Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on many aspects of our everyday lives and we are collectively adjusting to what appears to be our new norm. Not only will we have to adapt to alternative methods of handling business in our personal lives, but our responsibilities as union officials will also require some adaptations in how we will function while staying within the provisions of the Labor Management Disclosure Act.
Fortunately, the Department of Labor (DOL) and IRS have recognized the unprecedented effects COVID-19 has placed upon labor organizations. As such, the DOL has issued two advisories that affect union elections and filing LM reports. Local Treasurers will want to take a look at whether their local circumstance(s) qualifies for the COVID-19 Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit under IRS guidelines.
There are DOL advisories on public disclosure reporting in areas affected by the COVID-19 and on union elections if a local or state affiliate has to cancel or postpone their convention when there is an election requirement. The Office of Labor and Management Standards (OLMS) recognized that due to the disruption caused by COVID- 19, it may be difficult or impossible for some unions to conduct timely union officer elections.
OLMS issued this advisory for those unions whose principal office is located in the affected areas or whose reportable activities occurred in those areas. The advisory states that affected labor unions must make a good faith effort to conduct elections as required under the LMRDA in those affected areas. However, if local and state affiliates are unable to comply, they would be required to hold the election when reasonably practicable on a certain date.
LM Report Filing Extended
The Department of Labor has updated its advisory extending the LM report filing until June 30, 2020 for locals affected by COVID-19. Local presidents do not need to contact OLMS before the LM report is due if the reporting deadline was prior to June 30, 2020. Local LM reports must be electronically filed by June 30, 2020, absent further notice from OLMS.
COVID-19 Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit
An employer (including exempt organizations) is eligible for the employee retention payroll tax credit if an employer’s operations were fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19 related shut-down order, or gross receipts declined by more then 50 percent as compared to the same quartering the prior year.
An eligible employer will claim its total qualified wages and its employee retention credit on its quarterly employment tax return, beginning with the second quarter. Local treasurers may want to refer to the IRS.gov webpage to see if there have been any IRS updates pertaining to the COVID-19 employee retention payroll tax credit or send an email to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Although the scheduled August 2020 National Convention has been postponed until further notice, the submission of resolutions will continue. Please continue to send any and all convention resolutions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training webinars are available for new and current local officers in areas pertaining to officer fiduciary responsibilities. COVID-19 does not prevent locals officers from obtaining necessary training.
After confirming an available date, an invitation to register for each webinar will be emailed to all Presidents, Treasurers, and Secretary-Treasurers before the webinar is scheduled. Presidents are encouraged to invite executive board and committee members to participate when appropriate.
A computer with internet access is necessary to see the presentation and a telephone to call in to hear. The confirmation email contains the link to join the webinar and the toll-free number to call, as well as the access code (cell phone users, check with your carrier to see if charges or minute usage will apply). Please contact the Secretary-Treasurer’s Department at 202-842-4215 or email email@example.com for more information.