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DOL expands eligibility for pandemic unemployment benefits

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance to state unemployment insurance agencies that expands the number of instances in which workers may be eligible for pandemic-related unemployment assistance.

Group plans must assure mental health coverage parity

Tucked innocently into the Consolidated Appropriations Act was a measure that largely escaped notice until now: A new requirement that says group health plans must comply with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

EEOC wellness rules would limit incentives

Two new proposed EEOC rules would strictly limit the incentives employers could offer to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs. In order to comply with the ADA and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, only minimal incentives would be allowed.

Coronavirus relief law adds more flexibility to flex funds

The coronavirus relief legislation signed into law Dec. 27 grants some financial leeway to employees who participate in health and dependent care flexible spending account plans.

The impact of COVID on workers’ comp claims

With fewer people in the workplace, employers have seen a big decrease in non-COVID workers’ compensation claims, down about 25–50% since early March.

Health costs flat despite (or because of) pandemic

Large employers encountered a paradox among the financial ruins of the coronavirus pandemic: Their health care costs rose just 1.9% in 2020, the lowest increase since 1997.

A shot in the arm is worth two questions, at least

Can you require employees to get vaccinated? And must your group health plan cover the expense cost-free to employees?

Check: Does your EPLI cover covid lawsuits?

Your employment practices liability insurance policy may not cover you for many lawsuits related to the coronavirus and covid-19. Now is the time to check with your insurance agent to know what your EPLI policy covers and whether you need to make coverage changes.

14.6 million lost health insurance since spring

An estimated 7.7 million workers lost employer-provided health insurance when they became unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch out! You could be liable for at-home workers’ comp injuries

Telecommuting plans hatched this spring were understandably ad hoc. Now it’s time to formally assess some of the employment law risks. That includes addressing workers’ compensation-qualifying injuries that occur at employees’ homes.