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Keeping you informed about the rapidly changing ACA environment and how it’s affected by COVID-19

We know that workplace challenges often create the greatest stress on HR teams who are working diligently to keep their workforce healthy and safe. That's why we are committed to sharing what we know around regulatory changes and their bearing on health reform, insurance eligibility, payroll and more.

To keep you in the know, here's our Ask the Expert question of the week: 

Q. When deciding whether to furlough or layoff an employee, what ACA employer responsibility considerations should we take into account?

A. First, know the difference between a furlough, a leave of absence and a layoff, and how each impacts your costs and each affected employee’s benefits. According to The National Law Review:

  • A furlough typically is applied to a group of employees due to a temporary lack of work. Furloughs may take the form of a reduction in hours, rather than complete elimination of them.
  • A leave of absence is often applied to individual employees to address their unique circumstance.
  • A layoff results in termination of employment and can apply to one or more individuals.

Leaves of absence and furloughs can be either be paid or unpaid. Secondly, know how each workforce reduction is classified to determine the method for which your HR department will count worked hours and determine to whom you'll continue or discontinue to offer health benefits to.

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