February 2021
HR & Safety News, Insights and Updates
Consultstu LLC delivers fractional human resources services to small/mid businesses.
Our monthly newsletter keeps keeps clients and friends up to date on important
law updates, news and trends. 
IRS Updates FAQs on Employer Tax Credits for FFCRA Leave
On Jan. 29, 2021, the IRS updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) on tax credits available to employers for providing paid employee leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The paid sick and family leave requirements of the FFCRA expired on Dec. 31, 2020; however, the law’s tax credits were extended for employers that voluntarily provide the leave to employees through March 31, 2021. The IRS released a new FAQ on this extension. Read the FAQ.
SSA "No match" letters Return in 2021: 4 Steps to Respond
After taking a pandemic related break in 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is resuming the practice of sending “no match” letters to employers, according to experts. A “no match” letter is a written notification by the SSA to an employer that there is a discrepancy between a workers’ social security number (used on W2 form) and government records. If your company receives a "no match" letter, read this article.

EEOC Informs Companies to file both 2019 and 2020 data in EEO-1 Portal - April 2021
Washington DC - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in early January that it will open the equal employment opportunity (EEO) data collections later in 2021. The agency had previously delayed EEO collections in May 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the announcement, EEO reporting will now resume according to the following schedule. Private employers and federal contractors will be required to file both 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data.

Biden Freezes Independent Contractor Rule - Plans to Makes it Harder to Designate
The Biden administration’s move to freeze pending Trump-era regulations halted a high-stakes Labor Department rule that would make it easier for businesses to designate their workers as independent contractors and forces other federal workplace agencies to address rules that didn’t take effect before Inauguration Day. Agencies also are expected to “claw back” any rules that have been sent for publication to the Federal Register, but not yet published, per the memo’s instructions.

DOL also withdrew recent Opinion Letters recently issued by the Trump Administration that eased the rules for Independent Contractor designation.
OSHA Updates COVID Guidance
OSHA has issued more than $4 million dollars in initial Coronavirus-related citations as of Thursday, January 14, 2021. See the list.

On January 29, OSHA issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus prevention program and better identify risks that could lead to exposure. President Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure. Read more.
HR Question: Are unemployed Floridians eligible for increased unemployment benefits now?
Answer: Yes, the federal COVID-19 relief package (signed in December) extended federal unemployment benefits until March 31, 2021. Eligible claimants receive additional weeks of benefits as well as $300 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits for each week a claimant receives state benefits. When that expires, Biden's plan (a/k/a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill) would increase federal unemployment by $400 until September 2021.