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Regulatory Roundup April 2021

May 12, 2021

Virginia and New Mexico showered workers with benefits last month, while U.S. agencies clarified COBRA Premium Assistance and EEO-1 Data Collection.

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As we roll into the season of spring cleaning, federal and state legislatures have wasted no time supporting and expanding employee benefits. Read below to find out which groups have been busier than others.

The Department of Labor released a new webpage and supporting FAQ document in April, dedicated to providing information on the COBRA Premium Assistance provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). Together, these resources not only assist employers and plan sponsors adhere to COBRA Premium Assistance requirements, they also provide logistic clarifications, such as the fact that the extended deadline relief period from Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 does not apply to this assistance.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the collection timeline dates for 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Data. Data collection in 2021 runs from April 26 to July 19, thus extending the overall collection timeline from 10 weeks to 12. All employers in the private sector with 100 or more employees, and federal contractors or subcontractors with 50 or more employees or $50,000 or more in federal contracts, must file the EEO-1 report each year.

At the state level, Virginia passed a slew of new legislation in recent weeks:

  • The new Consumer Data Protection Act adds safeguards for an individual’s personal data when they act as a consumer. The act has some exemptions, but mainly applies to businesses that control or process personal data of at least 100,000 consumers, or control or process personal data of at least 25,000 consumers while deriving over 50% of the business’ gross revenue from the sale of personal data.
  • House Bill 2137 requires employers to provide paid sick leave for home health workers, effective July 1, 2021. Defined as those who provide personal care, respite, or companion services to a person that receives consumer-directed services under the state plan for medical assistance service, eligible workers must receive at least 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked.
  • The Overtime Wage Act requires employers to pay one and a half times an employee's regular rate for any hours in excess of 40 per workweek, effective July 1, 2021. The act further defines the “regular rate” of pay for both salaried as well as hourly workers and allows employees to file collective action against an employer under the collective action procedures of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • House Bill 2174, also known as the Virginia Saves Program, creates a state-facilitated Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for workers not offered a qualified retirement plan from their employers. Enrollments must begin no later than July 1, 2023, and eligible employees who work at least 30 hours a week will be automatically enrolled in the program unless those employees choose to not participate.

Finally, the state of New Mexico signed into law the Healthy Workplaces Act, effective July 1, 2022. Among other things, the new law requires private employers in the state to provide paid sick leave to all eligible employees, defined as those who work at least 80 hours within a 12-month period, including full-time, part-time, and temporary workers. The law further provides definitions for acceptable use of the sick leave and allows eligible employees to carry over unused sick leave into the next 12 month benefit period.

Get more details on these compliance and tax alerts from April here:

Federal Legislation

State Legislation

Visit our Return to Work page to browse our resources to help you engage, rehire, and recruit in this new environment. You can also check out our Legislative Updates Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) for a comprehensive summary of legislative changes and how Paylocity has responded with updates to our product to help you stay compliant. For the latest information and resources related to the coronavirus, check our COVID-19 Resources page often.

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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change, and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney, or Advisor.

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