• What small businesses need to know about paid leave

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    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires that businesses with under 500 employees must provide paid leave for their employees under specific circumstances. Those circumstances are:
    1. Where an employee is not able to work because they have to care for someone who is quarantined or care for a child whose school or child care provider has closed due to COVID-19
    2. Where an employee is unable to work because they have tested positive for the virus or have been instructed to quarantine because they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus
    Overall, the employer is required to pay for two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid leave; however, if school/child care continues to be closed beyond the two weeks, the employer must pay for 10 additional weeks of leave. For item #1 above, employers must pay two-thirds of the employee's regular rate of pay. For item #2 above, employers must pay the employee at their regular rate of pay.  This applies to both full time and part time employees.

    Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption if the extended leave for school/child care closings jeopardize the viability of the business.

    The employer will be able to receive a dollar-for dollar tax credit for this qualified leave. However, if you receive a federal loan to cover payroll, you will may not receive this tax credit. Therefore, employers should discuss this with their accountant to clarify expectations for how this should be handled.

    As always, there are other criteria and clarifications with which employers should familiarize themselves. You can view additional details for employers and a Q&A document on the Department of Labor's website.

    Continue to check back to our website for updated business information on this topic as well as many others.
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