As post-vaccination life kicks in, the complications for employers continue to mount.  No doubt life was a lot harder on lockdown, but some individual decisions for employers were easy — just work from home.

But over the last few weeks, judging from the calls I’m fielding from employers of all sizes, there’s a desire to bring some people back to an office setting — and many employers are considering the role that vaccinations (mandatory?) should play too.

I’ll talk more about vaccinations (again) in another post, but I’m concerned that employers may lose sight of the other changes going on right now. These are a few of the items that should be checked off your to do list.

  1. Be mindful of the COBRA subsidy rules. “Subsidy?”, you say? Yes, exactly. My colleagues have explained all the details here. But the biggest takeaway? If you’re doing employment terminations from now through early fall, you may be required to pay for that workers COBRA premiums (and take a tax credit). Oh, and you might have to notify those people who are already on COBRA too. Work with your benefit provider to get the details.
  2. Do not forget about CT Paid Leave! By now, you should be registered with the CT Paid Leave Authority, should be doing withholdings for your employees and should have made your Q1 contributions to the state. If you haven’t, get some help now. Ignoring this will only be more costly in the months ahead. And remember: the remaining provisions of the new paid leave law kick in January 1, 2022.
  3. Masks? No masks? It’s been a challenge for employers keeping up with all the rules for running a business.  Starting May 19th, the rules are set to change again.  According to Governor Lamont, “All remaining business restrictions will end.  Indoor masks will continue.” What that will exactly look like, however, is up in the air.  Will that mean that employers can drop the masks if employees have been fully vaccinated? Complicating things more: New OSHA regulations are expected in the next few weeks.  Thus, for employers, remaining flexible remains key.
  4. Have you been putting off sexual harassment prevention training? Well, the deadline was extended again recently by Executive Order. The new deadline is May 20, 2021.  This looks to be the final extension of the deadline.  Luckily, my colleagues and I have recorded a webinar that you can use for your business at just $20 a person.  And it’s ready to go right now. 
  5. If this is not enough, my colleagues are planning our annual spring seminar on developments in labor & employment law. While targeted to the public sector, many of the topics will be applicable to all employers. And the best part? It’s virtual and it’s still free.  You can register for it here. 

Spring cleaning isn’t my favorite task but this spring, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are cleaning up the small details. Summer is coming and I know I’ll be wanting to spend it on vacation, not cleaning up overlooked messes.

And don’t forget – we have a few weeks left in the Connecticut legislative session. We’ll have a few bills to talk about soon.