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COVID-19 | Mar 19, 2020

Tell Me More – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Tell Me More – COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Emergency Paid Sick Leave
within the Families First Coronavirus Response Act 

 

Know The Facts! A Helpful Q & A

As part of the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”, the “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” (the “Act”) was passed.  The Act was passed to provide compensation to eligible employees that are not working due to COVID-19 related circumstances.

When Does the Act Become Effective?

The Effective date of the Act is April 2, 2020.

Who Must Comply with the Act?

Employers with fewer than 500 employees must comply with the Act. However, if an employer has fewer than 50 employees, the Secretary of Labor may exempt the employer from the Act if it deems it would affect the entity’s ability to operate as a going concern. The employer would have to petition the Secretary of Labor for the exemption.

What is the General Purpose of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?

The general purpose of the Act is to provide paid sick time to employees that are unable to work due to:

  • Quarantine or isolation relating to COVID-19
  • Self-quarantine ordered by health care provider
  • Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis
  • Employee is caring for individual who is quarantined or is self-quarantine
  • Employee is caring for a son or daughter due to school or child care closure due to COVID-19 precautions
  • Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor

How Much Paid Sick Leave Does an Employee Get?

An employee is entitled to paid sick time for the hours as calculated:

  • Full time employees – 80 hours
  • Part time employees – The average hours the employee works on average over a 2-week period

If a part time employee has a schedule that varies from week to week to an extent the employer is unable to determine with certainty the number of hours the employee would have worked, the employer would use the following:

  • Average number of hours (including leave time the employee took of any type) that an employee was scheduled per day over the 6-month period ending on the date on which the employee takes the paid sick time or
  • If the employee did not work over such period, the employer should use their reasonable expectation of the employee at the time of the hiring of the average number our hours per day the employee would normally be scheduled to work

No later than 15 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall issue guidelines to assist employers in calculating the amount of the paid sick time.

How Much Do I Pay an Employee for Paid Sick Leave?

The paid sick time is calculated based upon greater of the employee’s:

  • Regular rate of pay
  • Federal Minimum Wage or
  • State or local minimum wage

If the employee is out on paid sick time due to one of the following, then the employees required compensation would be two-thirds of the amount described above:

  • Employee is caring for individual who is quarantined or is self-quarantine
  • Employee is caring for a son or daughter due to school or child care closure due to COVID-19 precautions
  • Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor

In no case shall paid sick time exceed:

  • $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate if they are out due to:
    • Quarantine or isolation relating to COVID-19
    • Self-quarantine ordered by health care provider
    • Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis
  • $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate if they are out due to:
    • Employee is caring for individual who is quarantined or is self-quarantine
    • Employee is caring for a son or daughter due to school or child care closure due to COVID-19 precautions
    • Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor

Will I be Reimbursed for the Monies Paid for Sick Leave?

Yes. The employer will receive tax credits against their quarterly payroll taxes to 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid.

When Does Paid Sick Leave End?

Paid Sick Leave terminates beginning with the employee’s next scheduled work shift immediately following the termination for the need for paid sick time.

Can I Require an Employee on Paid Sick Leave to Find His/Her Replacement to Cover Their Hours?

No. An Employer can not require an employee on paid sick leave to search or find their replacement while out.

Can I Require an Employee to Use Available PTO, etc. Prior to Using Paid Sick Time?

No. An employee may elect to use their paid sick time prior to any other paid leaves.

Can I Require and Employee to Provide Notices While They Are on Paid Sick Leave?

Yes, after the first workday, an employer may require the employee to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue to receive paid sick time.

Do We Have to Post a Notice Relating to Paid Sick Leave?

Yes. Employers must post a notice in a conspicuous place regarding Paid Sick Leave. The notice will be made publicly available by the Secretary of Labor no later than 7 days after the effective date of the Act.

How Long Does the Act Last?

The Act expires December 31, 2020.

For more information regarding HR policies during the COVID-19 crisis, or other HR needs, contact MyHRConcierge at 1-855-538-6947 x.108 or email ccooley@myhrconcierge.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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