The Louisiana legislature has passed new laws requiring employers to provide accommodations for certain pregnant employees and limiting an employer’s use of an applicant’s criminal history in hiring decisions.  Both laws become effective on August 1, 2021.

Amendment to Pregnancy Accommodation Law

By Act No. 393 of the 2021 Regular Session, Louisiana’s nondiscrimination

Last week we reviewed five of the most common, and problematic, labor and employment law issues in bankruptcy. You can read last week’s article here. Below are five additional labor and employment law concerns in bankruptcy that companies must know and assess when they are undergoing bankruptcy.

6. Back Wages

Companies must obviously pay

On June 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Notice 2020-50 which expands the categories of individuals eligible for coronavirus-related distributions (“CRDs”), loans, and loan repayment suspensions as well as resolves some of the issues that were concerning plan administrators and employers under the CARES Act. Under Section 2202 of the CARES Act, a qualifying CRD, which is subject to an aggregate $100,000 maximum, is: (1) not subject to the 10% additional tax on early distributions, (2) generally includible in income over a 3-year period, and (3) to the extent the distribution is eligible for tax-free rollover treatment and is contributed to an eligible retirement plan within a 3-year period, will not be included in income. Section 2202 also provides that: (1) for loans made during on or after March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) and before September 23, 2020, the limit on loans from an eligible retirement plan is raised to the lesser of $100,000 (reduced by the excess of outstanding loans) or 100% of the participant’s vested accrued benefit; and (2) for loans with outstanding balances on or after March 27, 2020, a one-year delay in loan repayment due dates is provided with respect to due dates occurring during the period from March 27, 2020, to December 31, 2020. For more information on these CARES Act topics see our prior newsletter here.
Continue Reading Additional Guidance for Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Loans Under the CARES Act

Updated July 8, 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, which established, in relevant part, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program that offers eligible borrowers the potential for loan forgiveness. For more information on the PPP and other CARES Act lending programs, click here, and for information about applying for PPP loans, click here.
Continue Reading Changes to PPP Loans by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020

The Department of Labor (the “DOL”), the Treasury Department (the “Treasury”), and the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”)  have recently issued guidance extending certain deadlines and providing certain relief for retirement plans in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Discussed below are (1) EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, (2) DOL “COVID-19 FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries,” (3) IRS Notice 2020-23, and (4)  IRS “Coronavirus-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs questions and answers.”
Continue Reading Guidance and Relief for Retirement Plans Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated August 31, 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, which established, in relevant part, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan program that offers eligible borrowers the potential for loan forgiveness. For more information on the PPP and other CARES Act lending programs, click here, and for information about applying for PPP loans, click here.

On June 5, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the Flexibility Act), which amends the CARES Act to make certain changes to PPP loans and to provide more flexibility to borrowers. For an overview of the changes made by the Flexibility Act, click here. To the extent available, this blog post has been updated to incorporate the changes made by the Flexibility Act.


Continue Reading Applying for Loan Forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Updated August 31, 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, which provides for various economic stimulus measures, including a new loan program regulated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). You can read more about the PPP and the other stimulus programs here.

On June 5, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the Flexibility Act), which amends the CARES Act to make certain changes to PPP loans and to provide more flexibility to borrowers. For an overview of the changes made by the Flexibility Act, click here. This blog post has been updated to incorporate the changes made by the Flexibility Act.

On July 4, 2020, President Trump signed into law a bill that extends the application period for PPP loans from June 30, 2020, to August 8, 2020, which provides eligible borrowers additional time to contact participating lenders to facilitate a PPP application.


Continue Reading Applying for a Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Day-to-day life has been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and many businesses have been forced to close or limit their service to slow the spread of COVID-19. In response, Congress has passed several pieces of legislation to assist individuals and businesses affected by the virus.


Continue Reading COVID-19 Federal Legislative Response

Previous regulations on hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans generally provided that a participant could receive an in-service distribution prior to reaching age 59½ if the participant had an immediate and heavy financial need.  The determination of whether a participant had an immediate and heavy financial need was determined based on all relevant facts and circumstances.  However, to simplify administration, the regulations provided for safe-harbor hardship withdrawals that were deemed to be an immediate and heavy financial need.

Late last month, the IRS published final regulations that significantly relaxed some of the requirements under the  safe-harbor provisions.  Some of the changes are mandatory and some are permissive.  The changes are discussed in detail below.


Continue Reading New Final Regulations on Hardship Distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) Plans

On June 13, 2019, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Treasury (the “Departments”), published final regulations which significantly broaden the types of health plans that may be integrated with a health reimbursement arrangement (“HRA”). More specifically, beginning January 2020, the finalized rules allow HRAs to be integrated with certain qualifying individual health plan coverage and/or Medicare.  The final rules reverse current guidance which requires HRAs to be integrated with only qualifying group health plan coverage. Practically speaking, this means that employers, beginning in 2020, will be allowed to subsidize employee premiums in the individual health insurance market and/or Medicare using pre-tax dollars, provided certain conditions are met. The final rules also allow certain HRAs to reimburse participants for certain premiums paid for excepted benefits. To achieve these results, the final rules create two new types of HRAs.


Continue Reading New Final Regulations Expand the Availability of HRAs