Newsletter from Integrated Benefit Solutions
Supreme Court Vacancy May Affect ACA Litigation
Since 2017, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has
been the subject of numerous legal challenges. Several bills were
introduced to repeal the law, although those efforts failed. The
ACA has also been challenged in federal court. A lawsuit seeking
to invalidate the ACA in its entirety is currently pending before
the Supreme Court, with oral arguments scheduled for November.
On Sept. 18, 2020, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
passed away at the age of 87. Whether the court vacancy created
by Justice Ginsburg’s death should be filled prior to the
November election is the subject of much controversy. On
Sept. 26, 2020, President Donald Trump nominated federal circuit
court judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy, and the Senate
plans to hold a vote on this nomination. However, a number of Democrats in Congress believe that
the nomination process should not take place until after the
If a new Supreme Court justice is confirmed before the election,
it could greatly impact the outcome of that litigation. It is
widely expected that President Trump’s nominee will have a more
conservative viewpoint and would be more likely to invalidate the
ACA. In contrast, a Supreme Court justice nominated by Democratic
Party candidate Joe Biden would be more likely to uphold the ACA.
Until a nominee is ultimately confirmed, the practical impact of
this decision remains to be seen. As a result, employers may want
to closely monitor developments related to the Supreme Court
Preparing for Flu Season During the COVID-19
Each year, the seasonal flu has a marked impact on
businesses and employers, causing increased absenteeism,
decreased productivity and higher health
care costs. Unfortunately, the 2020-21 flu season isn’t the only health crisis employers and
employees have to address this year. The COVID-19 pandemic is
still affecting the workforce, and the combination of another
potentially bad flu season and the pandemic has public health
There are a variety of steps employers can take to protect
employees and prepare for flu season—which may include steps
you’ve taken in response to COVID-19—regardless of whether
employees are in the office or working remotely.
Here are some strategies to consider:
- Host an on-site, socially
distanced vaccination clinic—One
of the most important steps for preventing the flu is to get
an annual flu vaccination. Hosting an on-site flu
vaccination clinic can help educate employees about the
importance of vaccination and make it easier for them to get
- Encourage employees to get
the flu vaccine—If you choose not to or are
unable to provide an on-site flu vaccination clinic, you can
still emphasize the importance of vaccination to your
employees and educate them about local opportunities to get
- Disinfect and clean the
office—Because the flu virus and
the virus that causes COVID-19 can remain on surfaces long
after they’ve been touched, it’s
important that your business frequently cleans and
disinfects the facility.
- Implement and enforce social
distancing protocols—Social distancing is
the practice of deliberately increasing the physical space
between people to avoid spreading illness.
- Promote respiratory
etiquette and hand hygiene—Businesses
should encourage good hygiene to prevent the spread of
respiratory illnesses like the flu and COVID-19. This can
- Reminding employees to wash
their hands often with soap and warm water
- Placing hand sanitizers in
multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene
- Reminding employees to not
touch their eyes, nose or mouth
- Asking employees to wear a
mask or face covering when social distancing is not
- Encourage employees to stay
home when sick—Ask employees to err on the
side of caution if they’re not feeling well,
and stay home when they’re sick or are exhibiting
common symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu.
These strategies may not be right for every
organization. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need
to implement additional prevention strategies. Take
action today to prepare your business for flu season
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Remote Verification of Form I-9 Documents Extended
to Nov. 19
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowing
employers that are operating remotely to conduct a remote
verification of approved Form
I-9 documents. On Sept. 15, 2020, DHS extended yet
again this exemption for an additional 60 days. The new
expiration date for the exemption is now Nov.
Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within
three business days of the employee’s first day of employment.
Employers are required to physically examine the documents the
employee presents from the list of acceptable documents to prove
his or her employment eligibility.
The exemption also applies only to employers that are operating
remotely due to COVID-19 and new hires affected by quarantine or
lockdown protocols. The exemption does not apply to employers
that have employees physically present at a work location.
Under the exemption, employers must complete a remote inspection
of approved documents within three business days and enter
“COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay.
Employers that use this exemption must also keep written
documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy for
Within three days of when normal operations resume, all employees
who were onboarded using remote verification must present their
approved documents for a physical inspection. When this happens,
employers will need to add “documents physically examined” with
the date of inspection to affected I-9 forms.
Five Steps to Successful Employee Communication
Effective managers must be strong communicators
to inspire and lead their teams. The video below offers five
strategies and suggestions to keep your
managers' communication efforts on point.
For additional HR guidance, visit our Human