A Message to Our Clients,
As we are all aware, the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting businesses, families, and financial markets worldwide. We know that many of you and your employees have the potential to be impacted and we share your concerns about public health and safety and business continuity.
In the event of the worst-case scenario, where strategic quarantine is necessary, please rest assured that The Capital Group has taken all the necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted service to all our clients as we collectively traverse this situation. In fact, we run drills several times a year to test and monitor the effectiveness of our disaster recovery plan. We have a vigorous IT infrastructure in place that supports our employees to provide continuous delivery of services from anywhere, and we’ve increased our already strong information security protections.
Over the course of the next several weeks, and longer if necessary, you will continue to receive News Flashes from us that contain important information from our carrier partners about the latest updates to your coverage regarding COVID-19. We will also be addressing questions regarding how disability insurance coverage and FMLA come into play for affected employees.
The links below provide some of the latest information from our carrier partners as well as pertinent government agencies related to labor laws and regulations that may be applicable. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We will be here to help answer questions and to support you and your employees.
Thank you for your continued trust in The Capital Group and we wish you the best during these interesting times.
Virginia Governor Northam Issues Statewide Stay at Home Order
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a statewide Stay at Home order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The executive order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.
The order directs all Virginians to stay home except in extremely limited circumstances. Individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, obtain goods and services like groceries, prescriptions, and others as outlined in Executive Order Fifty-Three, and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.
Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan Declares State of Emergency, Expands Statewide Response to Novel Coronavirus
Three Confirmed Maryland Cases in Montgomery County, Patients In Quarantine And In Good Condition
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Tonight, Governor Larry Hogan announced the state’s first positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and declared a state of emergency to ramp up Maryland’s coordinated response across all levels of government.
“In order to further mobilize all available state resources in response to this threat to public health, I have issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “With this declaration, I am officially authorizing and directing the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to ramp up coordination among all state and local agencies and enable them to fast-track coordination with our state and local health departments and emergency management teams.”
Mayor Bowser Issues Stay-At-Home Order
Monday, March 30, 2020
(Washington, DC) – Today, due to an increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Washington, DC and across the region and the nation, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a stay-at-home order for the District of Columbia. This order reinforces the Mayor’s direction to residents to stay at home except to perform essential activities.
The Mayor’s Order specifies that residents may only leave their residences to:
- engage in essential activities, including obtaining medical care that cannot be provided through telehealth and obtaining food and essential household goods;
- perform or access essential governmental functions;
- work at essential businesses;
- engage in essential travel; or
- engage in allowable recreational activities, as defined by the Mayor’s Order.
Any individual who willfully violates the stay-at-home order may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.
The stay-at-home order goes into effect on April 1, 2020 at 12:01 am.
For more information on the District’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, visit coronavirus.dc.gov.
COVID19 Stimulus Relief Package “The Cares Act”
The Paycheck Protection Program application is now live – see links below. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, veterans’ organizations, as well as individuals who are self-employed or independent contractors are eligible if they also meet program size standards. As a reminder, this is the new program where SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, utilities, etc. if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks. Links to the application and other information below:
- For a top-line overview of the program click HERE
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- More information from the Treasury can be found HERE
The links below provide some of the latest information from our carrier partners.
- United Healthcare
- The Hartford
- Lincoln Financial
- Mutual of Omaha
- Reliance Standard
Emergency Leave & HSA Contribution Updates
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the US Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided additional guidance on several key issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Update
The US DOL released new information regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), including how:
- Employers count the number of their employees to determine coverage
- Employers count hours for part-time employees
- Employers calculate wages employees are entitled to under this law
- Small businesses obtain an exemption
Use these helpful guides for details:
A workplace poster required for most employers will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.
This new law applies to emergency paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and emergency paid sick leave. The law only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees and is effective April 2, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Find full details here.
HSA Contribution Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020
The IRS updated their Filing & Payment Deadline FAQs, confirming that HSA (as well as IRA and certain retirement plan) contributions otherwise due by April 15, 2020, can be made as late as July 15, 2020. This aligns with the three-month tax return filing deadline extension the IRS announced in Notice 2020-18, issued on March 20, 2020. The posting of these new FAQ items (#17, #20, and #21) gives the guidance that has been awaited regarding contributions for 2019.
Downloadable Poster for your worksite: EMPLOYEE RIGHTS PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT