Leave and Accommodation Policies and Employee Benefits in the COVID-19 Era
Created on September 15, 2020
Presented by Susan Gross Sholinsky and Rina Fujii of Epstein Becker Green, this program will benefit Human Resources Practitioners, Benefits Administrators, Employment Lawyers, General Counsel, and others charged with the administration of employee benefits, leaves of absence, and accommodation in the workplace.
In the first part of the program, the presenters will address the growing body of state and local leave of absence laws, plus specific COVID-19 leave laws, regulations, and guidance at the federal and state/local level. Some laws provide only job-protected leaves, some only paid leave, and some provide both pay and job-protection. And some run concurrently with one another.
Additionally, the program will discuss emerging, and in some cases novel, pandemic-related accommodation issues, such as the whole new set of concerns arising from caregiver obligations, as many employees must remain at home caring for children engaged in remote learning, as well as special challenges that are sometimes associated with mental health concerns, and those presented by "higher-risk" older workers, who, traditionally, are not entitled to accommodations based solely on their age.
Against this legal backdrop, the presenters will provide practical guidance on crafting policies and approaches that are consistent with both applicable law and the company's business needs and objectives.
In the Benefits section of the program, the presenters will review how the CARES Act and subsequent federal guidance impact retirement and health benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also will discuss legally-compliant cost-cutting measures that employers may consider with regard to their benefit offerings as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, the program will identify and address the employee benefit pitfalls that may arise as a result of a long-term furlough or lay-off of employees.
- Review new sick time, family leave, and other time off laws implemented in light of COVID-19
- Assess how other new laws addressing paid time off may be implicated in COVID-19-related leave obligations
- Analyze law and guidance regarding the need to accommodate employees seeking to work from home (and other accommodations) related to COVID-19
- Consider how COVID-19's impact on employee mental health impacts employer accommodation obligations
- Discuss the interaction among FMLA, ADA, workers' compensation, short-term disability, FFCRA, and other paid leave laws
- Identify how new, COVID-19 laws interact with existing laws
- Evaluate the CARES Act and subsequent federal guidance impact on retirement and health benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Discover cost-cutting measures that employers may consider with regard to their benefit offerings as a result of COVID-19
- Avoid the employee benefit pitfalls that may arise as a result of a long-term furlough or lay-off of employees
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