Coronavirus Legislation For Employers

Dear Dhalla CPA Clients and Colleagues, 

As I am sure you know, Congress recently passed legislation in response to COVID-19 that may impact you, 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. Below is a brief summary of the Coronavirus legislation for employers.

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.) The protected leave can be taken 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 outbreak. 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave: 

Employees must be offered 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 a child by their employers.

Paid Leave Tax Credits: 

To help bear the cost of the new paid-leave requirements, employers can offset the amounts paid from employment taxes. Also, employers can also seek refunds for additional payments. 

Employer Notice: 

Businesses will be required to post notice of the new provisions in a conspicuous place on their premises. They may also satisfy the notice requirement by emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees. Another option is posting the notice on an employee information (internal or external) website.

Exemptions: 

Businesses or 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 if compliance will threaten the business as an ongoing concern. 

Prohibitions and Penalties:

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who seek to take this expanded leave. Any 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 and Medical Leave Act. For your convenience, here are links to important information and resources from the Department of Labor: 

• General information from the DOL about the leave requirements

• FAQs about the leave requirements

• FAQs about the notice requirements

• Here is a great summary of the details on this new legislation from Thakur Law Firm

As more information becomes available, we will keep you updated. 

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about the Coronavirus legislation for employers.

Thank you.