Health Care

A wellness professional recently asked a wide audience what the future of wellness will look like post-COVID19.  I responded that the overlap between occupational health and workplace wellness would increase.  The COVID-19 virus has without a doubt raised awareness and concern about germs and their spread.  Protecting workers from safety hazards, including germs, has been in the occupational health wheelhouse for a long time.  Employee sensitivity to germ exposure and the anxiety that can develop alongside such sensitivity has a direct, and heavy impact on employee wellbeing.  Articles abound discussing both the short-term and long-term impact this pandemic will have…
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expanded paid sick leave, as well as paid family and medical leave for employees who are not working for various reasons related to the coronavirus.  The bill that was signed into law on March 18, 2020 is not as detailed as the subsequent guidance being issued by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.  The details provided by DOL and the IRS for FFCRA have some surprising elements.  This blog post shares three of those surprises with you. The paid leave requirements do not take effect until April 1, 2020.…
The president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020. Among its many provisions are significant modifications to the Public Health Services (PHS) Act,1 which contains the federal confidentiality protections currently afforded to substance use disorder (SUD) records. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will need to incorporate these changes into its regulations contained at 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (Part 2) through the standard rulemaking process, so it is yet to be seen how these changes will be implemented and enforced against SUD treatment programs subject to Part…
Attorney Joseph Gumina, chair of O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C.’s labor and employment law group, was recently featured in the Super Lawyers article “Can I Lay Off My Furloughed Employees?”. In the article, Gumina shares advice regarding legal considerations employers need to be aware of when considering laying off furloughed employees during these unprecedented times. Read full article here. O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C. remains open for its clients and we are here to help. We encourage you to reach out with any questions, concerns, or legal issues you may have, including those related…
For the period from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the CARES Act permits employers to pay directly, or to reimburse employees for, up to $5,250 of qualifying employee student loan payments. Like many CARES Act provisions, this new opportunity results from an expansion of an existing law or program. In this case, the ability for an employer to assist employees with student loan payments arises from an amendment to Internal Revenue Code Section 127, which governs Educational Assistance Programs (EAPs). Qualifying payments made as a fringe benefit under an EAP are excluded from the employee’s income and are…
An article by Attorneys Christa Wittenberg and Grant Killoran on constitutional law issues relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic is featured as the cover story in the April edition of the State Bar of Wisconsin publication Wisconsin Lawyer. In their article, they take an informative and deep dive look into regulations and due process concerns relating to the current public health emergency. Read the full article here. The post Attorneys Christa Wittenberg and Grant Killoran Featured in Wisconsin Lawyer appeared first on O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing S.C..…
Wisconsin’s construction lien law provides contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers, and design professionals with a valuable remedy to help them collect payment for their work. On privately owned projects, the law allows these parties to place a lien against the project property as security for payment. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis has made construction lien rights more precious than ever to construction industry businesses. Yet, everyday contractors mishandle lien waivers and unwittingly forfeit their lien rights with the stroke of a pen. Lien waivers are an integral and unavoidable part of the construction payment process in Wisconsin and…
As we previously covered here, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) requires that, with certain exceptions, employers with 500 or fewer employees must provide employees with leave in certain circumstances pursuant to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLA”). Both the EPSLA and the EFMLA require leave if an individual is unable to work or telework because they need to care for their son or daughter under the age of 18 if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or if the childcare provider of such…
Today, April 16, 2020, the State of Wisconsin has extended the statewide Safer at Home Order through May 26, 2020, with some minor changes. The full text of the Extended Order can be found here and an updated FAQ can be found here. The changes to the Safer at Home Order implemented by the Extended Order will go into effect on April 24, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 26, 2020 or until a superseding order is issued. During today’s press conference, the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel, Ryan Nilsestuen, stated that, although the Governor needs the legislature’s…
By now, the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s jobs, families, and daily lives as we learn how to operate in the new environment and timeline set by COVID-19. Health care supply chains are vital in supporting the daily operations of any health care organization. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, supply chains are being disrupted, resulting in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical equipment. As health care systems, providers, and workers (collectively, Providers) are flooded with COVID-19 patients, maintaining necessary supplies and materials is becoming more and more difficult. Analyzing Gaps As the disruption continues,…
Most Wisconsin construction contractors know that the construction lien law exists, but few know how it works or how to use it. With the economy reeling from the COVID-19 crisis, construction lien rights will become more vital than ever to businesses in the construction industry. Wisconsin’s construction lien law (provided in subchapter I of ch. 779, Wisconsin Statutes) creates a statutory payment remedy available only to construction contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers, and design professionals engaged in the improvement of real property. Excluding public improvements, a construction contractor is entitled to place a lien against the construction site and the…
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the federal government is providing much needed relief to small businesses in the form of loans that can be forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). A PPP loan can be forgiven if the loan is used for specific costs such as payroll costs, interest payments on loans secured by a mortgage, rent, and utilities, as discussed in more detail here. The federal government will not tax the amount of the loan that is forgiven, and the forgiven amount will not count as taxable income to small businesses; however,…
We are incredibly proud to financially support local Port Washington hero, 16-year-old William “Billy” Schowalter, as he works diligently to create plastic face shields for medical professionals, local police, and other service providers that work with the public. Billy, a son of an OCHDL employee, is using his 3D printer to make personal protective equipment and headpieces to help those on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Click here to read more about Billy’s story and to be reminded that we are all in this together. The post OCHDL Supports Local Teenager in Fight Against the Pandemic appeared…
Wisconsin has updated its proposed guidance document discussing how various tax deadlines are affected by IRS Notices 2020-18 and 2020-23, which were issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we previously wrote, the IRS notices provide extensions for a variety of tax form filings and payment obligations that are due between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020, including estimated tax payments due June 15. The proposed guidance document from Wisconsin states that federal extensions provided in the IRS notices may be used for Wisconsin income and franchise tax and for pass-through withholding tax purposes. For returns…
To help taxpayers, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced April 9, 2020, that Notice 2020-23 extends additional key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses to July 15, 2020. This extension includes a variety of tax form filings and payment obligations that are due between April 1, 2020 and July 15, 2020, including estimated tax payments due June 15. Background As we previously reported, on March 18, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17, which postponed the due date for certain federal income tax payments from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020 due to the…
On April 6, the SBA updated its Paycheck Protection Program Loans Frequently Asked Questions, which provides much needed guidance to borrowers and lenders. Many important questions were answered, including these two listed in italics: Question: The CARES Act excludes from the definition of payroll costs any employee compensation in excess of an annual salary of $100,000. Does that exclusion apply to all employee benefits of monetary value? Answer: No. The exclusion of compensation in excess of $100,000 annually applies only to cash compensation, not to non-cash benefits, including: employer contributions to defined-benefit or defined-contribution retirement plans; payment for the provision…