Top 3 Concerns for Employers in Q1 of 2021

From EEOC Vaccine Guidance to Updates on Minimum Wage, Here’s What You Need to Know

FFCRA Leave – Tax Benefits Extended

Recent legislation extended through March 31, 2021 payroll tax benefits to employers for offering FFCRA leave to employees. However, the requirement to provide such leave was not extended. Accordingly, employers may voluntarily provide FFCRA emergency sick leave and paid family leave to their employees and seek a dollar-for-dollar payroll tax credit for any amounts paid.

Also, the amount of leave available to each employee was not increased.

  • An employee who used their two weeks of emergency paid sick leave and their ten weeks of expanded FMLA benefits in 2020, is not entitled to additional FFCRA leave in 2021.
  • However, if an employee did not use their entire allotment of FFCRA leave in 2020, an employer may voluntarily allow the employee to do so prior to March 31, 2021 and seek a payroll tax credit for any amounts paid.


EEOC Releases Guidance on Covid-19 Vaccines in the Workplace

Now that there are two Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved in the U.S., the EEOC has released information and guidance related to vaccines in the workplace.

  • Employers can require their employees to be vaccinated against the virus; however, in doing so, employers must be mindful of legal requirements imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).
  • Under those laws, employers may need to accommodate employees who have a disability-related or religious reason for not receiving a vaccine.
  • Employers should also be careful to protect the confidentiality of employee medical information obtained and to maintain the confidentiality of any requests for accommodation.

These are not straightforward issues so we encourage employers to contact Heather Adelman, Chair of HDRB&B’s Employment group for individualized guidance.


Minimum Wage Increases Go Into Effect

New Jersey

  • Effective on January 1, 2021, New Jersey’s minimum wage for most employees increased to $12.00 per hour.
  • Click Here for an updated minimum wage poster.


New York

  • Effective December 31, 2020, employees in Westchester County and Long Island saw an increase of the minimum wage to $14.00 per hour.
  • Employees in the remainder of New York State (excepting New York City) increased to $12.50 per hour.
  • Minimum wage for employees in New York City remains at $15.00 per hour.
  • Click Here for an updated minimum wage poster.



If you have questions or concerns regarding tax benefits related to FFCRA Leave, EEOC vaccine guidance, new minimum wage increases, or any other employment law related questions, please contact: Heather Adelman, Esq. or Maralee Sanders, Esq.