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First Steps to Be Taken by Biden Administration

Many of the Cabinet nominees made by President Biden are veterans of the Obama Administration. The management community is always interested in who is running the Department of Labor (DOL), and the appointment of Boston Mayor Marty Walls is relatively uncontroversial. Walls is an old friend of the President and, like the President, has a reputation as a pragmatist and consensus-builder. He comes from the building trades that are perhaps the most moderate of all labor unions, and indeed, many of the leaders of the building trades are privately Republican-oriented. 

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Last Day to File for Refund of Paid Leave and Employee Retention Tax Credits

The March 2020 CARES Act allows employers to reduce their quarterly federal employment tax deposit obligations in certain situations. One of those is called the Employee Retention Credit, and another is called the Paid Leave Credit. For employers who have claimed, or intend to claim, the employee retention credit or the paid leave credit that were part of the CARES Act, the deadline to file for advance payment of the credit for 2020 wages is approaching. Taxpayers filing a Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, may submit a Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19, up to the earlier of February 1, 2021, or the date they file the Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Georgia Elections Change Our Future Dramatically

As a native Georgian, this writer was surprised at the results of the Georgia run-off elections on January 5, 2021, in which both Democrats won narrow victories over two Republican incumbent U.S. Senators. Many had been saying for the last few years that Georgia was now a purple state, although currently all state office-holders are Republicans, and Republicans have majorities in both state legislative houses. There are reports that some persons did not vote in the run-off elections because they were encouraged to boycott them due to claims the election procedures were not fair. If true, there seems to be no method or purpose to evaluate such claims now. 

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United Auto Workers Settle Massive Union Corruption Issues

United Auto Workers Settle Massive Union Corruption Issues

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has settled massive allegations against the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), exposing what federal prosecutors described as a culture of corruption among its leadership built around kick-back schemes, embezzlement and other illegal activities. The investigation has led to 15 convictions and some union members say the situation has taken away trust in the union's leadership.

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Trump Tries to Push through Final Regulations before Leaving Office

Trump Tries to Push through Final Regulations before Leaving Office

There are a significant number of pending federal regulatory rules that the Administration may try to issue before President Trump leaves office on January 20, 2021. Among the most important is the final rule to make it easier for employers to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees who are owed minimum wages and overtime pay.

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EEOC to Allow Seeking of Opinions on Discrimination Issues

EEOC to Allow Seeking of Opinions on Discrimination Issues

For many years, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has allowed employers to seek official government opinions on various fact situations in determining legal compliance, such as under the Wage/Hour laws. The right to seek advance government opinions on such issues was suspended during the Obama Administration, but reinstated during the Trump Administration. In December of 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the public can now seek its official position on potentially unclear aspects of federal civil rights laws, which can provide a defense to alleged violations. 

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More Dreamers to Be Available for Employment

More Dreamers to Be Available for Employment

For undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children ("Dreamers"), a new court decision grants a temporary reprieve from deportation. Recently, a federal district court in New York ordered the Trump administration to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program—an Obama-era initiative that has allowed around 646,000 immigrants to stay in the country and work legally as long as they meet certain eligibility conditions. Batalla Vidal v. Wolf, Civil Action No. 16-CV-4756 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 4, 2020). An estimated 685,000 additional people may be able to apply for DACA under the new ruling. A DHS spokesperson said the agency will appeal the ruling. 

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The Logistics of Handling Covid-19 Vaccinations

The Logistics of Handling Covid-19 Vaccinations

Early reports indicate that most employers are more likely to use pharmacies and other third-party providers to administer the COVID vaccination. The vaccines from Pfizer require below-zero temperatures, and there are difficulties in keeping up with who got the first of the two shots required and when those workers need their second dose.

Thus, many employers will encourage employees to go to CVS, Walgreens, and other distributors that regularly handle such vaccinations. Further, employers could assist in the process by offering work-sponsored vouchers or on-line scheduling programs, as well as providing time off to get the shots.

This is part of our January 2021 Newsletter.

Click here to download the newsletter PDF

Yes or No on Mandatory Covid Vaccination?

Yes or No on Mandatory Covid Vaccination?

Employers want to provide safe work places, and it is to the advantage of both the employer and employees to have a COVID-vaccinated workforce. Thus, the natural question is can I, and should I, require mandatory COVID vaccinations for my employees? 

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The Effect of the Election on Federal Employment Agencies

Mr. Biden has stated he intends to be the most "pro-union President ever."  However, the process is going to be slow at the NLRB since Republicans currently enjoy a 3-1 majority, and the first Republican seat to expire will occur in August 2021.  The next Republican seat does not become vacant until 2022, and so the Republicans will still have a majority at the NLRB through 2021 unless someone leaves.

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