COVID-19 Update December 8, 2020

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Today was the deadline for states to report the electoral count. Federal law requires that Congress recognize the slates of electors chosen by states that have resolved legal fights, recounts, and other election disputes by this date. On December 14th, the electoral college will meet to formally declare a winner. Then, on January 6th, Congress will hold a joint session to ratify and confirm the elected President.

With a split Congress, power often shifts to the United States President to pass executive orders so that we can continue to keep pushing the needle forward. It’s unfortunate that this branch of the government repeatedly struggles to reach a compromise, giving one person so much authority. Thus, as the pendulum swings back to left with the Biden Administration, most of the executive orders passed by President Trump will likely be overturned.

That being said, President-elect Joe Biden’s administration may have difficulty getting the congressional votes needed to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Democrats are likely to eventually gain control of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which might overturn employer-friendly decisions. If enacted, the bill would make at least 50 changes to the NLRA to make it easier for labor to achieve its organizing goals.

Furthermore, this week a federal judge has ordered the full reinstatement of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrants (“Dreamers”) brought to the United States as children, requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to both accept new applications and grant work permits to all eligible beneficiaries.

Employees across industries have experienced almost unprecedented levels of stress during the pandemic. Consequently, human resource leaders are striving to help employees alleviate mental health issues by creating digital tools like apps, videos, webinars, and other online content at incredibly rapid growth rates.

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 hit the hospitality industry extra hard, and for those of us based in New Orleans, we experienced this first-hand. The National Restaurant Association has estimated that the restaurant industry faces about $240 billion in loss of business this year due to the pandemic. In the world of HR, SHRM has outlined the hospitality industry-specific challenges and opportunities that have emerged. When the coronavirus waters ebb, the landscape is likely to show some of the same problems that human resource leaders in the industry have long struggled with—low wages and high turnover, a lack of diversity in the higher ranks, and the need to recruit and retain capable talent. But the virus has also remade businesses, including in some ways that present new opportunities.

Accordingly, the COVID-19 crisis has hit startups with new challenges. A PEO can help these employers, who must register separately in each state where they hire, in order to keep everyone insured and comply with local tax and labor laws.

Lastly, the SBA has provided guidance regarding fraud and EIDL loans. In short, it doesn’t sound like there is a way to check if an EIDL loan was taken out using your info. If you receive a bill/statement and it is fraudulent, please reach out to us as we have plenty of resources to share.

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