As the COVID-19 situation has rapidly evolved, we wanted to create a simple webpage that has various resources available to all B.A.I.S. Clients and Colleagues
Employment Law Resources
Our ERISA Attorney partners at Maynard, Cooper & Gale have been incredible with helping to keep our clients informed of the quick changes happening from a legislative standpoint.
Please take a look at Maynard, Cooper & Gale’s informative COVID-19 FAQ Guide for Employers to help you navigate through the constantly changing information we are all seeing right now.
COVID-19 Resources Webinar Series: Next webinar is Tuesday, April 21st!
Date: Tuesday, April 21st @ 8am PT
**This is the last webinar in our weekly COVID-19 resources series. We then move to a bi-monthly schedule with webinars on May 5th and 19th.
Leader: Matthew Stiles and Matthew Connova of Maynard Cooper & Gale, PC
Topic: As part of the TRUE Network Advisors COVID-19 Resources, please join us for our webinar series in which the attorneys of Maynard, Cooper & Gale will provide a timely discussion regarding employer responsibilities and best practices with regard to COVID-19, as well as updates on legislation and guidance from Congress and federal agencies, including CDC, OSHA, EEOC, DOL, IRS, and HHS.
See below for links to recordings of recent webinars hosted by Maynard, Cooper & Gale:
HR Best Practices Resources
Right now employers feel isolated. But they’re not alone. ThinkHR and Mammoth have been fielding thousands of coronavirus-related questions from business owners. And they’re jointly making their essential COVID-19 resources available for free to all employers in need. Access their resource page at
All clients of Intrepid have unlimited access to ThinkHR, which is a fantastic HR consulting strategy. You can log in or call (877-225-1101) at any time, and their experts will help to answer HR questions and resolve workforce issues. This includes questions about how to handle COVID-19 related issues such as employee leave, furlough, layoffs, COBRA, travel, and other industry or job-specific questions. If you would like a refresher about what else ThinkHR provides, you can CLICK HERE to learn more.
ThinkHR understands the biggest challenges facing employers right now, so they have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their recent webinars to help employers get trusted answers.
See below for links to recordings of recent webinars hosted by ThinkHR.
March 31st Webinar Recording: Click here>>
March 19th Webinar Recording: Click here>>
The ThinkHR website has a resource center where they have gathered materials to help you stay on top of employee concerns. It includes CDC materials such as posters for employees and other materials including these:
Following the President’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act of 2020 into law on March 27th, we wanted to provide a brief overview of the act as well as highlight the new SBA forgivable loan.
For an overview of every part of the CARES Act, please CLICK HERE.
Forgivable SBA Loan Program
The CARES Act provides employers with fewer than 500 employees to apply for a 100% forgivable loan of up to the lesser of 2.5x monthly payroll incurred in the one year period prior to obtaining the loan or $10,000,000.
As long as the employer uses these funds to pay for payroll, benefits, interest(not principal), rent and utilities, AND the employer retains their employees from 3/1/2020-6/30/2020, then the loan is completely forgiven by the federal government with no tax penalty.
There will be provisions to allow for the re-hiring of terminated employees within 30 days of the enactment of the law in order to still qualify for this forgiveness.
Medical Carrier Resources
All California medical carriers have committed to waiving any costs related to the diagnostic services related to testing for COVID-19. In addition, many carriers have also announced that they are waiving copays for all telehealth or virtual doctor visits for ALL medical conditions at this time.
As of April 1st, some carriers have announced they are waiving cost-sharing for treatment related to COVID-19 as well. See below for a carrier by carrier breakdown of what has been announced so far.
Aetna has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits through the Aetna Health app through June 4th, 2020.
Aetna has also announced that they will waive cost-sharing for inpatient hospital admission related to COVID-19.
Anthem Blue Cross: Anthem has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits via Live Health Online visits through June 14th, 2020.
Anthem has also announced that they will waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals.
Blue Shield of California: Blue Shield has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits via Teladoc through May 31st, 2020.
Blue Shield has also announced that they will waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals.
Health Net: Health Net has put together a website where members can go to in order to find COVID-19 resources for its members.
Kaiser: Members can schedule a free phone or video visit by signing in to the Kaiser Permanente app or going to kp.org or calling 1-833-KP4CARE (1-833-574-2273).
Kaiser has announced that members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay co-pays or other cost-share related to their medical treatment of COVID-19, including hospitalization.
United Healthcare: United has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits relating to COVID-19 testing via their app through June 15th, 2020.
Carrier Guidelines for COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period, Premium Grace Period, Benefits for Furloughed Employees, etc.
Please reference this carrier guidelines document to find out your specific medical carrier’s rules for the following: special enrollment opportunity for employees and dependents to enroll on employer coverage, premium payment 60-day grace period, whether groups will be re-certified at their renewal, the ability for employers to only pay true premiums currently, furlough rules related to benefits eligibility, and re-hire waiting periods.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201)
DOL and FFCRA Regulations Now in Effect
On Wednesday, March 18th, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The updated FFCRA applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Employers’ obligations became effective on April 1, 2020 and automatically expire on December 31, 2020. Some points of interest from the DOL’s regulations are highlighted HERE.
The highlights of the law provide certain employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for various Coronavirus-related absences from work. Further, some employees forced to stay home to care for children due to school and childcare closures are entitled to expanded FMLA leave at 2/3 pay for up to 12 weeks.
Required FFCRA Poster
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a mandatory employee rights poster for the FFCRA. It should be posted or distributed to employees electronically (via email or online portal) by April 1. More information on the requirements can be found here.
New Guidance from the DOL on Administering FFCRA Leaves
We strongly suggest that employers read through the entire Question and Answers document prior to April 1st, so they have an understanding of how the leaves work. The following are some highlights from the updated guidance:
These leaves are not available to employees with reduced hours, furloughed employees, or employees’ whose workplaces are closed. See questions 23-28.
These leaves are not available to employees whose workplaces are closed due to a federal, state, or local shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, or due to business slowdowns. See questions 23 and 27.
These leaves (and payroll tax credit) are not retroactive. Employees are not entitled to pay under these leaves if they were absent or out of work (for any reasons) prior to April 1. See question 13.
Employers should keep documentation to show that employees who received leave were actually in need of leave. The documentation requirements will be outlined in soon-to-be-released IRS guidance. See Questions 15 and 16.
Please click on the links below to access sample FFCRA election and certification forms that represent the best practices and collective wisdom of our own and many other labor/employment/benefits practitioners. We provide these to you with the caveat that they represent a best practice approach at this time and may need to be re-evaluated as the DOL and Treasury continue to develop rules.
Small Business Administration Materials
The U.S. Small Business Administration has created a website dedicated to various new programs avaialbe to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources.
These new loans include the forgivable loan addressed in the CARES section above, their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, SBA Express Bridge Loans and Local Assistance.
SBA issued guidance entitled SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus, explaining how the SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.
“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.
Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
Also see Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources.
California Employment Development Department (EDD) Resources
In the face of the COVID-19, the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) wants to keep workers, employers, co-workers, and families safe. What employees are entitled to may be confusing. We are trying to make it easier and spread awareness through this centralized source of info. Use the guidance below to determine what is best for you, your family, and your workplace.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created a resource page for workers and employers. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has a website that explains how the Family and Medical Leave Act applies in cases of COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. Fact Sheet #70 provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding furloughs and other reductions in pay or hours worked.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a COVID-19 website for workers and employers that addresses the disease and provides guidance and other resources for preventing exposure to and infection with the virus.
Topics covered include:
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued:
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease, which provides recommended workplace strategies for employers and guidance on how to decrease COVID-19 spread, information on how to respond to outbreaks, and additional resources; and
- Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak, which provides a chronological timeline and summary of the virus, cases reported in the United States, and the agency’s public health response to the illness.
The CDC has also created the following posters for download:
- What you need to know
- What to do if you are sick
- Stop the spread of germs
- Symptoms of coronavirus
- President’s Coronavirus Guidance: 15 Days to Slow the Spread
- Workplace, School and Home Guidance