Thus far, there have been three stimulus packages approved by the federal government to assist with the fight against COVID-19. The second of these two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), was signed into law on March 18, 2020. The Act includes free coronavirus testing, unemployment benefits, funding for nutrition and Medicaid programs and protections for healthcare workers. The most controversial part of the act is the requirement of businesses to provide 2 weeks of paid sick leave for COVID-19 related purposes and the expansion of FMLA for employers of under 500 employees. Below are the details. * Employees who are unable to work because they are quarantined, experiencing symptoms, or seeking medical diagnosis are entitled to two week of paid sick leave at regular rate of pay * Employees who are unable to work because they are caring for an individual that is quarantined, experience symptoms, or seeking medical diagnosis are entitled to two weeks of paid sick leave at two-thirds of regular rate of pay * Employees who are unable to work because they are caring for a child whose school or daycare is closed because of COVID-19 related reasons are entitled to paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds of regular rate of pay These rules go into affect on April 1, 2020 and covered employers will qualify for tax credits (dollar for dollar) for wages paid under this law. This will also include any amounts paid for maintaining healthcare insurance coverage. These rules sound daunting for small businesses who are already concerned by decreasing cash flows, but there is some good news. Employers with under 50 employees may qualify for the small business exemption, which states that if a business can prove that providing paid sick leave will jeopardize the viability of the business, they can qualify to be exempt from this rule. We at Nolan Health Care Solutions are here to help your practice implement strategies to get through these tough times.
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