Free Workers Compensation Action Network Town Hall featuring San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe
Come to a riveting, free Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Workers' Compensation Action Network, and featuring San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe who will highlight how the county is aggressively pursuing workers' comp fraud prosecutions. Also presenting is nationally recognized expert in the insurance industry and law enforcement Teena Barton, who is a Major Case Special Investigator in a workers' comp fraud investigation unit with ICW Group. She will share stories of how injured workers are used for profit and how recruitment firms receive illegal kickbacks for referrals to hospitals, doctors and ancillary medical service providers, essentially "using people like ATMs." She will discuss her own expertise as well as the case of Sean O'Keefe, a convicted workers compensation attorney serving 13 months in federal prison for his involvement in a $200 million scheme built around recruitment referrals and kickbacks to use injured workers for fraudulent billing. Jerry Azevedo with the Workers' Compensation Action Network (WCAN) will provide an update on the status of the workers comp system in California and activity in the State Capitol. We will also hear from YOU, business owners, who can share your workers comp experiences with the District Attorney. WCAN is a broad-based, statewide coalition that has successfully fought for reforms to provide state and local officials more tools to combat workers' compensation fraud to help meet the dual goals of stable costs for employers and higher benefits for injured workers. In recent years, state lawmakers enacted several pieces of legislation designed to improve system efficiency, reduce conflict and litigation, and stem abuses by service providers. These reforms are delivering higher benefits to California workers while stabilizing employer costs. Despite these reforms, California's system remains one of the most costly and litigious in the nation and vulnerable to evolving forms of fraud and abuse. Complimentary lunch will be provided.
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