Team Member Update as of 4/23/20

Healthcare Benefits:

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has our world in complete disarray. Furthermore, Pala has not been spared the severe financial consequences of its forced closure because of the pandemic. Consequently, and as a result of Pala’s closure, I deeply regret to inform you that Pala must discontinue payment for healthcare benefits after April 30, 2020.

Your participation (if enrolled) in the medical, dental, vision, and supplemental benefits will terminate on April 30, 2020. You will receive information regarding your rights under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) directly from Discovery, our COBRA administrator.

Medical Care and Healthcare Coverage is available through EDD:
EDD provides additional resources that may assist you during this situation. Visit their website for more information: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/Additional_Resources.htm
Covered California™
Covered California™ is a marketplace for people to find out if they are eligible for financial help and buy health insurance, including Medi-Cal. They help you choose a plan that works best for your health care needs and your budget. You may even be able to get help paying for your health care or qualify for Medi-Cal.
Medi-Cal
Pays for health care for certain low and medium-income people.
County Medical Services Program
Counties offer health care for low-income people not eligible for other help. Also check out CWDA’s list of County Human Services Agencies.
Community Health Clinics
California Primary Care Association can help you find a community clinic.


Team member Update as of 4/01/2020

CARES Act Update and Pala’s Retirement Program

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) provides “Qualified Individuals” with special options regarding retirement plan distributions, loan originations and loan repayments occurring by December 31, 2020.

Coronavirus stimulus package offers penalty-free 401(k) withdrawals. Team Members who participate in Pala’s retirement plan(s) through Alerus now have the option of requesting a loan up to $100,000 or 100% of their balance if they do not already have an existing 401(k) loan. If you have an existing 401(k) loan you might be eligible to refinance your 401(k) loan and pull additional money.

To request a new loan with the updated CARES Act parameters, complete a paper loan application HERE.

To refinance your existing 401(k) loan please call Alerus at 1-800-433-1685 to find out how much more you may request and complete the refinance application form HERE.

You may also be eligible to receive a 401(k) Distribution related to the CARE Act. Please complete the Distribution Form and notate CARE ACT HERE.

Use the CARE Act Certification form to certify that you are a Qualified Individual HERE.

You may also be eligible to suspend your existing 401(k) loan payments. The Plan  Administrator will  suspend 401(k) loan  repayments for a  period not  exceeding one year which  occurs during an  approved leave of absence,  either without  pay  from  Pala  or at  a  rate of pay  (after applicable employment  tax withholding)  that  is less  than  the amount  of the installment  payments required under the terms of the loan.  Interest will  accrue on  the loan  even  though  the loan  repayments have been  suspended. To apply for loan suspension please fill out the form HERE.

A Qualified Individual is defined as someone who on or after January 1, 2020 and before December 31, 2020, meets one of the following criteria:

1. The individual is diagnosed with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or

2. The individual’s spouse or dependent (as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) is diagnosed with such virus or disease by such a test, or

3. The individual experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of one of the following:

a. Being quarantined,
b. Being furloughed or laid off,
c. Having work hours reduced due to such virus or disease,
d. Being unable to work due to lack of child care due to such virus or disease,
e. The closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to such virus or disease.

Distributions made to you under the CARES Act are report-able as income on IRS Form 1099-R. The Act gives you the option to either recognize the income in the year of distribution or pro rate over 3 years.

To request a loan that exceeds the allowed amount on the Alerus website, please complete the  attached forms and submit to: humanresources@palacasino.com.


Team Member Update as of 3/26/20

Team Members using PTO will receive a “pay check” and benefit payments will be deducted per usual.

401(k) Loan Payments

If Team Members are not using PTO, here are some options:

  • Suspend loan payment; restart upon return to work
  • Complete “NOTICE OF SUSPENSION OF LOAN PAYMENTS” form and return to HumanResources@palacasino.com
    • Loans would be eligible for reamortization (adjust the terms of the loan) upon returning to work
    • It would be the Team Member’s responsibility to make up any missed loan payment
  • If Team Members opt to not suspend their loan payments, they must send check directly to Pala Casino; once Pala receives payments we will pay Alerus

Mail payment to:

Pala Casino Spa Resort c/o Payroll Department
PMB 40, 35008 Pala Temecula Rd.
Pala, CA 92059

For payment amount, refer to your pay stub under deductions for 401(k) loan
Make check payable to Pala Casino and notate “401(k) Loan” in memo portion of check

Voluntary Benefits

For Team Members who are not using PTO, Mutual of Omaha (Accident, Critical Illness, Individual Short-Term Disability, Term Life) will provide up to a 60-day grace period where claims will still be paid. Once Team members return to work, we will do catchup deductions for the missed payments.

With regards to Legal and Identity Theft (ARAG) and Flexible Spending Accounts (Discovery Benefits), we are working with the providers to coordinate a resolution.


Team Member Update as of 3/20/20

Healthcare Benefits
Your benefits have been paid through March 31, and we will continue to pay them through April 30, 2020. We will evaluate this situation beyond that time if the current situation continues.

Medical Care and Healthcare Coverage is available through EDD:
EDD provides additional resources that may assist you during this situation. Visit their website for more information: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/Additional_Resources.htm

  • Covered California™: https://www.coveredca.com/Covered California™ is a marketplace for people to find out if they are eligible for financial help and buy health insurance, including Medi-Cal. They help you choose a plan that works best for your health care needs and your budget. You may even be able to get help paying for your healthcare or qualify for Medi-Cal.

401(k) Repayment
Alerus, our retirement plan administrator, is working closely with their legal counsel and compliance specialists who are monitoring all IRS and DOL guidance during this unprecedented time of uncertainties. They’re hoping to have more information regarding participant loans and repayment on Tuesday, March 24.

Requesting PTO
If you are planning on using PTO during the closure, requests must be submitted on a per pay period basis, by Sunday end of pay period. Please submit your written request for PTO for up to 80 hours and specify the pay period for which you are requesting PTO.

 For example, the next pay period begins on March 23 and ends on April 5, so you would submit your request for PTO request no later than April 5th for the April 13th pay day.

 Submit PTO request to Payroll@palacasino.com

Team Member Communication
For additional updates, Team Members can dial the Team Member Hotline 760-510-5179

 We will update you via Pala’s website and email.

Forward any questions to HumanResources@Palacasino.com


Pala Casino Spa Resort’s goal is to re-open as soon as the situation allows, with a goal of reinstating employment for our Team Members, though the circumstances of the epidemic will dictate if/when employees are permitted to return to work.

Team Members should seek immediate financial relief by filing unemployment claims with the EDD; California has waived the one-week waiting period for receipt of benefits.

At the recommendation of Government health agencies, as well as the health and safety of our Team Members, patrons and the public at large has left Pala Casino Spa Resort no choice but to close operations for now. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust its plans moving forward, as necessary, and update Team Members as necessary.

FAQs:

Q:       When will the casino close?
A:        Friday night, March 20.

Q:       When will the casino reopen?
A:        We will continue to monitor the situation and the recommendations of governing and healthcare agencies and will keep you posted.

Q:       How will I know when to return to work?
A:        We are monitoring the situation and will communicate the return date when available. Updates will be available on Pala’s website and Email Blast.

Forward any questions to HumanResources@Palacasino.com

Q:       How will I get paid?
A:        Seek immediate financial relief by filing unemployment claims with EDD.  Information can be found at https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm.

Q:       What about my Healthcare Benefits?
A:        Your benefits have been paid through March 31. We will evaluate this situation beyond that time and determine how your benefits will be paid as soon as possible.

Q:       Can I request a 401(k) loan?
A:        Yes. As an active Team Member you should be able to request a loan through AlerusRB.com directly.

Q:       Can I get temporary employment elsewhere during Pala’s closure?
A:        Yes. Notify HR HumanResources@Palacasino.com in the event you secure outside employment.

Q:       What should I do if my Gaming License expires or is up for renewal?
A:        PGC will grant a grace period until business operations resume.

Q:        Am I being laid off or terminated at this time?
A:        Team Members are not being laid off or terminated at this time. We are experiencing a temporary suspension of business operations with the goal of bringing back employees when operations resume – and that’s why you qualify for unemployment benefits.