CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Grillo's Pickles

If you haven't been to the Grillo's Pickles website, you should. There, you'll find the fantastic story of how this company began. We've copied part of it here to save you a click.

Grillo's Pickles began with a pickle cart, just a small wooden stand in downtown Boston, where Travis Grillo and his friends would sell two spears for one dollar. Travis would make the pickles by night using his family's 100-year old recipe - one he'd memorized from making pickles every summer as a kid. In the morning, Travis would bike to the Boston Common and set up the cart with his buddies. They'd hang out all day, urging people to try the simple Grillo family pickle. It was a small business but Travis worked hard for it. He made more pickles, biked more miles, and slept less hours than he ever had before.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Factory Five Racing

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years they have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world's largest manufacturer of "build-it-yourself" component car kits. They employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). They make their products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Luca + Danni

Fred and Danny Magnanimi grew up watching their father create beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the family's Cranston, RI jewelry manufacturing business. When the boys grew up, Fred moved to New York and began working on Wall Street as an investment banker, while younger brother Danny, still enamored by the family business, stayed home. Increased competition from overseas businesses created significant challenges for the business, but Danny was confident he could find a way for the family business to evolve and thrive. This was his mission, this was his passion.
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        The End of Mandatory COVID-19 Related Leave (For Now)

        In a further attempt to alleviate the adverse economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, on December 21, 2020, Congress passed a $900 billion stimulus bill, which the President signed into law on December 27, 2020. While the stimulus bill declines to extend the Families First Coronavirus Act’s (“FFCRA”) requirement that certain employers provide paid leave under specific COVID-19 related circumstances, the bill does extend the FFCRA’s tax credit until March 31, 2021 to employers that voluntarily provide its employees who have not exhausted their 2020 FFCRA allotment with FFCRA leave.

        As we have previously written, the FFCRA required private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide its employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and paid expanded family and medical leave (EFMLA) for specified reasons (EPSL and EFMLA are collectively referred to as “FFCRA” leave). To ease the financial burden of providing FFCRA leave, the FFCRA offers employers refundable tax credits reimbursing them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of paying the mandatory partial or full wages to their employees while on FFCRA leave. The FFCRA’s mandate that employers provide FFCRA leave expired on December 31, 2020.

        Thus, employers are no longer required to provide any employees with FFCRA leave and employees are no longer entitled to take FFCRA leave. However, employers may continue to offer FFCRA leave and take the tax credit until March 31, 2021 if an employee has not exhausted the FFCRA leave entitlement in 2020. The stimulus bill does not provide any new time off and the leave is subject to the same limitations and requirements of FFCRA leave given in 2020.

        Whether or not an employer should offer FFCRA leave in the first quarter of 2021 depends on the circumstances under which the employee seeks to take the leave. Employers have a strong incentive to continue offering FFCRA leave to employees who are otherwise eligible for the leave, such as when the leave results from a quarantine mandate or the employee’s positive test result, the leave is covered by the Rhode Island or Massachusetts Sick Time laws, or the leave qualifies under the employer’s own sick time policy. However, in instances where the leave might be avoidable, such as in the case of COVID-19 related school closures or other caregiving circumstances, it may be preferable to provide the leave unpaid, deny the leave or require the employee use vacation time to discourage the leave rather than voluntarily offer FFCRA leave. In addition, FFCRA leave should not be offered where the employer believes the leave is abusive or fraudulent so that the employer can require documentation substantiating the need for leave (which is something the FFCRA would otherwise prevent).

        Finally, employers should expect that new legislation may eventually pass mandating additional time off for COVID-related purposes in the near future.

        The Employment & Labor Practice Group at Partridge Snow & Hahn is available to answer your questions about the FFCRA. For additional information and resources visit the firm’s COVID-19 Advisory Group page.
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        For current information and resources visit our COVID-19 Advisory Group page