With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, we wanted to take time to highlight new paid sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which first went into effect April 2, 2020.
We know many of our members operate their own business and that personnel issues can prove challenging, perhaps even more so during a crisis. It is our hope that we can help you navigate these challenges concerning paid sick leave due to COVID-19 illness.
The FFCRA requires employers to provide paid sick time to an employee who is unable to work due to one of the following reasons —
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
While the law does require paid sick leave for the above reasons, it does provide tax credits to reimburse employers for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave wages.
From the Internal Revenue Service —
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19.
The FFCRA gives businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid sick and family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members. Workers may receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for their own health needs or to care for others and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. The FFCRA covers the costs of this paid leave by providing small businesses with refundable tax credits.
For more information on FFCRA and available tax credits we encourage you to read this Q&A by our partners at Kegler Brown. We also encourage you to speak with your accounting and tax professional before beginning the process of receiving your tax credits.