As county and state officials decide how and when to bring students back into the classrooms, employers should familiarize themselves with new paid family leave legislation and tax credits.
Under FFRCA legislation, private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public sector employers are required to provide paid leave to eligible employees affected by COVID-19. Employees are eligible for emergency paid sick leave and emergency family leave only when their employer has work available for them and the employee is unable to work or telework.
- Both types of emergency paid leave are set to expire on December 31, 2020.
- Please be aware of record-keeping requirements for employees taking EPSLA or EFMLEA leave.
- Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business.
- Each covered employer must post in a conspicuous place on its premises a notice of FFRCA requirements.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
A full-time employee is eligible for up to 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
Qualifying reasons and rate of pay:
Full Rate of Pay: (up to max of $511 daily and $5,110 total)
1. Being subject to a Federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
2. Being advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.
3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
2/3 Rate of Pay: (up to max of $200 daily and $2,000 total)
4. Caring for another individual who is either subject to a Federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.
- Caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons.
- Experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)
Full-time employees of covered employers may take up to 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave (12 weeks total = 2 weeks of EPSLA and 10 weeks of EFMLEA). Part-time employees are eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
Qualifying reasons and rate of pay:
2/3 Rate of Pay: (up to a max of $200 daily and $12,000 total [total includes the 2 weeks of EPSLA]
1. Employee is unable to work or telework due caring for a child whose school, place of care or childcare provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons.
Employers subject to the paid leave requirements qualify for dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through tax credits for all qualifying wages paid under the FFCRA. “Qualifying wages” are those paid to an employee who takes leave under the Act for a qualifying reason (maximums do apply). Applicable tax credits also extend to amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage. A full FAQ guide can be found here.
Self-employed Individuals: An eligible self-employed individual is allowed an income tax credit to offset their federal self-employment tax for any taxable year equal to their “qualified sick leave equivalent amount” or “qualified family leave equivalent amount.”
Our experienced HR professionals can help you and your business navigate these rapidly changing regulations, provide timely guidance, and plan for what comes next. Contact our offices today.