COVID-19 For Business Owners - Executive Summary

March 25, 2020

By: Barry Dorans

This is an executive summary the most recent changes that business owners should be aware of.

Sick Leave
As of April 2nd, most employers must provide paid sick leave of up to 80 hours for COVID–19 related leave.  The maximum amount required is the lesser of a staff member’s regular pay or $511 a day under the following circumstances:

  • If the employee is unable to work due to a quarantine order.
  • Due to a suggestion by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.
  • Because he or she is experiencing symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis.

If the employee needs the paid sick leave to care for an individual who is advised to quarantine, or to care for a son or daughter whose school has been closed for a condition similar to COVID-19, the maximum amount required is $200 per day or $2,000 in the aggregate for the paid sick leave. All employees are eligible for the benefit regardless of how long they have worked for you.

FMLA
In addition to sick leave, FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave has also been expanded. Employees who need leave related to COVID–19 to care for children are entitled to 10 days of leave that may be unpaid, but will be covered by the paid sick leave provision above. Thereafter they must be paid the lesser of 2/3 of their regular rate of pay or $200 per day and $10,000 in total per employee for the next 10 weeks. Any employee who has worked for an employer for 30 calendar days is eligible for this expansion. 

Tax Credits
The government will provide federal tax credits to offset the costs of both provisions, though these provisions will likely present cash flow problems.

Wolcott Rivers Gates will strive to provide updates as more information becomes available. If you have specific questions you would like to discuss please feel free to contact us.