Back at the start of 2020, I declined to do my usual prognosticating for the year ahead.

That was probably wise given the events of the year.

Instead, I quoted a post I did ten years earlier:

For employers, there will always been the next case or new law that will need to be tracked and followed, but employers that follow best practices in employment law can worry less about those developments and more about the big picture. The employers that can focus on attracting and keeping the best employees will succeed — no matter what the other developments are during the year.

So, suffice to say that although there are aspects of this that still hold true, it was obviously a bit too idealistic.

How do you attract and keep the best employees when your revenue stream dries up overnight?

I’ve had far too many clients in the hospitality industry who went through the year from hell.

None of them deserved it. But such is life in the pandemic.  The less said about the furloughs, reductions in force, and COVID-19 illnesses the better.

2021 will — eventually, right? — bring vaccines and a new normal may take hold by the fall. But not before this unrelenting wave continues to bring challenges. Already, the new variant (get to know “B.1.1.7”) is causing me to rethink whether we’ll end up having another wave of lockdowns this winter.

While the calendar has switched to 2021, we’ve still got many more months to go of this pandemic.

With the holidays behind us, these next few months require a renewed focus on staying safe and keeping business operational.

In Connecticut, employers should make sure they are complying with the new paid leave provisions.

Recently, Andrea Barton-Reeves (the Chief Executive Officer of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority) provided an important reminder to employers on a LinkedIn post I did. I copy it here for your information.

To employers: if you missed the 12/31/2020 deadline, you can still register. We ask employers to do this as soon as possible. The most important thing is to begin the half-percent withholding. If you miss or fall behind in withholdings, your business may responsible for making up those contributions. Except under very limited circumstances, you may not recoup missed withholdings from employees. We don’t want employers to find themselves in that situation, so even if it takes you a while to register, start withholding now. The first payments are due to the Paid Leave Authority by April 30, 2021.

If your business is contemplating offering a private plan, still withhold until your employee vote is held. If the vote is in favor of the plan, you can use the withholdings to administer the plan, pay benefits or both, but for no other reason. If the vote is not in favor of the private plan, then those withholdings will be remitted to the Paid Leave Authority by April 30. Please visit for more information.

My thanks to Ms. Barton-Reeves for the reminder.

And to the rest of you, here’s hoping that 2021 brings some renewed hope and optimism.  It’s going to be a tough stretch but I’m hoping that we may be closer to the end of this pandemic wave than the beginning.

Feel free to reach out to me or any of my colleagues. We’re here to help.

Happy New Year to all.