March 26, 2020
Further Update On the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
As you know, Congress recently passed legislation in response to COVID-19 that may impact your company and your employees. While more legislation is in the works, we wanted to give you a quick summary of the key provisions and changes you need to be aware of. These provisions take effect on April 1, 2020 and only affect employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave: Employees can now take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave (2 weeks unpaid, followed by 10 weeks of paid leave, up to monetary caps) if they are unable to work (including by telecommuting) due to a need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave: Employers must offer employees 80 hours of paid sick leave (up to monetary caps) to quarantine, to seek a diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or to care for someone else.
Paid Leave Tax Credits: To help bear the cost of the new paid-leave requirements, employers can offset the amounts paid from employment taxes and otherwise seek refunds for additional payments. EA will release additional information about how the payments to employees and application of tax credits on our invoices will work once the IRS has released its rules for implementation and reporting.
Employer Notice: Employers will be required to display the attached poster of the new provisions in a conspicuous place on their premises. Employers may also satisfy the notice requirement by emailing or direct-mailing the notice to employees or posting the notice on an employee information (internal or external) website.
Exemptions: Employers that are health providers or emergency responders may exempt themselves from these requirements. Furthermore, employers with fewer than 50 employees may seek an exemption with the Department of Labor (DOL) if compliance will threaten the business as an ongoing concern. At this time, you are advised to collect information that will show why you believe you should be exempt. However, please do not send it to the DOL, as they are a little busy right now. The DOL has promised more information on this process in the coming days.
Prohibitions and Penalties: Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who seek to take this expanded leave. Employers found to be in violation of the requirements may be subject to penalties and enforcement under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the Family Medical Leave Act.
For more information, please visit our COVID-19 resource page on our Employer Advantage website or email us at email@example.com with your specific questions. We are here to help you.
The Employer Advantage Team