Update April 4, 2020
So yesterday we encountered some things we didn’t exactly foresee. In our office, we deal with benefits on a monthly basis so we tend to think of them in monthly increments. Unfortunately, that made me think I had more time than I really did to get information to you on how to pay the FFCRA benefit. We’ve covered how to calculate pay and we’ve narrowed your obligation down to just H&W. However, we haven’t gone into what you owe on the H&W and how you’ll pay it.
Traditionally, we actually don’t get involved with FMLA benefits. It’s not work performed under the agreement and it happens pretty infrequently. Given the sheer numbers we are talking about now though, we thought it prudent to offer EPR to assist you with contributions.
Now I want to start with a caveat…While we have nailed down your obligation in Local 481, some things with the Decatur plan have yet to finalized. At least as far as the fund is concerned. Here’s the thing; the law states that you have to maintain the same coverage a person had before the pandemic when maintain coverage during the pandemic. Most folks have interpreted that to mean pretty much what it says. You can’t move someone from a ACA Gold plan to a Bronze plan as an example. However, because we exist in a multi-employer world, the fund wants to hash out whether or not HRA is also a part of your obligations. It isn’t. I expect them to finalize this on Monday or Tuesday of next week and I thought about withholding this guidance until it was handled. However, I think it's more important that you have what we have now so you can start programming payroll. Also, I actually think that if the fund offers up something different than what I have below, you should pay as we have supplied and let them do their worst.
You’ll notice that 481 has already realized that they can’t require contributions to the RPF and HRA so their contribution amount has been reduced accordingly.
I’m confident the Decatur fund will as well and it will be as we have stated below.
Before we get to the instructions John has drawn up for you, some other info:
· We’ve linked an updated PPP Loan Application form. The SBA changed it last night. For those of you going through a banker, I’m sure they have this covered. But for those who are on your own, this is the form you should use.
· NECA National provided come clarification on who is covered by the FFCRA. It looks like they just cut and pasted some generic guidance form the US DOL. As a result, it's not really useful since it doesn’t cover exempted industries. I’ve asked them to reissue this guidance with something relevant to our situation and I’ll let you know when they post it.
OK. On to John’s guidance for submitting your FFCRA reports using EPR.
A great resource related to calculating payments under FFCRA is the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
A tip from our friends at Electric Plus for payroll and record keeping-
A tip for Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act payments is to set these up in payroll as a separate “union.” For example, if you have a “union” setup in your payroll system with its classifications and rates, create a new “union” for FFCRA for each local in which you work. Call it 725 FFCRA or 725 COVID, 481 FFCRA or 481 COVID (whatever makes sense and follows some of your normal setups for you.) But, having FFCRA, COVID, however you want to refer to it will allow you better record keeping for information that you may need for the next few years as it relates to available payroll credits, loans, 2020 financials, tax filings, etc. without having it mixed in with your other payroll data.
Now, how to report the insurance-
FFCRA expanded FMLA with the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and we are currently creating new reports for you in EPR to submit contributions to the fund office(s). This will hopefully be available to you on Monday. For ease of deployment, each of these reports will be made available by local to every contractor that currently has an active Inside Agreement in EPR in that local. If a report is not on your roster and you need it added OR if you have a report that you don’t need, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request which of these agreement(s) you need added/removed from your roster.
481 EWBTF FMLA
305 Decatur FMLA Base Plan
305 Decatur FMLA Alt Plan
668 Decatur FMLA Base Plan
668 Decatur FMLA Alt Plan
725 Decatur FMLA Base Plan
725 Decatur FMLA Alt Plan
855 Decatur FMLA Base Plan
855 Decatur FMLA Alt Plan
873 Decatur FMLA Base Plan
873 Decatur FMLA Alt Plan
On these reports,
· Health and welfare is the only fund on these reports.
· Classifications: Generic “job classifications” are utilized that indicate the FMLA insurance benefit for which you are contributing; not the typical “1:Journeyman” or 6:Apprentice…” that you are used to seeing.
· Hours “worked:” For 481 EWBTF, the number of hours to report must be in full weeks @ 40 hours per week. For Decatur, we are awaiting guidance from the fund.
· Gross wages is a blank field that you may freely populate as the wages may be at regular rate of pay, 2/3rds of that rate, or a combination thereof.
· The Health and welfare amount will auto-calculate based on the chosen FMLA benefit (the chosen “job classification”) and it is also an editable field.
481 EWBTF FMLA:
There will be 2 “job classifications” (“EWBTF FMLA Full” and “EWBTF FMLA Med Only”) which will calculate at the current rates of $9.22 per hour and $3.50 per hour respectively. According to the fund, you must report 40 hours per week. FMLA Full is for all individuals with the exception of apprentices 1 and 2 which receive the FMLA Med Only.
### Decatur FMLA Base Plan (### being the local union number):
There will be 1 “job classification” (“Decatur Base Plan”) which will calculate at $7.25 per hour. This is for all individuals receiving the Base Plan. This rate is the minimum contribution rate for the plan excluding an HRA that may have been applicable under the terms of an agreement.
### Decatur FMLA Alt Plan (### being the local union number):
There will be 2 “job classifications” (“Decatur Alt Plan” and “Decatur Single Alt Plan”) which will calculate at $5.45 per hour and $3.60 per hour respectively. Report each individual based on the health and welfare plan they have been receiving. These rates are the minimum contribution rates for each of these plans excluding an HRA that may have been applicable under the terms of an agreement.
And that’s about it folks.
As always stay safe and call if you have any questions.