Capitol Steps: Make America Grin Again
The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. Although not all current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together they have worked in 18 Congressional offices, representing 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. The Steps have recorded over 35 albums, including their latest, Make America Grin Again. They've been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS, and are heard twice a year on National Public Radio stations during their Politics Takes a Holiday radio specials. The Capitol Steps were born in December 1981 when staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Ronald Reagan was President, so co-founders Elaina Newport, Bill Strauss and Jim Aidala figured that if entertainers could become politicians, then politicians could become entertainers. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin in Congress! So, they dug into the headlines of the day, and created song parodies and skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor as popular in Peoria as on Pennsylvania Avenue. No matter who holds office, there's never a shortage of material. Says Ms. Newport, "Typically the Republicans goof up, and the Democrats party. Then the Democrats goof up and the Republicans party. That's what we call the two-party system." The Capitol Steps are based in Washington, DC, and most of their shows are out-of-town or for out-of-town audiences. They have performed for the last five Presidents (six, if you include Hillary). The only complaints they seem to get are from politicians and personalities not included in the program! No matter who or what is in the headlines, you can bet the Capitol Steps will tackle both sides of the political spectrum and all things equally foolish. What more would you expect from the group that puts the "MOCK" in Democracy?!
New Law for Employers
The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.
The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.
Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.
Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.
- Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
- Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
- Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster
courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP