On March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives, with the support of the President, overwhelmingly approved a bill known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201).  The legislation is scheduled to be taken up by the U.S. Senate during the week of March 16th, and is expected to be signed into law promptly by the President once the legislation is finalized.

This bulletin focuses on those aspects of the legislation approved by the House that address (1) emergency paid sick leave and paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and (2) zero cost coverage for COVID-19 testing.

Important Note: Changes may be made to the legislation approved by the House before it is signed into law, as a technical correction bill is expected in the House, and the Senate has indicated that it may make changes.  This bulletin summarizes the provisions of the bill initially approved by the House on March 14th.

Employer Provided Paid Sick Leave

The legislation affects private employers employing fewer than 500 employees and government employers (“Covered Employers”), and provides for (1) two weeks of emergency paid sick leave and (2) additional paid sick leave under the FMLA.  Private employers employing 500 or more employees are not Covered Employers and the legislation does not require such employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees.

Continue Reading Congress Acts to Protect Employees Affected by COVID-19

Over the past two weeks, the international markets have been roiling under news that the COVID-19 virus, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, may be spreading.  The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (collectively, the “Federal Bank Regulators”) have not issued specific guidance or released public statements outlining their expectations for responding to issues arising from the spread of the coronavirus.  However, financial institutions should consider the potential impact (if any), including any regulatory impact, the coronavirus may have on institutions.  Below are considerations that should be discussed by boards of directors and senior management. Continue Reading Coronavirus: Considerations for Financial Institutions

CalculatorOn October 29, 2019, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “Federal Banking Agencies”) issued a joint press release announcing a final rule which provides qualifying community banking organizations the ability to opt-in to a new community bank leverage ratio (“CBLR”) framework.  As part of its announcement, the Federal Banking Agencies issued a CBLR compliance guide.  To review the CBLR compliance guide, please click here.

On October 16, 2019, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) extended the implementation deadline for the current expected credit loss standard (“CECL”) for qualifying entities.  The new implementation deadlines are as follows: Continue Reading CECL Implementation Delayed for Qualifying Entities

CalculatorOn September 17, 2019, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) passed a final rule providing qualifying community banking organizations the ability to opt-in to a new community bank leverage ratio (“CBLR”) framework, which will greatly simplify regulatory determinations regarding capital adequacy and eliminate the need for qualifying community banking organizations to calculate and report quarterly risk-based capital ratios in their Call Reports. Continue reading to learn more about the rule, the CBLR framework, qualifying criteria for community banks and how a community bank can opt-in.