The Washington Report
August 26, 2020
Note to subscribers: Due to the current environment, information is changing at a rapid rate. While we do our best to provide timely updates, it is possible that the information shared in the newsletter may change or be revised after our publication deadline. Stay healthy and safe! ~The Washington Report team
CRS Updates Report on COVID-19 and Private Health Insurance Coverage
On August 24, 2020, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) updated a report addressing frequently asked questions about covered benefits and consumer cost-sharing related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and a potential vaccine. The report also explains relevant legislation enacted in 2020, references existing federal requirements, discusses recent administrative guidance, and notes state and private-sector actions.
The updated CRS report COVID-19 and Private Health Insurance Coverage: Frequently Asked Questions is available here.
DOL Issues Field Assistance Bulletin Clarifying Employers’ Obligations to Track Compensable Hours for Teleworkers
On August 24, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2020-5 to clarify an employer’s obligation to track the number of hours of compensable work performed by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working away from premises controlled by their employers. According to the DOL, in a telework or remote work arrangement, the question of the employer’s obligation to track hours actually worked for which the employee was not scheduled may often arise. While the guidance responds directly to needs created by new telework or remote work arrangements that arose in response to COVID, it also applies to other telework or remote work arrangements.
The DOL states “an employer is required to pay its employees for all hours worked, including work not requested but allowed and work performed at home. If the employer knows or has reason to believe that an employee is performing work, the time must be counted as hours worked. Confusion over when an employer ‘has reason to believe that work is being performed,’ may be exacerbated by the increasing frequency of telework and remote work arrangements since the Department last issued interpretive rules in 1961.”
The news release is available here.
FAB 2020-5 is available here.
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