The Latest Coronavirus Coverage from Paypro
(This post will be continuously updated as news develops)
The COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus is affecting the health, safety and earning power of individuals on a global scale. As countries, states and communities are adapting to the spread of the virus, businesses are changing the ways they operate in order to do their part in helping fight COVID-19, keep people at home, and survive within a panicked economy.
While the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, there are best practices that managers are applying to their workforce. If you need help or assistance setting up electronic payments, managing your remote workforce, or conducting employee health screenings please contact Paypro today.
Key Things We’re Tracking In This Post…
- Latest Coronavirus News Impacting Businesses
- Unemployment Benefits in NY, NJ & CT
- Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses
- Paypro Recommendations (Telemedicine & Electronic Payments)
- WHO/CDC Best Practices
Latest Coronavirus News Impacting Businesses
- American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Signed into Law: President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which provides approximately $1.9 trillion in spending to address the continued impact of COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan Act is a follow up to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), which became law in late March 2020, and that part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the Consolidated Appropriations Act) devoted to COVID-19 relief, which was adopted in late December 2020. Learn more.
- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.2588-A/A.3354-B): granting public and private employees time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Under this new law, employees will be granted up to four hours of excused leave per injection that will not be charged against any other leave the employee has earned or accrued. This legislation becomes effective immediately and applies through December 31, 2022. For more, visit the Governor Cuomo Press Room
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Delays EEO Data Collection: The EEOC will delay the anticipated opening of the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection and the 2020 EEO-3 and EEO-5 data collections because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. For more, visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.
- E-Verify Extends Timeframe for Taking Action to Resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations: E-Verify is extending the timeframe to take action to resolve Social Security Administration Tentative Nonconfirmations due to SSA office closures to the public. E-Verify is also extending the timeframe to take action to resolve Department of Homeland Security TNCs in limited circumstances when an employee cannot resolve a TNC due to public or private office closures. Learn more.
- Federal Law Alert: New I-9 Policy Due to COVID-19: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a temporary policy to allow employers to accept expired List B documents when completing the Form I-9 beginning May 1. This policy is intended to account for the fact that many people are unable to renew their driver’s licenses or state ID cards at this time due to stay-at-home orders. For more on temporary I-9 policies, visit the questions and answers provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Has Announced New Regulation Requiring Health Insurers to Defer Payments Through June 1, 2020: On April 2, 2020 New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that, through June 1, 2020, consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums under individual and small group commercial health insurance plans. To read the full press release by the New York State – Department of Financial Services, click here.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Prepares Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Find the answers to the questions you may be asking. Download the checklist today.
- April 1 Effective Date for FFCRA Leaves: On Tuesday, March 24, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the effective date of the leaves available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will be April 1, 2020. Based on the language in the bill, the effective date was widely believed to be April 2. The DOL announced the effective date in a “Questions and Answers” document where it also provided answers to some common questions.
- IRS Guidance: On March 20, the IRS issued a news release regarding the federal payroll tax credit that will be available to employers with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency leave and/or paid sick time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- New York Paid Sick Leave Benefits for COVID-19: Due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country and in New York, Governor Cuomo signed into law on March 19, 2020 Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave. Click to download additional paid sick leave information courtesy of Professional Group Plans.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020. In the coming days and weeks, federal regulatory agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS), will provide guidance on how to execute or implement the new requirements. In the meantime, employers and advisors must rely on a good faith interpretation of the act’s text.
- IRS Tax Filing Deadline Extension: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020.
- New Tax Credits for Qualified Employers: Qualified employers may recover the costs of providing employee benefits by claiming new refundable payroll tax credits for qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages paid for pay periods between March 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Find additional updates courtesy of Lewis Rice.
- United States Department of Labor Releases Official Poster for the New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Download the poster here.
- New FFCRA Rule and Guidance from the DOL and IRS: The DOL has released rules related to administration of leaves under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Additionally, the IRS has released a helpful overview and FAQ covering common questions about payroll tax credits in detail.
- New York State Department of Labor Requirements: In order to ensure that you are complying with your legal obligations, and to facilitate the timely processing of unemployment insurance benefits applications, the New York State Department of Labor is directing all New York State employers to complete Form IA 12.3 – Record of Employment.
Key Recommendations From Paypro
1. Evaluate Telemedicine For Your Organization
Paypro is proud to offer Telemedicine services through MDLIVE, allowing you to visit with a Doctor 24/7/365 from your home, office or on-the-go. During this period of uncertainty we’ve secured an exclusive arrangement to offer these services as a standalone benefit to any organization, regardless of existing coverage. Learn more about our Telemedicine offering here.
2. Transition Away From Paper Check Printing
If your employees normally pick up their checks in person, they may be putting themselves at risk with the COVID-19 outbreak. Even mail services are concerned about spreading the disease and are overloaded with other deliveries as well.
Paypro’s primary recommendation to HR organizations is to switch to some form of electronic payment, such as direct deposit or debit card, instead of relying on paper checks. Other benefits include:
- Custom reporting capabilities
- Ability to integrate with benefits administration to eliminate double entries
- Offering self-service to help employees manage their payment preferences
By transitioning to electronic payments, you can ensure that your employees get paid on time, without having to worry about leaving the house to pick up their checks. Helping your employees stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak can keep their families safe during this difficult time.
Additionally, during this period of uncertainty and concern, we encourage businesses to inform their employees of the ability to track individual stimulus checks courtesy of the IRS.
3. Be A Good Corporate Citizen
As the situation caused by COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly, all of us should be doing everything we can to keep our employees, customers and communities safe.
Following the direction of the WHO and CDC, we continue to introduce safety measures to help contain the spread of this pandemic. Some of those safety measures include:
- Minimizing close contact in our communities
- Helping organizations identify electronic methods of communicating, supporting, and paying their employees
- Providing streamlined workflow management systems to keep operations moving
- Advising HR administrators how to deal with new challenges brought on by unprecedented circumstances
WHO/CDC Best Practices for Handling COVID-19
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects the upper respiratory tract, which includes sinuses, nose, throat, windpipe and lungs. Infections of COVID-19 range from mild to severe, with some cases resulting in death.
COVID-19 spreads most notably when a person that’s infected coughs or sneezes in an area around others that aren’t infected. The airborne droplets can be sprayed at distances up to 6 feet away. If these droplets land on a surface, the virus can survive for a short amount of time and infect those that are in contact with the surface and then touch their face, eyes, or mouth.
- Washing hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds, or cleaning them with alcohol-based sanitizer
- Avoiding unnecessary touching of the face, nose and mouth
- Practicing social distancing, such as self-isolating at home, not gathering in large groups, and remaining 6 feet away from others
In order to limit contact between persons, local governments are forcing many businesses to close their doors. Some organizations have already adapted by allowing their staff to work from home remotely and communicating through online apps and software tools.
While it can be challenging for employees to balance their personal life and work obligations from home, ensuring that they have the tools they need will help them stay productive and organized. It’s also necessary to set communication guidelines, schedule regular progress updates, and be as transparent as possible about the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Contact Paypro to Help Manage Your Workforce During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Although the world is rapidly changing, companies must survive by streamlining their processes, implementing new technologies, and treating their employees with care. At Paypro, we can help your business with products, services and implementation that can make a positive difference.
With over 27 years of operational experience, our expert team has helped a variety of businesses with custom automations that save them time and money. Our priority is to help you find ways of cutting unnecessary costs, improving the efficiency of your operations, and keeping your employees safe and secure.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.