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COVID-19 Update: PPP's Second Round, Furloughed Employees' Benefits, Laptop & Tablet Shortages

By Net Assets posted 04-23-2020 04:35 PM


(From Nonprofit Quarterly) On April 21, the U.S. Senate approved a $484-billlion bill designed to boost the CARES Act passed last month and add over $300 billion to the now fully spent-down Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The new bill is designed to reach many of the over 4 million nonprofits and small businesses not funded in round one, though experts warn that may not be enough. Within this package, $60 billion will be allocated by small lenders and community-based financial institutions. 

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(from Society for Human Resource Management) Several states have allowed insurers to continue covering employees under group policies, even if employees would normally be ineligible due to layoffs or reduced hours. These directives do not require employers to bridge coverage during a furlough. Some states have also directed insurers to continue providing coverage to fully insured employer plans despite the employer's failure to pay monthly premiums.

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Some essential workers are refusing to work out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. To reduce the likelihood of a claim and ensure compliance with federal and state laws, employers should address employees’ specific concerns and ensure safe working conditions. Additionally, they should accommodate employees who request altered worksite arrangements, remote work or time off from work due to underlying medical conditions that may put them at greater risk from COVID-19, under the ADA. If these arrangements cannot be reasonably met, employers should evaluate existing time-off policies and consider if hazard pay might be appropriate.

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(From The 74 Million) There is now a serious shortage of Chromebooks and iPads, worrying schools and stay-at-home students. The shortage left many schools waiting for technology to become available again as soon as May, though some experts warn of a potential five-month gap between placing an order for new technology and receiving it, due to disruptions in the supply chain from China and high demand from consumers suddenly forced to work from home.

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