Giving Thanks

A TIME

for THANKS

We'd like to share our gratitude, along with some recipes that have brought us comfort and joy over the years

Dane County Public Health Emergency Order #10

UPDATE 11/22/20

On November 20, 2020 PHMDC amended the definition of “mass gathering” under Amended Emergency Order #10. A mass gathering is now “any gathering of individuals that are not members of the same household or living unit.”

UPDATE 11/17/20

Starting Wednesday, November 18, in Dane County, all indoor mass gatherings are banned and all outdoor mass gatherings are limited to no more than 10 individuals under Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) Emergency Order #10. Sports activities, group exercise classes, meetings, and trainings are subject to the same mass gathering restrictions. The order expires on December 16.

As a reminder, a mass gathering is “a planned event with a large number of individuals in attendance, such as a concert, festival, meeting, training, conference, performance, show, or sporting event. Individuals that are members of the same household or living unit do not count towards the mass gathering numbers.”

The other requirements from previous PHMDC emergency orders remain in place. You can find Lake Effect’s summaries of the previous orders here.

Lake Effect is here to answer your questions about how local and state public health orders apply to employers. We continue to monitor important legal and HR developments, as well as COVID-related updates from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching our blogs and emails for these important updates, as well as discussions of how compliance meets culture. To dive into these issues, contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Employee Holiday Travel during COVID-19

Traditionally, November and December are months when employees take more time off to travel and/or spend time with family and friends for holidays. This year, employers and employees need to consider the health risks involved in traveling and group gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality is that employees’ increased exposure to COVID-19 can present risks to co-workers, customers, and the overall reputation of an organization.

We encourage employers to review current policies regarding time off during the holidays to see if they reflect current practices and current COVID risk mitigation measures. As with any issue related to the pandemic, employees and employers should adhere to current guidance provided by the CDC, as well as local and state guidelines in their home area and in any areas they may visit. The CDC website has valuable information related to Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as a page specifically related to Holiday Travel. Although employers cannot dictate whether or not an employee travels during non-work time, employers are well-advised to share this information with employees so they fully appreciate the risks involved with travel and gatherings.

In the event that employees are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 during the holiday season, employers should consult this helpful resource provided by PHMDC.

Lake Effect is here to answer your questions about protecting your workforce and complying with state and local public health orders. We continue to monitor important legal and HR developments, including COVID-related updates from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching our blogs and emails for these important updates, as well as discussions of how compliance meets culture. To dive into these issues, contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Governor Evers Recommends Continued COVID Mitigation Efforts

On November 10, 2020, Governor Evers presented a public address and signed Executive Order #94, strongly advising that all residents and businesses continue following stringent COVID-mitigation efforts. While this order has no enforcement capability, it serves as a reminder to minimize interactions outside of households. For businesses, it provides no new restrictions, but it reiterates the importance of permitting employees to work from home wherever feasible and maintaining preventive measures in the workplace for employees and customers alike.

Lake Effect is here to answer your questions about protecting your employees and complying with state and local public health orders. We continue to monitor important legal and HR developments, including COVID-related updates from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching our blogs and emails for these important updates, as well as discussions of how compliance meets culture. To dive into these issues, contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Benefit Limits for 2021

Each year, the IRS sets new limits for High Deductible Health Plans, Health Savings Accounts, and Flexible Benefit Plans. Please see below for our ready reference chart setting forth the Benefits Limits for the 2021 tax year.

Download Table

2021 2020
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Healthcare FSA max election (per year) (incl. LTD FSA) $2,750 $2,750
Healthcare FSA max rollover $550 $550
Dependent Care FSA max election (per year) (Single or Married Filing Jointly) $5,000 $5,000
Dependent Care FSA max election (per year) (Married Filing Separately) $2,500 $2,500
Transportation Benefits
Parking Account $270/mo $270/mo
Transit Account $270/mo $270/mo
High Deductible Health Plan Requirements to Contribute to an HSA
HDHP min annual deductible – Self-only $1,400 $1,400
HDHP min annual deductible – Family $2,800 $2,800
HDHP out-of-pocket max – Self-only $7,000 $6,900
HDHP out-of-pocket max – Family $14,000 $13,800
HSA max contribution limit – Self-only $3,600 $3,550
HSA max contribution limit – Family $7,200 $7,100
HSA catch up contribution limit (age 55) $1,000 $1,000
ACA Plan Limits
Maximum Out-of-Pocket (Self-Only or Individual in a Family) $8,550 $8,150
Maximum Out-of-Pocket (Family) $17,100 $16,300
Salary Thresholds for Non-discrimination Testing
Highly compensated employees $130,000 $130,000
Key employees $185,000 $185,000
Retirement Plans (401(k), 403(b))
Elective contributions $19,500 $19,500
Max ER and EE contributions for those 49 and younger $58,000 $57,000
Catch-up contributions $6,500 $6,500
Max ER and EE contributions for those 50+ $64,500 $63,500

Employees Must Notify Their Employers of Positive COVID-19 Result

According to a November 4, 2020 blog post, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) will no longer notify employers that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 unless the employee works for a school, or a childcare, healthcare, or congregate living facility. Instead, employees are responsible for notifying their employer if they tested positive, and working with their employer to identify other employees, customers, or clients who have been in close contact with the employee who tested positive. This is a significant shift in Dane County’s contact tracing due to the high number of positive tests in the community.

Dane County employers should follow guidance from PHMDC if an employee tests positive. Employers should then, to the best of their ability, notify other employees, customers, or clients who had close contact with the affected employee. As a reminder, see our prior blog for the new “6-15-24-48 analysis” in determining who has had “close contact.”

Lake Effect is here to answer your questions about protecting your employees and complying with state and local public health orders. We continue to monitor important legal and HR developments, including COVID-related updates from federal, state, and local authorities. Please keep watching our blogs and emails for these important updates, as well as discussions of how compliance meets culture. To dive into these issues, contact us at info@le-hrlaw.com or 1-844-333-5253.

Lake Effect HR & Law, LLC
(844) 333-5253 (LAKE)
info@le-hrlaw.com

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