The Coronavirus pandemic has brought forth a long list of challenges for most industries. There is a lot of uncertainty as we fight to maintain some sense of normalcy in our daily lives. As a business owner, you may be considering reopening your business after months of being shut down or wanting to bring your employees back to the office.
The best way to ensure a smooth transition for your team is to familiarize yourself with the most recent pieces of legislation regarding the pandemic. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act addresses how employers should respond when their employees’ jobs are affected by COVID-19.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
As stay-at-home orders are being lifted, many employees will face the challenge of finding childcare. With many parents facing fall classes in a virtual environment, creative solutions for scheduling, as well as leveraging legislative options, have become critical. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act contains provisions for employees who are unable to work or telecommute due to the child’s school or care provider being closed.
For businesses with less than 500 employees, each worker is entitled to 12 weeks of paid job protection – equal to two-thirds the rate of pay for full-time employees and 100% of the rate of pay for part-time employees, based on the average of hours worked in the previous six months. After the 12 week period is over, it is your responsibility to place them back into their original position.
If your company has less than 50 staff members, you may qualify for exemption if paying such leave to employees would jeopardize the viability of your business.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
This law contains provisions for employees who have been advised by health care providers to self-quarantine. If they need to take time off to care for themselves or someone who is experiencing health complications possibly linked to COVID-19, these employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. If they need time off to care for themselves, employees are to be paid their regular rate and two-thirds their regular pay rate if they are caring for another person showing symptoms.
Although implementing these recent laws may sound overwhelming, there is a bright side to it all. All the payments made as a result of these two acts are eligible for tax credits.
People Solutions Center is here to help as you think about the implications these laws may have on your businesses. You need to be informed in order to make the best decisions as you prepare to reopen your business during these difficult times. We can help fill in the blanks so you only worry about what matters most – driving your company. Contact us today, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone.