|HR 6201: Family First Coronavirus Response Act is now in effect, extending provisions for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Family Medical Leave. Along with the many billions allocated to protect families, workers and small businesses, funds were also apportioned to ensure monies are utilized appropriately. This means oversight will be strong and audits likely. With this in mind, we recommend keeping detailed documentation as you make use of the available resources. Our specific suggestions are listed below, but first, a recap:|
HR 6201: FAMILY FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT:
As of April 1, employees who cannot work due to COVID-19 related illness and/or quarantine are eligible for 10 days of Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and 2/3 of pay to care for ill family or a child without childcare for up to 12 weeks. This provision is available for organizations with under 500 employees, who can then offset the costs by claiming a Social Security tax credit. If the credit exceeds the employer’s accumulated Social Security tax for the calendar quarter, the excess will be issued in the form of a refund from the IRS.
For full details on EPSL and FMLA expansion, please see our previous article.
Create a system to track and report leave.
Create categories to differentiate the reasons for COVID-19 related leave.
· SELF SICK: Employees who have been diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19, or who have been told to quarantine/isolate because someone in their family is ill with COVID-19 or tested positive, or had contact with someone who did. These employees are eligible up to 80 hours and full pay max $511/day (for part timers, the time is prorated to usual hours worked).
· SICK FAMILY: Employees taking leave to care for someone in their household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been told to quarantine. Employees in this category are eligible for 2/3 pay up to $200 a day, for up to 80 hours.
· CHILDCARE/FMLA: Employees caring for child whose school or usual caregiver is unavailable for COVID-19 related reasons, 2/3 pay up to $200 a day, up to 12 weeks (less any time already taken under the FMLA).
Collect Appropriate Documentation
We recommend compiling the following documentation for all the categories above.
1. Employee’s name
2. Dates for which leave is requested
3. Written statement from the employee stating that they are unable to work, including by means of telework, because of the qualified reason for leave
Request Written Support
Employees taking sick leave should provide:
1. The name of the government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order or the name of the health care provider who advised self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
2. A copy of the quarantine or isolation order and/or copy of a note from the doctor, if available.
Employees taking leave to care for another should provide:
1. The name of the person under care and their relation to the employee.
2. The name of the government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order or the name of the health care provider who advised self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
3. A copy of the quarantine or isolation order and/or copy of a note from the doctor, if available.
Employees taking leave to care for their child due to child’s daycare or school being closed, or the care provider being unavailable, should provide:
1. The name and ages of children being cared for.
2. The name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that has closed or become unavailable.
3. If available, documentation showing the closure and/or statement as to why the usual child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 reasons.
4. A statement that no other person is available to provide childcare, such as an unemployed partner.
5. With respect to the employee’s inability to work or telework because of a need to provide care for a child older than fourteen during daylight hours, a statement that special circumstances exist requiring the employee to provide care.
We will continue to keep you informed as information becomes available. As always, we are here to help implement these changes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any specific legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.