2020-03-18

There’s a lot happening very quickly right now specific to mandatory Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave at both the Federal and State level.

We want to share what we know so you have the latest information, but please understand that there are many questions that remain unanswered.  We will provide updates and clarification as soon as we can.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Federal)

This bill has not yet been signed into law and is subject to change, but a quick summary of the key payroll-specific components are as follows:

This bill would apply to companies with up to 500 employees with an exemption available for companies with 50 or less employees if the benefit would ” jeopardize the going concern of the business.”

Paid Sick Leave Benefits

  • Employers must provide two weeks (10 days and pro-rated for part-time) of paid sick leave for employees for any of the following COVID-19-related reasons:
    • (1) the employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to coronavirus;
    • (2) the employee has been advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus;
    • (3) the employee is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus;
    • (4) the employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order described in (1) or has been advised as described in (2);
    • (5) the employee is caring for their child because the school is closed or child care provider is unavailable due to coronavirus; or
    • (6) the employee is experiencing a similar condition specified by Secretary of HHS.
  • Employers would be required to pay employees their full wages, not to exceed $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a use described in (1), (2), or (3) above.
  • Employers would be required to pay employees two-thirds of their wages, not to exceed $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for a use described in (4), (5), or (6) above.
  • Employers would receive a 100 percent refundable payroll tax credit on the wages required to be paid.

Paid Family Leave Benefits

  • Employers must offer 12 weeks of partially paid family leave for the reasons described in (4), (5), or (6) above.
  • The first two weeks (10 days) are unpaid, but can overlap with the 10 days of paid sick leave described above.  For the remaining 10 weeks, employers would be required to pay up to two-thirds of the employee’s wages, not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate.
  • Employers would receive a 100 percent refundable payroll tax credit on the wages required to be paid.

New York Paid Sick Leave Bill

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-three-way-agreement-legislature-paid-sick-leave-bill-provide-immediate

This bill has received support by the NY State Legislature and Governor Cuomo is expected to sign it into law today, Wednesday, March 18th.

For employees affected by COVID-19 who are subject to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation:

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million
    • Provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.
    • Guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
  • Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million
    • Provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave.
    • Provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.
    • Guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees)
    • Provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave.
    • Guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

At this time, there are no known NY State tax credits available to offset the mandatory paid sick leave requirements set forth in this bill.  However, when combined with the provisions laid out in the Federal Families First Cornoavirus Response Act, employers will be able to receive a payroll tax credit for up to 10 days of paid sick leave (assuming they did not claim the “50 employee or less” exemption).

 


Legal Disclaimer: CheckWise Payroll LLC is not engaged in the practice of law. The content in this article should not be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. CheckWise Payroll LLC cannot be held legally accountable for actions related to its receipt.

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