- Mandated FFCRA leave ends on Dec. 31, 2020
- As of Jan. 1, 2021, covered employers may voluntarily provide emergency paid sick leave or emergency paid FMLA leave under FFCRA and take the tax credit associated with this leave
- The tax credit may only be taken for leave through March 31, 2021
Back To Work 2020
The US Department of Labor has ruled the following:
Employers cannot keep tips their employees receive, nor can they allow managers or supervisors to keep any portion of those tips.
The agency issued a final rule that addressed changes made to the Fair Labor Standards Act by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
It said: prohibits employers or managers from keeping any part of employees’ tips, regardless of whether the employer takes a credit for tips earned by workers toward its minimum wage obligation to those employees under the FLSA.
“This final rule provides clarity and flexibility for employers and could increase pay for back-of-the house workers, like cooks and dishwashers, who have been excluded from participating in tip pools in the past,” Wage and Hour administrator Cheryl Stanton said in a statement.
“Newly allowed tip sharing may incentivize the inclusion of these previously excluded workers and reduce wage disparities among all workers who contribute to customers’ experience.”
By clarifying the rule, the department said it’s helping employers and workers throughout food service industries.
The agency said the final rule also largely codifies its guidance on an employer’s ability to claim the tip credit when workers do tipped and non-tipped duties, clarifying when employers can continue to claim the tip credit while the employee performs duties that do not generate tips.
The guidance clarifies which non-tipped duties are considered related to a tip-producing occupation.
The CAA did not impact established regulations that apply to employers who take a tip credit under the FLSA.
An employer who claims a tip credit must ensure that a mandatory “traditional” tip pool includes only workers who customarily and regularly receive tips, meaning employees such as cooks or dishwashers aren’t included.
However, the CAA removed the regulatory restrictions on an employer’s ability to require tip pooling when it does not take a tip credit and instead pays tipped employees the full minimum wage in direct wages.
Those employers may now implement mandatory nontraditional tip pools, which can include employees such as cooks and dishwashers.
The final rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Everyone wants to know what is in the new bill and how it will help their business. As you know it is over 5000 pages long and includes everything including the kitchen sink. But this is what we think is most important for you:
- Extension of repayment and interest on deferred employee social security taxes.
- Extension of the paid sick and family leave due to COVID until March 2021
- PPP income will not be considered gross income for tax purposes
- Certain emergency financial aid to college students will not be considered gross income
- COVID loans forgiven, EIDL grants and some loan repayments will not be considered gross income
- There is a second round of PPP:
- includes 501c6 organizations
- must have used the first PPP funds
- under 300 employees
- demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross receipts in the first, second or third quarter of 2020
- cannot have received funding under Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program
- seasonal employers eligible if operates no more than 7 months and earned no more than 1/3 its receipts in any 6 months
- covered period extended to March 31, 2021
- Changes to PPP forgiveness to include
- allow payments for software, cloud computing, and other HR and accounting needs
- property damage due to pubic disturbances not covered by insurance
- supplier costs in effect before the loan essential to operations
- PPP and adaptive investments to comply with COVID guidelines
- covered period flexibility
- simplified application for loans under $150,000
- group insurance programs payments included as payroll costs
- businesses not in operation prior to Feb 15, 2020 not eligible for round 1 or 2 of PPP
- interest rates are non-compounding and non-adjustable
- Creates Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators
- $15 billion for live venue operators or promoters, theatres, live performances, museums, movies
- have 25% reduction in revenues
- $2 billion for entities with less than 50 employees
- first round for those with 90% revenue loss, second round 70% revenue loss, then open to all others
- used for payroll, rent, utilities and PPP
- Extension of loan repayment of SBA loans
- EIDL grants up to $10k in low-income communities
- Extends EIDL grant application thru Dec 2021
- No longer required the repayment of EIDL grants thru a PPP loan/forgiveness (including a refund if it was deducted)
Other parts of the bill include:
- Enhanced jobless benefits of $300 per week for unemployed
- Direct payments of up to $600 per adult and child
- $25 billion for rental assistance and an eviction moratorium extension
- $45 billion to support transportation services, including airports, Amtrak and airline employees
We will keep you up to date with other changes including sharing webinars explaining these new programs.
The Windham Region Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Save Small Business Coalition, has joined forces with hundreds of other chambers and business associations to advocate for a fund to help businesses, and America, recover from the COVID pandemic. America’s Recovery Fund Coalition brings together more than 150 members across retail, restaurants, theaters, live events, the travel industry, and financial services to advocate for a fund to help businesses recover. Together, we represent 58 million American workers – 45% of the American workforce.
When people hear America’s Recovery Fund Coalition represents 45% of the entire national workforce, they want to learn a bit about what exactly we advocate. So, we created a graphic (below) to put all the important pieces in one place: who the coalition is, how the fund will work, and why we need it now–not months from now.
Politics and policy will continue to shift –but one thing will remain constant: America’s recovery story will be written by the decisions policymakers make today. America’s Recovery Fund will provide the certainty and support businesses and working families need to reverse the current economic downturn. Our voices MUST be heard by our legislators. The Windham Region Chamber has been working for months with our local municipalities, state officials and our national delegation to represent our members and other small businesses in our region, their needs, their concerns and their obstacles. But we have not only told them the bad news. We have offered REAL solutions that will keep our local businesses viable. Hours and hours of conversations, letter writing, press conferences, meetings and petitions are what we have been diligently working on so that your VOICE is heard in Washington and at the State Capitol.
Here is information about the America’s Recovery Fund:
HOW CAN YOU HELP US?
Tell your Congressional reps that Small Business needs additional funding to survive that offer financial and legal protections, and workforce development for small businesses, their employees, and the chambers of commerce and organizations who help them thrive. It is imperative that we help small businesses recover and get back up to full speed. The economy of our communities, states and nation depend on it.
Use this link https://tinyurl.com/SSBCnov and you can send your letter in just one click.
Thank you for helping to save and reinvigorate our small business communities nationwide. #savesmallbusiness #SSBC
The Windham Region Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that it has joined the nationwide movement to save small businesses and is the first chamber from Connecticut to do so. The Save Small Business Coalition is a group of over 200 chambers of commerce and business associations across the nation created to address the issues and concerns generated from the COVID pandemic. This coalition is not about one single industry, this is about all small businesses across the nation that need funds right now to stay afloat to maintain the continuity of their business. We are asking for extraordinary emergency action by the Government to empower an urgent solution that currently doesn’t exist.
For many months, communities across our nation have seen their local businesses make difficult decisions to reduce hours, lay off employees, and sadly, in some cases, close their doors for good. Many businesses have not qualified for disaster loan programs and some cannot afford to incur additional debt. With guidelines changing constantly and business owners trying desperately to meet the requirements, an environment of financial uncertainty has been created.
The SSBS’s latest call to action has been a letter to congress asking for an immediate “Phase 4” bill that includes:
Paycheck Protection Program Extension and Enhancement:
- Broaden the definition of forgivable expenses to include costs associated with protecting employees and customers and expand the period during which expenses qualify for loan forgiveness.
- Simplified good faith certification for loan forgiveness of loans under $150,000.
- Expansion of eligible borrowers to include all non-profits including 501(c)(6) organizations with no more than 300 employees as long as PPP funds are not used for lobbying.
- Authorization of a second round of loans for small businesses experiencing revenue reductions of 35% or more.
- Provide $1.3 billion to assist job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services through a combination of new and existing programs.
Business Liability Protection:
- Protection from COVID-19 related exposure liability for those employers who follow applicable federal, state, or local government guidelines for the protection of their employees and/or customers.
- Protection from liability claims arising from COVID-19 medical care for healthcare workers and facilities.
State and Local Aid:
- Assist state and local government’s experiencing one-time COVID-related expenses and revenue shortfalls based on fixed share of actual costs and revenue shortfalls within an overall funding cap.
The Governor’s Executive Order 9M has given DECD the authority to create guidelines for sporting events in CT, to include team sports and youth events.
TEAM SPORTS ON PAUSE 11/23/2020 THROUGH 1/19/2021
• Pause affects all sporting activities except for Collegiate and Professional. Teams that view themselves as professional must obtain approval from DECD.
• Masks now required in Gyms and Fitness Centers, no exceptions.
• “Team” is defined as a group of more than 4 people jointly engaged in an organized or recreational athletic activity on a court, field, etc.
WHAT IS PROHIBITED DURING TEAM SPORTS ON PAUSE
• Participation in High Risk Sports (other than conditioning/non-contact drills)
• All Team scrimmages, competitions, camps, clinics and tournaments (including all interscholastic, “pick-up” games, and other informal athletic activities)
• Participation in any out-of-state Team practices (including conditioning), competitions, camps, clinics and tournaments by CT residents
• Participation in competitions, camps, clinics, tournaments in CT by out-of-state Teams
• Teams are not able to break up into smaller groups to practice or compete (e.g. a 20 person team practicing or competing in groups of 4 or less at the same time and location is not allowed)
WHAT IS ALLOWED DURING TEAM SPORTS ON PAUSE
• Outdoor Recreation activities
• Individual and small group training (4 people or fewer)
• Individual and small group Moderate and Low Risk Sports (4 people or fewer)
• Gyms (masks now required, no exceptions, minimum 6ft spacing and other Sector Rule Safeguards)
• Group Fitness Classes & Dance Studios, Yoga, Martial Arts Instruction, etc.
• Reduced to 25% capacity (from 50%)
• Masks now required, no exceptions
• Subject to minimum 6ft spacing and other Sector Rule Safeguards
• School Gym Classes (No Team sports subject to Pause to be played)
• Professional teams that obtain DECD approval and Sanctioned (NCAA/NAIA) Interscholastic College Sports (Recreational/Club sports on college campuses are subject to Team Sports on Pause rules)
SWIMMING POOLS RESTRICTIONS
No more than 4 swimmers will be allowed in the pool at any time. Patrons on the pool deck area shall maintain 6 ft social distancing at all times. Swimming instructors should wear waterproof masks.
For the updated Sector Rules go HERE.