March 25, 2020
Last week, Congress passed sweeping legislation providing paid sick and family leave as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This primer provides some bottom-line answers to your questions about what the new law means for your small business.
When does the law take effect?
April 2, 2020
Is the law permanent?
No. Currently, the law only remains in effect until December 31, 2020.
What businesses are impacted?
Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
How can my business afford these payments?
The short answer is tax credits. Employers seek reimbursement for the wages, insurance, and taxes paid to employees or on their behalf through tax credits applicable to the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes. If the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes is not sufficient to cover the payout to employees, the Administration is exploring cash payments to businesses.
Can a business get an exemption?
Possibly. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may apply for an exemption from the Secretary of Labor if the new obligations would endanger the business’ viability.
How does the new law impact sick leave?
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides paid sick leave for all employees whether they are full- or part-time, exempt or non-exempt.
How do employees qualify for full sick leave pay? What are they paid?
Employees qualify for full sick leave pay in the following circumstances:
– The employee is subject to quarantine or isolation, because:
– The employee is quarantined or isolated due to COVID-19;
– The employee has been advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19; and
– The employee is seeking a medical diagnosis due to symptoms of COVID-19.