By John Halterman
As of April 1, the expansion of rules for paid sick and family leave are in effect. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.
Here's what we know about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
What types of paid leave is provided by employers?
Employees that can't work because they have symptoms associated with
Covid-19 or are under quarantine must receive two weeks or up to 80 hours of
paid sick leave at their full rate or the applicable minimum wage, if higher.
If an employee is caring for a quarantined person or a child who can't go to school or day care because of the pandemic, the employer must provide two weeks or up to 80 hours paid leave at two-thirds of the employee's normal rate.
Employees who have been employed at least 30 days can also take up to 10 additional weeks of paid family and medical leave at two-thirds their normal rate, to care for children at home due to the outbreak.
Workers may be able to take leave intermittently, but only with their employer's permission, according to fresh guidance issued by the Department of Labor on Thursday.
Which employers must comply with the provisions of the new law?
Businesses based in the U.S. with fewer than 500 employees are covered by the new paid-leave rules.
Is there protection for small businesses?
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.
Do employers have complete coverage?
Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the act.
Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
Employers face no payroll tax liability.
Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
How quickly will relief be available for employers?
Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided
Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
How long will these new paid leave provisions be in effect?
The requirements of Families First Coronavirus Response Act will apply through Dec. 31
Is this part of the $2 trillion economic rescue package?
No. On March 18, President Trump passed a separate bill with these paid-leave requirements, which apply whether or not loans or payments are received from the federal stimulus package. The stimulus package is knows as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act (see below for more about the CARES Act).
The law applies to full- and part-time employees, temporary workers (even if they are jointly employed with another business), day laborers and employees who are already on leave. Independent contractors are not employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and shouldn't be counted.
To read more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
Please reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns: 304.626.3900.
We hope your family is safe and well.
John Halterman, best-selling author and nationally published blogger, has been featured as a financial guest expert on the shows of self-help gurus Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and has appeared on ABC, FOX, BRAVO, NBC, CBS, and A&E. John is the expert host of the weekly WDTV News 5 segment “Solutions 4 Financial Independence.”
As an authority on wealth management, he has been invited by hundreds of institutions such as universities, federal agencies, professional associations, and large energy and utility corporations to be a guest speaker and educational event host. Event topics include retiring ready, managing down market investment risk, how to reduce your tax burden, and transferring your family wealth in the most tax advantageous way.
John is the founder and owner of Beacon Wealth Management, specializing in helping entrepreneurs, professional practitioners, and retirees overcome the 5 major challenges facing successful families. He is a warm communicator with a passion for helping people transform their financial futures. John understands the multifaceted set of financial worries people face as they become more successful and enter the Retirement Red Zone. He empathizes personally with each client and delivers a collaborative client experience that empowers people to reach their life goals.
With more than two decades of experience, John’s professional credentials include Certified Wealth Strategist, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Certified Estate Planner, Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant, Professional Plan Consultant, and Registered Financial Consultant. He is also a past member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Study Group.
A native of Weston, West Virginia, John served in the United States Air Force prior to becoming a wealth advisor. Today, he resides with his family in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 2005 and have three amazing children. A family-oriented man, he enjoys giving back to his community, coaching youth sports, landscaping, architectural design, and playing racquetball.