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Coronavirus

Taking time off due to COVID-19

What if my employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis?

Through the Emergency Paid Sick Act:

  • The employee is eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at the usual pay rate up to $511 per day ($5,110 aggregate). Paid sick leave would fully compensate employees earning up to about $130,000 a year for that two-week period.
  • Part-time employees also get paid sick leave equivalent to the number of hours they typically work during a two-week period, so if a person usually works 20 hours a week, they are eligible for up to 40 hours of pay.
  • Effective for absences from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any paid leave provided by an employer before the law is effective cannot be credited against the employee’s paid leave entitlement.
  • Eligible for Tax Credit. *
  • Eligibility rules apply.**

What if my employee has to care for another individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis?

Through the Emergency Paid Sick Act:

  • The employee is eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at two thirds of the usual pay rate up to $200 per day.
  • Part-time employees also get paid sick leave equivalent to the number of hours they typically work during a two-week period, so if a person usually works 20 hours a week, they are eligible for up to 40 hours of pay.
  • An employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave provided by the employer before the employee uses the paid sick leave available under the Act.
  • Effective for absences from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any paid leave generously provided by an employer before the law is effective cannot be credited against the employee’s paid leave entitlement.
  • Eligible for Tax Credit. *
  • Eligibility rules apply.**

What if my employee has to care for their child whose school or place of care is closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency (COVID-19)?

Weeks 1-2 through the Emergency Paid Sick Act:

  • If the employee is not able to telework, the employee is eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at two thirds of the usual pay rate up to $200 per day.
  • Part-time employees also get paid sick leave equivalent to the number of hours they typically work during a two-week period, so if a person usually works 20 hours a week, they are eligible for up to 40 hours of pay
  • Effective for absences from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any paid leave provided by an employer before the law is effective cannot be credited against the employee’s paid leave entitlement.
  • Eligible for Tax Credit. *
  • Eligibility rules apply.**

Weeks 3-12 through the Emergency Family and Medical Leave (for employees who have been employed > 30 days):

  • If the employee is not able to telework, after two weeks the employee is eligible for ten weeks of paid leave at two thirds of the usual pay rate up to $200 per day (aggregate of $10,000).
  • Effective for absences from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any paid leave provided by an employer before the law is effective cannot be credited against the employee’s paid leave entitlement.
  • Eligible for Tax Credit. *
  • Eligibility rules apply.**

What if I temporarily lay off employees due to temporary closure of my business?

Through the recent COVID-19 government stimulus package, employment benefits were expanded:

  • Eligibility expanded to include self-employed, independent contractors / gig economy workers, nonprofit employees and others.
  • Amount increased by $600 weekly.
  • Duration extended an additional 13 weeks beyond the existing 26-week maximum.
  • Workers can get unemployment insurance benefits and do not need to seek work with other employers. Employees must stay in contact with the employer and be available to work when called back by the employer.

For more information:

*Employer will receive credit applied to the tax the company or nonprofit normally pays for each employee’s Social Security. If sick leave ends up costing more than the Social Security bill, the U.S. government will send the employer a check to cover the remaining costs.

**Employees who have worked for small or midsize companies (excluding those with 500+ employees) for at least a month who are affected by the coronavirus are eligible. Small businesses under with 50 employees and many health care providers can now be exempted from paying sick leave.

This document is not intended to be, nor should it replace legal advice. You should contact your attorney if you have a particular legal concern. While we take great measures to ensure the accuracy of information we provide, information may not be all-inclusive and we recommend a reader to review the full Emergency Family Medical Leave Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Should you feel there is inaccurate information communicated within this document please contact Kara Kessler at First Bank at 618-382-5872 or by email at kkessler@myfirst.bank. We will research communicated inaccuracies and update the information as appropriate.

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