Ambiguities in Coronavirus Relief Bills Challenge Employers

April 03, 2020

As employers seek to understand the sweeping and complex coronavirus relief bills recently passed, pressing questions have emerged, such as details as to who is covered and for how long under the new unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

In an effort to clarify the laws, the DOL has published guidance on the UI provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act.  In addition, the Department has issued a temporary rule to implement the paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

HR Policy has also created a members-only policy brief of the new UI benefits and answers to questions frequently asked by employers on the UI benefits and paid leave requirements.  These include determining whether subsidiaries count separately toward the 500-employee threshold for the paid leave mandates.  (Note: you will need your HR Policy login credentials to view these materials.  Please contact Natalie Stewart at nstewart@hrpolicy.org if you need assistance.) 

Webinars:  The Association conducted two webinars this week on the legislation to clarify the components of the just-passed bills that matter most to the HR functions of large employers.

  • During the first call, the Association examined the practical implications of the legislation in three areas: its unemployment insurance provisions, its ramifications for health care, and its requirements regarding executive compensation.

  • The second call, led by the Association’s American Health Policy Institute, explored how our members are adjusting their benefits programs to meet the needs of their employees, as well as the political and economic implications for health care reform moving forward. 

You can find summaries of both calls, as well as the presentations, on the Association’s Coronavirus Resources Page

Looking ahead:  As the new laws are implemented, further questions will surface.  More broadly, once this “new normal” settles in, the question will become what it means for policymaking in the long term.