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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Key Healthcare Provisions

On March 10, 2021, US Congress finalized and passed the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA), the latest COVID-19 relief package that largely tracks President Joe Biden’s initial $1.9 trillion proposal. The ARPA extends unemployment insurance benefits and provides direct $1,400 stimulus payments to qualifying Americans, but it also makes several important health policy-related changes. These include providing funding for vaccine distribution and testing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, making policy adjustments to the Medicaid program, facilitating health insurance coverage and providing more money for healthcare providers. The final bill also makes two narrowly focused technical Medicare payment changes.

This summary highlights notable health policy provisions of the final bill.

Access the summary.

For more information, please contact Meg Gilley, Mara McDermott, Kristen O’Brien, Katie Waldo, Rodney Whitlock or Eric Zimmerman.




VIDEO: Can Employers Insist Their Workers Have COVID Vaccines?

A recent poll in the United Kingdom revealed there was a high level of support among managers for making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for staff returning to work, with half of the respondents believing office access should be restricted for those who refused to get a vaccination on non-medical grounds. But what are the legal, ethical and privacy issues of such measures?

In an interview for BBC World News, McDermott partner Carole Spink discussed employer-related vaccine considerations.

Access the video.




California Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 95, significantly expanding California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (CSPSL). This latest legislation now requires any California employer with more than 25 employees to provide CSPSL in addition to regular paid sick leave offered.

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5 Questions Employers Are Asking about California Pay Data Law

Known as SB 973, the law requiring California employers with more than 100 nationwide employees to submit certain wage information to the state was signed into law in September with the first annual reporting deadline set for March 31. Businesses covered by the law must submit W-2 wage information and hours worked for their California employees according to sex, race, ethnicity and job category within 12 specified pay bands.

In a recent article in Law360, McDermott partner Elvira Kras and others discuss five questions being asked about the Golden State’s new pay data reporting mandate.

Access the article.




New Resource Center: Navigating Change in the US Administration

Pandemic relief, taxes, income inequality, climate change, infrastructure, healthcare and civil rights: the new US administration is moving forward rapidly on President Joe Biden’s stated priorities. So how are these new policies affecting your business? We’re here to keep you informed!

McDermott Will & Emery’s multidisciplinary team of industry-leading lawyers are monitoring key legal areas to help you navigate and gain perspective on the most critical impacts of changing US policies. Access the latest updates in our new resource center.




American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Employment Law Update

US President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) on March 11, 2021. ARPA follows from weeks of negotiations in Congress and attempts to facilitate the country’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in ARPA are several provisions that impact employers, including provisions on paid leave, reduced hours and employee retention credits. Employers should be mindful of the employment-specific changes put into effect by ARPA and accordingly update their policies and practices to comply with these changes.

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The “Glass Cliff” Challenge for Corporate Governance

Most corporate directors are familiar with the term “glass ceiling”—as they should be. Fewer directors are familiar with the term “glass cliff”—but they should be. For their ability to recognize the distinction between the two, and respond to the related challenges, will be critical to a company’s efforts to assure gender equality within its workforce.

In a recent article for Forbes, McDermott partner Michael Peregrine outlines why corporate boards should team with management to ensure gender equality across the internal playing field.

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4 Discrimination Law Questions Looming as Biden Era Begins

President Joe Biden is expected to usher in a decidedly more worker-friendly environment than his predecessor, but whether Congress or the courts embrace similar pro-employee leanings over the next four years is anyone’s guess.

In a recent article for Law360, McDermott partner Daniel Doron weighs in on four top-of-mind questions about bias law that may soon be addressed under the Biden administration.

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Employee Rewards in M&A Transactions: Comparability Provisions

Companies enter into merger & acquisition (M&A) deals for a range of reasons, but how employees are treated once a deal closes depends largely on the buyer’s deal strategy. Often the buyer signs a deal under the promise that the acquired business’ employees will continue to receive rewards at deal close that are comparable to those they received before, at least for a specified period of time. But why include such comparability provisions in deal terms given that they appear to restrict the buyer? What do these provisions typically cover? And what are best practices?

Willis Tower Watson recently tapped law firms with leading M&A advisory teams, including McDermott’s Carole Spink, to dig into the answers.

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