On March 14, 2020, the U.S. Home of Representatives handed H.R. 6201, also referred to as the Households First Coronavirus Response Act, a aid package deal designed to assist employees financially impacted by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
At present, 24% of American employees—that’s over 33 million individuals—don’t have entry to paid sick depart by their employers.1 This new legislation will briefly change that for workers affected by COVID-19, in addition to develop the provisions of the Household and Medical Go away Act (FMLA) of 1993.
Please notice, this invoice solely applies to employers with fewer than 500 staff. The U.S. Division of Labor might exempt employers with lower than 50 staff at a later date in the event that they’re vulnerable to going out of enterprise.
It’s necessary to grasp how H.R. 6201 will affect your organization. Right here’s all the pieces it’s good to know proper now.
What Is H.R. 6201?
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the second coronavirus support package deal—H.R. 6201: The Households First Coronavirus Response Act—into legislation. The 2 components of the invoice that may instantly have an effect on your organization are:
The Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act
The Emergency Household and Medical Go away Enlargement Act
What Is the Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act?
The Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act is a profit underneath H.R. 6201 that permits staff to take as much as two weeks of depart with 100% pay. All full- and part-time staff of corporations with fewer than 500 staff are eligible for advantages underneath the Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act if:
They’re experiencing signs of COVID-19.
A well being care supplier has suggested them to self-quarantine.
They’re topic to a federal, state or native quarantine.
They’re caring for his or her kids (underneath age 18) whose college or place of care has been closed attributable to COVID-19.
They’re caring for somebody who’s self-quarantined or is topic to a federal, state or native quarantine attributable to COVID-19.
So financially, what do the numbers appear like? It’s fairly easy. Full-time staff will obtain 80 hours of paid sick depart. Half-time staff shall be paid for the common variety of hours they sometimes work throughout a two-week interval.
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In the event you already give your staff two weeks of paid sick depart, bravo! However notice, underneath the Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act, your staff get to make use of this government-mandated paid depart first earlier than dipping into the paid sick time you present.
It’s additionally necessary to notice underneath H.R. 6201, it’s your duty to tell your staff of their rights underneath the Act. In the event you need assistance doing so, the Secretary of Labor is required to create a written discover in regards to the Act by March 25, 2020. Keep tuned.
What Is the Emergency Household and Medical Go away Enlargement Act?
The Emergency Household and Medical Go away Enlargement Act (Emergency FMLA Enlargement Act) is, because the title suggests, an extension of the present FMLA. All staff of corporations with fewer than 500 staff are eligible to take as much as 12 weeks of job-protected depart underneath the Emergency Household and Medical Go away Act if:
They’ve labored for the employer for no less than 30 days.
They’re unable to work as a result of their youngster’s college or place of care has closed attributable to COVID-19 public well being emergency (notice: youngster have to be underneath 18 years of age).
The primary 10 days of this depart are unpaid. Nonetheless, an eligible worker can select to make use of paid sick depart or accrued trip days throughout this unpaid interval. After the preliminary 10 days, an employer is required to pay staff two-thirds of their regular wages, as much as $200 per day and $10,000 in complete.
When Will H.R. 6201 Go Into Impact?
H.R. 6201 takes impact no later than 15 days after enactment, which suggests your staff are eligible for advantages underneath each the Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act and the Emergency FMLA Enlargement Act as of April 2, 2020, by the top of the 12 months.
Are Companies With 500 or Extra Staff Obligated to Pay for Sick Time or Prolonged Go away?
Proper now, the reply isn’t any. And it’s not clear if amendments shall be adopted later to incorporate employers with 500 or extra staff. Nonetheless, these companies are required to stick to FMLA and any legal guidelines of their state mandating paid sick depart. At present, solely 12 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted paid sick depart legal guidelines.2
What Does This Imply Lengthy-Time period for My Enterprise?
The advantages of H.R. 6201 for workers are substantial, and, luckily, the invoice supplies some aid for his or her employers too.
Meaning employers will obtain:
A refundable tax credit score equal to 100% of certified household depart wages paid underneath the Emergency FMLA Enlargement Act for every calendar quarter.
A refundable tax credit score equal to 100% of certified sick depart wages paid underneath the Emergency Paid Sick Go away Act for every calendar quarter.
Wish to Know Extra About H.R. 6201?
We’ve highlighted two components of this complete invoice, however you’ll be able to try the Households First Coronavirus Response Act in its entirety here.
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