Important Updates and Resources from Total Business Group
Updated: Mar 23, 2020
As business owners, we are dealing with a lot of uncertainty right now. How will the recent developments related to COVID-19 generally impact our operation? What will happen to sales, employees, and customers?
While the current situation may be overwhelming, it's important to focus on your safety, and the safety of those around you. Below are resources to help you get answers and updates regarding COVID-19, or the Coronavirus.
Accurate, national updates can be found via the CDC Website. The World Health Organization (WHO) is also sharing live updates as they happen via this link. For those, like myself, that currently operate or reside in the state of Florida, state-specific updates can be accessed through Florida Health.
When it comes to the safety of your workplace and employees, please visit the OSHA website for updates and recommendations specific to the virus. Trying to keep your workplace clean? The environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also prepared a list of registered antimicrobial products that can be used against COVID-19, including a variety of disinfectants.
If you or your employees are experiencing respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, be sure to seek medical care. Local health departments can be found via the National Association of County Health Officials (NACCHO).
As an employer, you may also want to remain updated on the recent developments surrounding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill contains provisions related to mandatory paid leave for employers with fewer than 500 employees. There will also be updates to the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which are outlined below. The bill, in its entirety, can be read here. This law will be in effect until December 31, 2020.
Amendments To Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA)
Eligible employees are those who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested.
Employers will be required to offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for employees who have been employed for at least 30 days with a minor child in the event of the closure of the child's school or place of care. The first 10 days are unpaid, but the employee can overlap this with the 10 days of paid sick leave.
The paid leave benefit can be no more than $200 per day and an aggregate amount of $10,000. The paid family leave credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated paid family leave.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
Employers will provide paid sick time in the event that the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to:
The employee being quarantined or isolated by the order of federal or state authority.
The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to the order as described above.
The employee is caring for a child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed or the child care provider of the child is unavailable.
Full-time employees will be entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick leave.
Part-time employees will be entitled to their average number of hours worked over a two week period.
Employers must offer two weeks (10 days) of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons. If the sick leave is for an employee who is sick or seeking a diagnosis, the benefit must replace all the employee's wages up to a maximum benefit of $511 per day.
If an employee is caring for another individual who is sick, the benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee's wages up to a maximum benefit of $200 per day.
The paid sick leave credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated paid sick leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave.
The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave.
Self-employed individuals will be provided refundable income tax credits in an amount of what self-employed workers would have received if they had been an employee receiving paid leave benefits pursuant to the mandates. For any given day that a self-employed worker could not work, they can claim a "rough justice" tax credit in the amount of their average daily self-employment income for the year.
As President of Total Business Group, I am committed to assisting business owners through this difficult time. I hope this information is helpful. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Stay safe and healthy!