Coronavirus

Coronavirus Employer Resources

With new information about the Coronavirus being released every day, we’ve decided the best way to keep you informed of important information impacting your organization and employees is to post updates on one web page instead of clogging up your inbox every time new information comes out. Feel free to check back here regularly for the latest and most important updates that we are hearing from insurance carriers and legislators. If you have any questions, we're here to help. Here is a list containing the direct contact information to our consultants and service teams.

P&C Insurance + Risk Management Updates

June 18, 2020 - OSHA Issues New Guidance for Reopening Nonessential Businesses [Legal Update PDF]


June 11, 2020 - COVID-19 Impact on Workers' Comp Premium Audits + The Importance of Record Keeping.


June 5, 2020 - Considerations for Re-Opening Your Business After COVID-19 [video].


IDPH Workplace Health and Safety Guidelines
May 4, 2020 - Along with Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order extension to May 31, the Illinois Department of Public Health is now requiring all employers to post this notice in their place of business regarding Workplace Safety.


Employers May Exclude Payroll to Employees not Working for Workers' Comp: NCCI
April 21, 2020
- Businesses that have suspended operations due to COVID-19 but continue to pay employees who are at home but not working will not have to include the payroll paid to these employees in the calculation of their workers' compensation premium [Article]


Risk Considerations for Reopening a Business After the Coronavirus Shutdown
April 16, 2020 - As businesses look forward to the future and make plans for a return to normalcy, there's a lot that needs to be considered before reopening your doors. Read on to learn some key considerations when reopening your business.


Illinois Expands COVID-19 Workers Compensation Protections to Most Frontline Workers
April 13, 2020 - The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission issued an emergency amendment on April 13, 2020 to provide workers' compensation protections to first responders and front-line workers who are exposed to or contract the virus.

Two additional articles on this matter:


Coronavirus Recording and Reporting Under OSHA Rules
April 9, 2020 - OSHA has indicated that coronavirus cases may be recordable if they are work-related and meet the general recording criteria. In addition, COVID-19 cases may be reportable if they are work-related and result in fatalities or inpatient hospitalizations. This Compliance Overview presents a summary of OSHA reporting and recording requirements that may apply to coronavirus cases in the workplace.


Workers' Compensation Insights
April 8, 2020 - This work comp insights provides a general overview of insurance considerations as they relate to COVID-19.


COVID-19 Claims Advice
April 2, 2020 - There have been a lot of questions regarding COVID-19, in particular about coverage and claims handling. This information is intended to offer guidance to help the clients of Connor & Gallagher OneSource (CGO) through these difficult times.


OSHA Guidance on COVID-19
Added March 28, 2020 - OSHA considers COVID-19 infections to be a recordable illness when a worker is infected on the job. This compliance bulletin provides OSHA's guidance on how employers can prepare for and deal with the Coronavirus in the workplace.

And here is guidance from OSHA on preparing workplaces for COVID-19.



Business Interruption Coverage Questions

One of the most common questions we are hearing is, “do I have Business Interruption coverage if we are required to shut down?” As we interpret the coverage form we do not believe that coverage is provided for the "COVID-19 Income Loss.”  Our advice at this time would be to submit a claim to the carrier on your behalf and have the insurance company interpret coverage availability. More on COVID-19 and Business Interruption Insurance here [Coverage Insights]


Business Guidance Guide from the CDC
Interim guidance from the Center for Disease Control
for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19 [PDF]


COVID-19 Personal Guidance and Testing
Official web page from the Illinois Department of Public Health


Watch out for an Increase in Cyber Crime
Criminals prey on unfortunate circumstances, seeking to capitalize on victims during times of panic and hardship. Unfortunately, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is no exception. This News Brief warns about cyber scams related to the coronavirus.


Tip to Avoid Phone + Conference Line Call Drops
Phone lines and conference services are being used at levels never seen before and it's causing dropped calls and busy tones. If you plan to host a conference call schedule meetings to start 15 or 45 minutes past the hour rather than on the hour. Carrier networks are less congested at these times.

Employee Benefits/Health+Ancillary Insurance/Wellness Updates

June 24, 2020 - New laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic include a number of changes for health plans and health insurance issuers, including a requirement to cover COVID-19 testing without any deductibles or other cost-sharing. Federal agencies released a second set of FAQs regarding these coronavirus-related changes. This Compliance Bulletin contains the FAQs.


May 14, 2020 - Certain Employee Benefit Time Frames Extended for Health Plan Participants Due to COVID-19 [Video].


May 12, 2020 - The IRS released Notice 2020-29, which provides temporary flexibility for mid-year election changes under a Section 125 cafeteria plan during calendar year 2020. This Legal Update provides a brief summary of this relief.


May 12, 2020 - The IRS announced more options with respect to unused amounts in health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs). These options allow employers to permit an extended period for incurring health FSA or DCAP expenses and health FSA carryovers of up to $550. This Legal Update summarizes the new options.


April 30, 2020 - Leave Laws + Benefits During COVID-19 - free video from CGO with a detailed overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave laws as well as updates on Illinois health and disability carrier responses to COVID-19.


COVID-19 Relief Extends Certain Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines
April 28, 2020 - This Compliance Overview summarizes the participant deadline extensions under a final rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which affect COBRA continuation coverage, special enrollment periods, claims for benefits, appeals of denied claims and external review of certain claims. It also includes the deadline extension pursuant to the DOL’s Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, for notices and disclosures required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).


Illinois Health and LTD + STD Insurance Carrier Coronavirus Resources, FAQs and Responses.


Over-the-Counter Medicines/Drugs and Menstrual Products Now Qualify for FSAs/HRAs/HSAs
April 2, 2020 - Within the CARES Act that passed last week is a provision that allows people to use the money they put away in a tax-advantaged health savings accounts towards over-the-counter drugs, medical supplies, and menstrual products. Read more about it here.


CARES Act Expands Health Coverage Rules
March 27, 2020 - The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was enacted to provide $2.2 trillion in federal funding to address the Coronavirus crisis. The new law also includes several provisions affecting health plan coverage. This Legal Update summarizes the CARES Act's coverage changes.


Health Plans to Cover COVID-19 Testing -
March 18, 2020 - Health plans must provide free Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing. More info here [Legal Update]


Employee Wellness Resources

7 Tips to Maintain Your Well-Being During the COVID-19 Crisis.

Understanding Symptoms: COVID vs. Cold vs. Flu vs. Allergies [PDF]

4 Components to Include in Every Meal to Get Your Plate Shape [webinar recording from the CGO Employee Wellness Programming Team]

Ergonomics at Home Guide [PDF]


Work From Home Resources
During this Coronavirus outbreak, some workers may be forced to work from home when they otherwise wouldn't. This article discusses why preventative measures like working remotely are so important during outbreaks and here's a flier that can be shared with employees that provides tips for successfully working from home.

And a Guide we Created on Home Schooling [PDF]


Employee Well-Being
Employee well-being resources for COVID-19 [PDF].


10 Ways to Protect Against Coronavirus [PDF]

Human Resources + Payroll/HRIS Updates

June 5, 2020 - New Law Amends Paycheck Protection ProgramPresident Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The Act is intended to fix problems with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Key provisions of the Act include - Loan Repayment Terms - Payroll Costs vs. Nonpayroll Costs - Covered Period Extension - Payroll Tax Deferment - Extension of Rehiring Safe Harbor.


June 5, 2020 - Illinois recently released their Phase 3 Restore Illinois Guidelines for employers with extensive instructions on how to reopen businesses and bring employees back to the workplace safely. Due to much confusion about the guidelines, on May 30th, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order indicating that employers “must follow” the guidance and not to interpret the information as merely recommendations. Details about all of the Phase 3 guidelines can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/pages/restoreILP3.aspx. If you would like more information on resources available to help you meet these guidelines, please contact your HR representative at CGO.


May 21, 2020 - 5 HR Issues to Consider During the New 'Abnormal.'


May 1, 2020 - Considerations for Reopening Workplaces During the COVID-19 Pandemic


April 30, 2020 - Leave Laws + Benefits During COVID-19 - free video from CGO with a detailed overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave laws as well as updates on Illinois health and disability carrier responses to COVID-19.


Most Common Human Resources COVID-19 Questions and Answers - Updated April 15, 2020


DOL Regulations for Families First Coronavirus Response Act
April 7, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Labor has issued temporary regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, providing employers with information to help them meet their new paid leave requirements under the law. This compliance bulletin addresses highlights of the regulations.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act
March 27, 2020 - Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), covered employers must post a notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. This HR Compliance Bulletin includes frequently asked questions issued by the DOL on this notice requirement.


Required Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice (for employers with less than 500 employees)
March 26, 2020 - Yesterday, the DOL issued the required poster under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition, the DOL issued questions and answers to help employers to comply. Both can be found in this link.



Controlling Payroll Costs with Employee Furloughs

In this uncertain business environment caused by COVID-19, employers are looking for ways to save money and possibly lower payroll costs. Employee furloughs may be an option.


IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus Paid Leave
March 23, 2020 - Employers with fewer than 500 employees may begin using two new refundable payroll tax credits to obtain reimbursement for the costs of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 20, 2020. This document provides the guidance.

Retirement Plans + Finance/Tax Updates

401(k) Delayed Deposits of Employee Salary Deferrals Due to COVID-19?
May 13, 2020 - “In a recent conversation with one of my plan sponsor clients, the business owner said that he heard it was OK to delay depositing employee salary deferrals to his 401(k) plan because of COVID-19. Can that be true?” This article provides the answer.


IRS Posts CARES Act FAQ for Retirement Plans
May 8, 2020 - Here are some of the answers to the more common inquiries.


Investing During Market Volatility
April 14, 2020 - Many people are anxious about their retirement savings accounts. This webinar recording from our retirement plan services team provides some reassurances and valuable insight to the market's recent up and down performance. Feel free to share this link with your retirement plan participants.


Don't Touch That 401k!
April 10, 2020 - While the CARES Act made it easier for participants to access their 401k funds, here are some reasons why doing so should only be done as a last resort.


Key Provisions of the Cares Act
Information on the following provisions of the Cares Act: Retirement assistance, individual assistance, and small business assistance.


Payroll Protection Program for Small Businesses
The CARES Act – a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, includes some really meaningful support for small businesses. Probably most notable is the portion of the bill called the Payroll Protection Program, which is a loan program that will be administered by the SBA. Here are some helpful resources on the loan program:

- Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist [From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce].

- U.S. Small Business Fact Sheet on Economic Injury Disaster Loans [From the SBA]


Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act FAQs - March 29, 2020
This article highlights some of the most salient relief measures.


Market Volatility Resources for Plan Sponsors + Participants
Market volatility resources
for plan sponsors and their retirement plan participants from our retirement plan services team. And here is an article from our retirement consultants on the investment markets performance and recent volatility (written March 10, 2020).

Additionally, here is a helpful video on "what to do when markets are volatile" and a financial insights resource page for retirement plan participants from T.Rowe Price.


Cares Act Student Loan Benefit May Help 401ks
Employers can now repay up to $5,250 annually, potentially freeing employees up to contribute-or contribute more-to a 401k.


Tax Deadline Updates
March 21, 2020 - The IRS officially moved the due date for 2019 tax return filings to July 15, 2020. This coincides with their earlier announcement of an extension of time to pay 2019 taxes. With these changes in place, no extension request of time to file your tax return is needed unless you need additional time after July 15, 2020 to file your taxes. More info here.

Questions?

If you have any questions, we're here to help. Here is a list containing the direct contact information to our consultants and service teams.

This web page and resources within has been carefully compiled by the experienced insurance and Human Resources professionals at Connor & Gallagher OneSource (CGO). However, it is not a legal document and should not be construed as legal opinion. CGO will accept no liability for the use of these resources and opinions in the workplace. In the rapidly changing environment of the COVID-19 outbreak many of the opinions and resources are being impacted by continuously released guidance and therefore may be out of date. This is not an exhaustive list of all pertinent employer resources but we are doing our best to provide you with timely information as it is released.