Greetings!

Welcome to your March updates! The first quarter is coming to a close, and we found some employer topics and updates we think you will find useful in the remaining portion of 2021. Feel free to reach out to our team should you have any related questions.
- Biden's American Rescue Plan -
What Employers Need to Know
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the "American Rescue Plan" into law. This COVID relief package aims to provide direct relief to Americans, safely reopen schools, and mount a national vaccination program to contain COVID-19.

Here are the provisions of most interest to employers:

  • Direct Payments: Payment of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 to individuals earning less than $80,000 or $160,000 for joint filers.
  • Unemployment Insurance: Extension of the federal "add-on" of $300 in extra weekly UI benefits through September 6, 2021.
  • FFCRA Leave: Employers with fewer than 500 employees may continue to provide leave for certain COVID-related reasons, with refundable federal tax credits available through September 30, 2021.
  • COBRA Subsidies: Coverage of 100% of the cost of continuing health insurance under COBRA.
  • PPP: Adds an additional $7.25 billion to 2020's Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Restaurant Relief: $28.6 billion dedicated to restaurant/food service industry.
  • Child Tax Credit: Temporarily increases the child tax credit for 2021, allowing 17 year old children to qualify, increasing the credit to $3,000 per child.
  • Multi-Employer Pension Relief: Includes $86 billion to support 185 failing multi-employer pension plans, ensuring pensioners continue to receive their retirement benefits for the next 30 years.
Employee Temperature & Health Screenings
As states begin reopening, employee health screenings continue as a main safety measure across the country. Jurisdictions, however, cause great variation in this measure for multi-site employers - making compliance a tricky subject. For example, Colorado has a temperature screening requirement for workplaces, while Arizona has a recommendation, and California has none.

See All Statewide Orders HERE
OSHA's National Emphasis Program (NEP)
Targets High-Hazard Industries, Including Restaurants
On March 12, 2021, OSHA issued a new National Emphasis Program (NEP) "targeting specific high-hazard industries or activities", which aims to primarily target the healthcare industry, but also includes others such as restaurants and grocery stores. The goal is to reduce/eliminate worker exposures to the virus, which will be carried out through inspection targeting, employer outreach, and compliance assistance. Here are some common questions answered.
When will inspections begin?
Programmed inspections will start on March 26, 2021. There will be no outreach period prior to these inspections.

What will an NEP inspection look like?
A Compliance and Safety Health Officer (CSHO) must verify the NAICS code for the establishment with the employer, determine whether work practices that may cause worker exposures are conducted at the worksite, and review injury and illness logs for 2020 and 2021 to identify any work-related cases of COVID-19.

What can employers in targeted industries do now?
  • Review the NEP to understand OSHA's new targeting priorities.
  • Compare current workplace exposure measures to recommended guidance from OSHA, CDC, and other health agencies.
  • Conduct audits to insure your workforce follows COVID-19 protocol.
  • Review all OSHA logs and safety records to identify any indications of work-related COVID-19 issues at a worksite.
CHECK YOUR STATE'S COVID-19 VACCINATION PLANS HERE
As we move into a new phase of the pandemic, employers have their eyes on vaccination plans as it pertains to their state and industries. Talks of mandatory vaccination or incentivized vaccination are popular subjects in this evolving time, requiring furthered knowledge of vaccine allocation and statewide vaccine phases.
A GIFT FOR YOU
Did you run out of access from our HR trial last year? Good news!
Clients* have been gifted an additional FREE MONTH of access to our HR portal! Your portal includes pandemic resources, quick legal assistance (talk to real lawyers about your HR questions), employer-related articles, webinars, and more.

This access begins TODAY (March 18, 2021), so take a look NOW!
*Clients who no longer have access to Enquiron from last year's trial will be given this additional month trial, starting March 18, 2021. Your login information has remained the same. Newer clients who were not in the initial trial have been given their own version of access, and may still navigate the portal with the provided link. Please reach out to us with any access or trial questions.
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Roseville, CA 95747
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