit
The Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”) was established in March 2020 to encourage employers, despite the challenges of COVID-19, to keep employees on their payroll. It has been amended, extended and expanded several times in the past 17 months. This summary outlines recent changes to the ERC relevant to small nonprofit employers.
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Vaccine & Workplace Checklist – What Employers are Permitted to Do, and What Employers Should Consider
Nonprofits are trying to figure how to keep their employees and clients safe, but many questions remain around how to balance safety with employee privacy and choice. When and how can employers ask their workers about vaccines or masks and what should be considered as part of a COVID safety policy? This Checklist from BlankRome includes a quick guide to help your nonprofit determine which vaccine and mask activities you may require and additional questions to consider.
CDC Recommends and Atlanta Mayor Executive Order Requires Masks Indoors, Regardless of Vaccination Status
Georgia nonprofits may need to re-visit their indoor masking policies, regardless of the vaccination status of anyone in your space. On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its COVID-19 guidance, recommending that even individuals who have been fully vaccinated should resume wearing masks in public indoor settings in those areas of the U.S. that have substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates. Every country in Georgia falls into this category as of the date of this Digest. The day after the CDC revised its guidance, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms signed an executive order requiring masks to be worn in indoor public spaces and businesses. Read this article from Littler Mendelson for more information on how the latest CDC guidelines could impact your workplace or programming space.
OSHA Issues Updated Guidance for Employers Regarding Vaccinated Employees
On June 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new guidance for all workplaces, and a binding Emergency Temporary Standard for healthcare settings. For those workplaces outside of a healthcare setting, employers no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from COVID-19 exposure, “where all employees are fully vaccinated.” Employers must continue to “still take steps to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces.” See this article for more details on OSHA’s list of recommended safety and health measure to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in your workplace.
New Federal Law Provides Full COBRA Coverage
Vaccines: Incentives, Mandates and Interactions in the Workplace
Employee Retention Credits for Small Nonprofits
How to Calculate Your Maximum PPP Loan Amount – First Draw and Second Draw Loans
New PPP Forgiveness Forms
What Happens if You Accidentally Received Extra Money?
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Resources
Taking Additional Money from a First Draw PPP Loan
Educational Assistance Program Expanded to Cover Loan Repayments though 2025
Nonprofit employers may provide educational assistance programs to their employees as a benefit, to cover certain qualifying education expenses. The CARES Act temporarily expanded the definition of “educational assistance” to include qualified student loans. This expansion has been extended by the to include student loans through December 31, 2025. Find out more in this article about the expansion of educational assistance programs.Educational-Assistance-Program-Expansion
FFCRA Obligations Become Voluntary
On December 31, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) guidance. The update follows the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 (the “Act”) which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. The Act extended the FFCRA tax credit through March 31, 2021 if an employer voluntarily makes paid sick and family leave available to its employees from December 31, 2020 through March 31, 2021. The new Questions and Answers issued by the DOL clarify that:
- An employer is required to compensate employees for any FFCRA leave taken prior to December 31, 2020.
- An employer is not required to provide FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020, even if all available FFCRA leave was not exhausted in 2020.
- An employer may decide to provide such leave after December 31, 2020, and receive employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021.
If you have questions about the FFCRA, please contact your PBPA attorney.