First Extension of Order Regarding Settings in the 410th District Court

In accordance with the Texas Supreme Court’s Twelfth Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster as declared by Governor Greg Abbott, this Court issues this “First Extension of Order Regarding Settings in the 410th District Court.”

This Order is effective immediately and expires at 5:00 P.M. on June 1, 2020, unless extended or modified by this Court. This Order incorporates by reference all of the provisions of the March 30, 2020 “Order Regarding Settings in the 410th District Court,” and substitutes the date June 1, 2020 for May 8, 2020 in all instances.

Additionally, this Order adds the following: 1). Jury trials: ALL JURY TRIALS SCHEDULED TO BE TRIED IN JUNE 2020 SHALL BE CONTINUED TO A FUTURE DATE DETERMINED BY THE COURT. THE COURT SHALL E-MAIL YOUR CONTINUANCE ORDER (OR SEND IT BY REGULAR MAIL IF NO E-MAIL ADDRESS IS ON FILE WITH THE DISTRICT CLERK’S OFFICE) IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Signed on April 28, 2020. __/s/ Jennifer Robin________________ JUDGE PRESIDING

  591 Hits
591 Hits

Between The Trees Business Talk - Lee Winkelman

Lee Winkelman joined J.J. Hollie, President of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other employment law considerations for small businesses during COVID-19.

  1030 Hits
1030 Hits

Payroll Tax

One of the first roll outs of relief was the Families First Coronavirus Responses Act (“FFCRA”) which included advance fefunding of the payroll credit required for paid sick leave. This allowed for an employer to claim refundable tax credits for emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family leave required for employees due to the COVID-19 crisis. The CARES Act picked up where the FFCRA left off and provides for an expansion of provisions including the following:

Subject to limitations laid out in the FFCRA and calculated through the most recent payroll period in the quarter – the CARES Act provides for an advance of those payroll tax credits.

The CARES Act mandates the Secretary of the Treasury to create forms and instructions in accordance with these advancement credits.

The CARES Act also mandates the Secretary of the Treasury cancel penalties for failure to deposit payroll taxes (only if failure can be attributed to anticipated FFCRA credit).

Payroll Tax Deferral

The CARES Act grants employers and self-employed individuals the opportunity to hold off on payment of the 6.2% social security tax beginning when the CARES Act was enacted and ending at the end of 2020. However – these taxes would then become due across the next two years; 50% in 2021 and 50% in 2022.

  742 Hits
742 Hits

Employment And Labor

Just as it did in other areas, the CARES Act makes some clarifications to previous Corona related relief packages – including the Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Several of these clarifications note that the monetary leave benefits caps are peremployee and not an overall perday cap as some had previously believed. Further, the CARES Act clarifies that an employee is still eligible for EFMLEA even if they had worked at least 30 days of the last 60 days prior to being laid off and was subsequently rehired by the same employer.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

Under the CARES Act, a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is created that is to last until the end of 2020. This includes an expansion of eligibility for unemployment benefits to individuals that usually wouldn’t have access to such safety nets. Some of these now covered groups include the self-employed, independent contractors, those that have used up state unemployment benefits, and those with a limited work history. However – if someone has the ability to telework with pay OR they are currently receiving paid leave benefits from their employer they are NOT covered by this unemployment expansion. More specific examples of covered individuals are outlined below:

  • An individual who is the primary caregiver for a child or other person in the household who is unable to attend school or another facility as a direct result of COVID-19;An individual who is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as adirect result of COVID-19
  • An individual who is unable to work because a health care provider has advised the individual to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
  • An individual who has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19; or
  • An individual whose place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program has also increased the time period of benefits from the usual 26 weeks up to 39 and gets rid of the typical one-week waiting period. The amount of benefits remains what state law usually prescribes, however there is a mandated increase of $600 on that amount per week up to four months.

The CARES Act also offers assistance directly to the States by giving them the chance to receive funding for state enacted “short-time compensation” programs that would subsidize workers that have experienced a reduced amount of hours in lieu of being laid off.

  607 Hits
607 Hits