Workplace Vaccination Requirements

Workplace Vaccination Requirements

What You Need to Know About Workplace Vaccination Requirements

Workplace Vaccination RequirementsNow that the first round of COVID-19 vaccines is being distributed, many of people are wondering how to ensure that their employees are vaccinated as soon as possible. Below are answers to some of the most common questions employers have about workplace vaccine requirements. If you would like specific advice about instituting a vaccine requirement for your employees, please contact an employment lawyer.

Can I require that my employees take the vaccine when it becomes available?

Yes. In general, you can have a requirement that your employees take a publicly available vaccine. However, employers with 15 or more employees are subject to federal laws prohibiting certain employment practices, including requirements that screen out individuals with disabilities and denying requests for reasonable accommodations based on religious beliefs. Many states have equivalent laws that cover smaller employers. Most employers must try to make reasonable accommodations for employees whose disability or religious beliefs prevent them from meeting workplace requirements.

How can I respond if an employee claims to be unable to take the vaccine because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief?

You must determine whether you are required to make a reasonable accommodation for the employee. Unless an employer can demonstrate that a reasonable accommodation is not possible without undue hardship and that an unvaccinated employee poses a direct threat to the health of others, the employer must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability. An employer also must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious belief if the accommodation is possible without undue hardship.

In either case, an employer may exclude from the workplace an unvaccinated employee for whom the employer is not required to make reasonable accommodation. 

What does reasonable accommodation mean for workplace vaccination requirements?

Whether you can make a reasonable accommodation without undue hardship will depend on the nature of the workforce and the employee’s position. In determining whether an exemption causes undue hardship, you should consider whether the employee’s duties require frequent contact with the public or other individuals whose vaccination rates are unknown and the cost to the business of reducing such contact. Employers may also rely on CDC and OSHA guidance to determine whether an accommodation is possible without undue hardship.

Federal regulations direct employers to determine whether a direct threat exists based on the likelihood and extent of the risk. Like undue hardship, whether your employee constitutes a “direct threat” will depend on the employee’s duties and the progress of the pandemic. As infection rates fall, the likelihood that an unvaccinated employee will constitute a direct threat to others in the workplace may fall.

Employment protections based on religious belief are narrower than protections based on disability. An employer still must provide a reasonable accommodation upon request. However, undue hardship in the religious belief context means that the accommodation would have a more than trivial burden on the employer, such as forcing the employer to treat employees unequally. Employers may not be required to make an accommodation for religious belief if the accommodation is unfair to other employees or forces you to incur significant costs.

As the COVID-19 vaccines become more available, employers will certainly face more pressing questions about requiring employees get the vaccine. 

Naturally, many of these questions are novel, and there are complex legal issues employers need to consider.  There are also practical considerations – what will the impact be on morale of requiring (or not requiring) employees to provide proof of vaccination.  Employers with specific questions should seek guidance from an attorney with experience in employment matters.

Family First Law & What It Means

I. Federal Legislative Actions

On Friday, March 13, 2020, the House announced that they reached a deal with President Trump’s administration in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

At 1:00am early Saturday morning, the House passed HR 6201 with a 363 – 40 vote. The emergency bill is cited as “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

On March 18, 2020, the Senate passed the bill with a 90 – 8 vote. On March 18, 2020, the President signed the bill into law.

The law provides temporary paid sick and family medical leave, increases funding for health, food security and unemployment insurance programs, and provides free coronavirus testing.

Below is an outline of the highlights of the law.

II. Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act

Division C | p. 12

Term

Begins on the date the Act takes effect, and ends December 31, 2020.

Eligible Employees

Eligible employees are employees who have been employed at least 30 calendar days by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested.

Employer Threshold

The Act creates a threshold for qualifying employers. Accordingly, Employers who employ 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year are subject to the Emergency Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees

The Secretary of Labor has the authority to issue regulations for good cause to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave requirement.

Qualifying Need Related to a Public Health Emergency

The Act protects employees with a “qualifying need related to a public health emergency.” The term “qualifying need related to a public health emergency,” with respect to leave, means that the employee is unable to work due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years old of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

Unpaid Leave – Initial 10 Days

The first 10 days that an employee takes leave may be unpaid. The employee may elect to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for unpaid leave under this section; however, the employer may not require the election to substitute.

Paid Leave – After Initial 10 Days

The employer shall provide paid leave for each day of leave that the employee takes after taking the initial 10 days’ leave. The pay shall be calculated based on:

  1. An amount that is not less than 2/3 of an employee’s regular rate of pay; and
  2. The number of hours that the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work.

In no event shall paid leave exceed $200 per day, or $10,000 in the aggregate.

Employees with Varying Schedules

For those employees whose schedules vary week-to-week, the employer should calculate hours by determining the average number of hours that employee is scheduled for per day over the 6-month period ending on the date that the employee’s leave begins. If the employee has not worked for 6-months prior, the employer should consider the reasonable expectation of hours that the employee would normally be scheduled.

Notice

Where practicable, the employee shall give notice to the employer where the necessity for leave is foreseeable.

III. Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020

Division D | p. 15

Notification

The State shall notify an employee at the time of their separation from employment of the availability of unemployment compensation.

Notice of Received/Processed Application

The State must then notify the applicant when the application is received and is being processed.

Non-Charge for COVID-19

The State may not charge employers directly impacted by COVID-19 due to an illness in the workplace, or direction from a public health official to isolate or quarantine workers. (p. 41).

IV. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Division E | p. 18

Covered Employers

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act applies to private employers that employ fewer than 500 employees, and public agencies that employ one or more employees.

Employers Must Provide

An employer shall provide to each employee employed by the employer paid sick time for any of the following uses:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order described in (i), or has been advised as described in (ii).
  5. The employee is caring for the son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care for the son or daughter has been closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Amount of Paid Time

For full time employees, the employee is entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time.

For part time employees, the employee is entitled to the number of hours equal to the number of hours that employee works on average, over a 2-week period.

No Carryover

Paid sick time under this Act shall not carry over from one year to the next.

Termination

Paid sick leave under this Act terminates beginning with the employee’s next scheduled work shift immediately following termination of the need for paid sick time, as described in (b) above.

Immediate Use

Paid sick time under this Act shall be available for immediate use by the employee for purposes described in section (b) above, to cover the hours during which the employee is using paid sick time.

Employer with Existing Paid Sick Time Policy

The employee may first use the paid sick time under the Act. The employer may not require the employee to use the paid leave provided by the employer before using paid sick leave under the Act.

Cover Employee

The employer may not require the employee seek a replacement employee to cover in their absence.

Notice

The employer shall post, and keep posted, in a conspicuous place on the premises, the requirements described in the Act.

Model Notice

Seven days after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall make publicly available a model of a notice that meets the requirements of the Act.

Discrimination, Discipline, Discharge

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against, discharge, or discipline an employee who takes leave in accordance with the Act and has filed any complaint or proceeding under this Act.

Violation

An employer who fails to provide paid sick leave will be considered to have failed to pay minimum wages in violation of section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 USC 206), and shall be subject to the penalties described in sections 16 and 17 therefrom.

Effective Date

This Act and the requirements of this Act shall take effect not later than 15 days after the date of enactment for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The Act shall expire on December 31, 2020.

Payroll Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave

Division G | p. 33

The Act makes several changes to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), which is at IRC 3111.  The FICA taxes are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  We anticipate larger changes to the income and excise tax rules as part of the $1 trillion economic stimulus package currently working its way through Congress.

Paid Sick Leave.

    1. 100% Tax Credit. The employer shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for each calendar quarter an amount equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid by the employer with respect to such calendar quarter.
    2. $200 Daily Limit per Employee. The amount of qualified sick leave wages taken into account with respect to any individual shall not exceed $200 for any day for which the individual is paid qualified sick leave wages.
    3. Overall Limit on Number of Days Taken into Account. The aggregate number of days taken into account under this section for any calendar quarter shall not exceed the excess of:
      1. 10, over
      2. The aggregate number of days so taken into account for all preceding calendar quarters.
    4. Election of Applicability. This section shall not apply with respect to any employer for any calendar quarter if such employer elects not to have this section apply.

Self-Employed Individuals.

      1. Eligibility. Must be someone who regularly carries on a trade or business under Section 1402 of the IRC, and would be entitled to paid leave during the taxable year under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (see section (2) of Division E highlights above).
      2. Coverage. There shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for any taxable year an amount equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave equivalent amount with respect to the individual.
  • (There are more details in the self-employment provisions that I can dig into should our clients prefer. I am not sure is this section is particularly relevant to our clients.)

Paid Family Leave.

    1. 100% Tax Credit. The employer shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for each calendar quarter an amount equal to 100% of the qualified family leave wages paid by the employer with respect to such calendar quarter.
    2. Wages Limit. The amount of qualified family leave wages taken into account with respect to any individual shall not exceed:
      1. $200 for any day for which the individual is paid qualified family leave wages; and
      2. In the aggregate with respect to all calendar quarters, $10,000.

Credit Limit. The credit allowed under this subsection with respect to any calendar quarter, shall not exceed the tax imposed under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for each calendar quarter on the wages paid with respect to the employment of all employees of the employer.

Election of Applicability. This section shall not apply with respect to any employer for any calendar quarter if such employer elects not to have this section apply.

Tax on Employers.

  • Not Wages. Any wages required to be paid by reason of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act shall not be considered wages for the purposes of Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

A more sweeping tax bill is still pending at this time related to income tax and insurance tax implications. For more specifics on the current law, as well as pending legislation, we encourage you to consult one of the experienced tax lawyers at Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP.

Big Changes to Some Big Employers’ Employee Scheduling Practices

“Affected employers will have to provide their employees with seven days advance notice of their shift schedules”

On June 29, 2017, the House approved and sent to the governor, Senate Bill 828 which will require large employers in certain industries to provide advanced notice to employees of their work schedules. This new law will affect only retail, hospitality, and food service establishments with 500 or more employees worldwide. Affected employers will have to provide their employees with seven days advance notice of their shift schedules. Affected employers will also need to make a good faith effort to provide new employees with an estimation of the average number of hours the employee can expect to work in a month. It is expected that the governor will sign the bill into law.

The new law will also provide employees of the affected industries with a right to rest between work shifts. The right to rest, which an employee may waive, requires the employer to not schedule an employee to work during the first 10 hours following the end of a work shift. If the employer does schedule an employee during a rest period, then the employer must compensate the employee at time and a half for each hour worked during the rest period.

If an employer requests changes to an employee’s work schedule without seven days’ advance notice, then the employee may decline the work shifts. However, if an employee requests additional work shifts in writing, then the employer does not need to provide advanced notice. If an employee accepts the shift, then the employer will have to provide additional compensation in most circumstances. Additional compensation requirements will not apply in some circumstances such as when an employee initiates and arranges a work shift swap or coverage agreement with another employee.

Employees of the affected employers will also have a right to provide input as to limitations or changes to their work schedule. However, an employer will have no obligation to grant an employee’s work schedule requests.

Affected employers will be required to post in the work place a notice of employee rights under the new law. Employers will also be required to keep records for three years documenting their compliance with the new law.

Employers will be permitted to maintain a voluntary standby list of employees willing to cover shifts because of unanticipated customer needs or unexpected employee absences. Employees will have the option to be removed from the list at any time. An employer may not retaliate against an employee that does not want to be on the list or declines to work additional hours. The punishment for coercing an employee into being added to the standby list is a civil penalty up to $2,000.

The seven days’ notice requirement, good faith estimation of a new employees work schedule, voluntary standby list, right to rest between work shifts, employee right to input into work schedule, compensation for work schedule changes, notice of employee rights and recordkeeping requirements will become effective in July, 2018.The enforcement provisions and retaliation prohibitions will take effect in July, 2019. Beginning in July, 2020, affected employers will be required to provide two weeks’ notice to employees concerning their work schedules.

No Questions Asked: Oregon’s Equal Pay Act

Oregon’s Equal Pay Act Prohibits Questions About Salary

On May 22, 2017, the House unanimously re-passed House Bill 2005. The legislation, which is more commonly known as the Equal Pay Act of 2017, was amended by the Senate last week, and is now headed to Governor Brown for her signature.

While the majority of the media attention has been on the provisions in the bill that will prohibit discrimination against women in the payment of wages, there are other provisions affecting employment practices that employers should be aware of.

Under the new legislation, it will be a prohibited practice for an employer to screen a job applicant based on the applicant’s current or past compensation. Other than for internal hires, it will also be a prohibited practice to determine compensation for a position based on current or past compensation of a prospective employee. Additionally, a prospective employer may not seek an applicant’s salary history information from the applicant or from the applicant’s current or former employer, unless the prospective employer has made an offer of employment, with an amount of compensation included, to the prospective employee.

If an employer were to screen a job applicant, determine compensation, or seek out salary information in violation of the Act, they could face a lawsuit to recover up to two years of back pay, court costs, attorney fees, and other damages.

If Governor Brown signs the bill into law, as she is expected to do, the screening and compensation provisions will become effective January 1, 2019. The prohibition on seeking information on an applicant’s salary history will become effective 91 days after the Legislature adjourns.

“Not So Fast” – Federal Judge Grants Injunction Against Overtime Regulation

Rule Expanding Overtime Halted by Federal Judge

On Tuesday, November 22, a Federal District Court Judge in Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against an Obama administration regulation, which sought to expand the eligibility of millions of workers for overtime pay.

The regulation was ruled by Judge Mazzat to have likely exceeded the authority of the Obama administration because it nearly doubled the overtime salary threshold. The regulation would raise the minimum annual salary amount from $23,660 to $47,476. It would automatically qualify workers for overtime pay, so long as their annual salary was below the new $47,476 threshold.

Twenty-one states and over fifty business organizations have backed the request for an injunction to delay the regulation’s effective date of December 1, 2016, until the judge could make a final ruling based on the merits.

Small business owners and business organizations applauded the decision, arguing that the regulation would substantially burden business owners with increased labor costs. The Labor Department and worker advocacy groups argue that by blocking the regulation, workers who already put in 40 hours a week will continue to work longer hours for unfair pay.

Many employers have been making plans for the effective date of the new regulations, which is now just eight days away. Employers may have already notified employees about their new pay arrangements. Should employers reverse those salary decisions and postpone their implementation? There are many unknowns at play, not the least of which is that the Trump administration will take over responsibility for this litigation in January 2017. Might a Trump administration concede this case, and let an injunction remain in place?  That is a possibility. Might the new administration have the Department of Labor issue new regulations extending the date for implementation of the new salary/overtime rules? That’s also possible. One other possibility is an appeal and a higher court vacating the injunction. In that case, could the December 1, 2016 effective date be made enforceable retroactively?

Each employer must make a business decision about what is appropriate for their workforce, and determine how much risk (given the uncertainty) they are willing to accept. One important point for employers – adjustments to compensation terms can be made prospectively, but it is dangerous for an employer to retroactively modify an employee’s compensation, particularly if the modification is to reduce pay. An employer and employee have a contractual relationship, with many applicable state and federal regulations. Employers should be cautious about any course of action that could be seen as a breach of the employment contract, or a violation of state or federal laws.

For more information, read this article from Bloomberg.

No Sharing: Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)

DTSA

Employers should be sure that they are in compliance with the DTSA

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the popular Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which gives employers a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. One of the key features is that the DTSA allows employers to obtain equitable remedies, actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees as well as remedies available under state law.

There are a few circumstances where an employee or contractor is immune from prosecution for sharing trade secrets: (1) when disclosing to the government or government attorneys solely for the purpose of reporting or investigated a suspected violation of law; (2) when disclosing to a personal attorney in connection with a retaliation lawsuit for reporting a suspected violation of law; and (3) when disclosing in any complaint or other document filed in a lawsuit, as long as its filed under seal.

The DTSA requires employers to provide notice of these immunities in any agreement with an employee or contractor related to trade secrets or other confidential information. If the employer does not provide this notice, their available damages will be reduced. They will not be entitled to punitive damages or attorney fees, which limits the effectiveness of the agreement.

The good news? This only applies to agreements entered into on or after May 11, 2016. Agreements entered into before then do not have to include the notice provisions. But looking forward, employers should contact their legal counsel to make sure that any agreements they enter into will comply with the DTSA.

Piece-Rate Workers Entitled to Rest Period Pay

A major change has taken place for piece-rate workers in Washington. The Washington Supreme Court decided in March of 2015 that piece-rate workers are entitled to receive wages during their rest periods. Not only are piece-rate workers entitled to rest period pay, they must receive the greater of either their regular rate of pay or minimum wage. Moving forward, agricultural employers who employ piece-rate workers may need to change their practices to comply with the holding of the case.

Pursuant to these new rules, agricultural employers must provide workers with a full, uninterrupted 10-minute break in each four-hour period of work. In addition, employers must pay piece-rate workers separate compensation for their rest period, and the separate payments must be based on the regular rate of pay or minimum wage, whichever is greater. To compute the regular rate, the employer must divide the total compensation earned in a workweek by the total active hours of work (not including the break time). Then, the employer must use the greater of their regular rate of pay or minimum wage, and multiply it by the amount of time the worker spends on rest periods. This amount should be added to the piece-rate workers weekly pay. For more information on compliance, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has issued a helpful Administrative Policy.

If you still have questions, please contact the attorneys at Samuels Yoelin Kantor, LLP. We provide employers with advice and representation for a wide variety of legal issues. Our attorneys practicing employment law advise employers on how to avoid problems. We represent employers in State and Federal court, as well as in administrative proceedings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon Department of Justice, and the Oregon State Wage and Hour Division.

Who Owns Your Password?

In the modern world passwords are ubiquitous. By the time we’ve finished our morning coffee we’ve likely used a password to check our email, access our computer, and even open the door to the office. In some contexts we understand (even if we don’t give it much thought), that the password doesn’t “belong” to us: the security code to the building where you work is a prime example. But in other settings a sense of personal ownership pervades. After all, we choose our own passwords for our email and social media accounts. The content of those accounts and even our choice of the password itself is often quite personal. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to the broad question of who “owns” a password. When personal and business contexts collide, however, one should keep these guidelines in mind:

The entity that owns the software likely owns the passwords protecting the software.

The case law in Oregon is sparse, but suggests that the owner of the system or software also owns the password that gives access to that system or software. Unauthorized use (for example, an employee’s withholding of the password) is analogous to theft from the owner. In State v. Schwartz a former employee of Intel was found guilty of theft when he copied access passwords which allowed access to the company’s computers. The court held that the term “property” as used in the theft statute, includes “anything of value,” and that the passwords had value. In concluding that theft had occurred, the question of whether that “property” belonged to Intel was never put at issue. Although these were passwords used to access individual computers they were Intel property and, one assumes, were not owned by the individuals to whom the passwords were assigned.

The software licensing agreement or an employee handbook can provide guidance to the ownership interest.

When a software program allows the user to choose their own password, the user may be under the mistaken assumption that they “own” the password they chose. Of course, just because I choose my Netflix password does not mean that I have an unbounded ownership interest in it: for instance, I am not under the impression that I can sell my password, and thus my Netflix access. Similarly, an employee handbook can make clear that the use of company computers necessarily involves a company interest. Understanding that a personal password on a company computer does not come with increased privacy rights can provide protection to the employer against potential litigation. This point was made in Thygeson v. US Bancorp, where the handbook warned that personal use of the computer was prohibited and monitored, and the employee therefore did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Of course, this doesn’t mean there can’t be overreaching. Oregon, like many other states has adopted legislation denying employers the right to even ask for an employee’s personal social media password.

The law of password ownership is still in its developing stages. As our reliance on technology and use of social media in the workplace continue to increase, password ownership is more likely to be at issue. At present, Oregon case law has been developing more through the criminal context (identity theft or unlawful searches) than on the intellectual property front. But while the contours of password ownership remain undefined, considerations of the underlying software ownership and restrictions in the licensing agreement may be the best guides. 

Sick Time Ordinance Goes Into Effect

As of January 1, 2014 employers in the City of Portland are required to provide sick-time for their employees. Employers with 6 or more employees are required to provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours an employee works. Employees with 6 or fewer people are required to provide the same amount of unpaid sick leave. Some confusion regarding the new ordinance surrounds whether an employer is located inside Portland city limits. For example, construction, delivery, and other businesses may have headquarters located outside of city limits, but have employees working within city limits. Employees are covered for the hours they spend working inside city limits, regardless of where the employer is located. The City of Portland’s website (http://portlandoregon.gov/sicktime) has an extensive list of FAQs, as well as other resources for employers and employees regarding the ordinance. Employers may also find it helpful to sit down with their attorney to determine whether their sick leave policy is compliant with the new ordinance.

Employers Must Provide Notice on Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA” sometimes referred to as Obamacare) creates a number of new requirements for employers. Recently, the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor announced that some of these requirements will be delayed until 2014 or 2015 to give employers, and the government, more time to ensure a smooth transition.

However, one requirement that has not been delayed until next year is the requirement that all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act give notice to employees about the new Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is a government-run website that gives individuals and employees of small business the ability to find and compare private health insurance options. Under the PPACA, applicable employers must, by October 1, 2013, provide written notice to employees of the following:

  • The existence of the Marketplace, including a description of the services provided and how to access those services;
  • The eligibility of the employee for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases a qualified plan through the Marketplace; and
  • Notice that the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace.

The notices must be provided to all employees, regardless of whether they are full or part-time or if they’re currently covered by the employer’s health care policy. Employees hired after October 1, 2013 must be given the notice within 14 days of the employee’s start date.

The Department of Labor has two model notices available on its website at www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform, one for employers without a health plan and one for employers with a health plan. Note that the model notices are not state specific and some employers may want to alter the notice to give employees more comprehensive information. More information on the notices is provided by the Department of Labor in Technical Release No. 2013-02, provided at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html.

The employment and tax lawyers at Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP are available to provide counseling and answers on PPACA-related questions.