Congress passed H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act earlier this week. Below are some important benefits. Please refer to this link for the summary of the bill.
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, Section 5102
This bill requires employers with fewer than 500 employees and government employers to provide employees two weeks of paid sick leave, paid at the employee’s regular rate, to quarantine or seek a diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus. The bill also requires these employers to provide pay at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate to care for a family member for such purposes or to care for a child whose school has closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to the coronavirus.
- Full-time employees are entitled to 2 weeks (80 hours) and part-time employees are entitled to the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period.
- The bill ensures employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a multiemployer plan are provided with leave.
The maximum amount of paid sick time is $511 ($5,110 in total) if the employee self-quarantines or seeks medical assistance. The maximum amount of sick time is $200 per day ($2,000 in total) if the employee provides care for another person, such as a spouse or child.
Amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, Section 3102
This bill provides employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees and government employers, who have been on the job for at least 30 days, with the right to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to be used for any of the following reasons:
- To adhere to a requirement or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus (self-quarantine)
- To care for an at-risk family member who is adhering to a requirement or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus
- To care for a child of an employee if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the child-care provider is unavailable, due to a coronavirus.
After the two weeks of paid leave, employees will receive a benefit from their employers that will be no less than two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay.
Refundable Tax Credits for Employers
The bill provides a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified family leave wages paid and 100% of qualified paid sick leave wages paid by an employer for each calendar quarter, allowed against the employer portion of payroll taxes. All types of employers (with 500 or fewer employees) are able to recoup the costs of these paid leave mandates. The emergency paid leave benefit (Section 5102) and the payroll tax credits (Sections 7001 and 7003) expire on December 31, 2020.
The bill also provides eligible self-employed taxpayers with a refundable credit against income tax for qualified sick leave equivalent amounts. An eligible self-employed individual is an individual who regularly carries on any trade or business (as defined in Sec. 1402) and would be entitled to receive paid leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act if the individual were an employee.