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Important TPGA Alert: Paid Leave Requirements Effective April 1, 2020


Affects Employers with Under 500 Employees

Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide employees paid sick leave, paid expanded family, and medical leave. It is in effect from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 .

What employers are impacted? Paid sick leave, as well as expanded family and medical leave, must be provided by employers with under 500 employees, including small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.  Employers with less than 50 employees may be eligible for exemption when it comes to leave requests specific to care for a child whose school is closed, or childcare is unavailable if it would jeopardize the vitality of the business. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is developing the regulatory process to file for an exemption. There is a 30-day good faith non-enforcement compliance grace period ending on April 17, 2020, click here for more information .

To Do Right Now. Employers must post a notice of the leave requirements. Download the DOL posters below: Click here for the English Poster Click here for the Spanish Poster You can post it at the office, on an internal or external website, direct mail it, or email it to your employees. Click here on FAQ's on who needs to see this poster and how you can get it to them.

Types of Leave Paid Sick Leave . This is 2 weeks of paid leave, not to exceed 80 hours, for full & part-time employees regardless of the length of employment. Employees are paid at their regular pay rate or two-thirds of his/her regular pay rate depending on the reason that the employee is taking leave. A per day cap up to $511 and aggregate pay cap up to $5,110 over a two-week period applies.  Expanded Family and Medical Leave . This is 10 weeks of paid leave for child care that is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. Full & part-time employees are eligible who have been employed with the company at least 30 days prior to requesting leave. The rate of pay is two-thirds of the regular pay rate based on the hours normally scheduled for the employee. There is a per day cap up to $200 and aggregate pay cap up to $2,000 over a two-week period, or up to $12,000 over a twelve-week period if sick leave is combined with expanded medical and family leave.  Pay rate calculations depend on multiple factors, including the reasons for taking leave. The above-mentioned downloadable posters outlines these calculations with corresponding reasons. Recoup Paid Leave Costs. Employers will recover paid leave through payroll taxes. The IRS will permit employers to retain from payroll taxes an amount equal to the amount of paid leave provided to employees. Eligible payroll taxes are federal income taxes, employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of leave paid, employers will be able to file a request for accelerated payment from the IRS. Guidance from the IRS is forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Resources U.S. Department of Treasury Paid Leave Announcement https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm952 ·     Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions & Answers https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions ·     Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements, Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave ·     Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights , Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

Important to note: The federal government is fast-tracking the regulatory process to provide employees and employers with guidance. Guidance and information are being updated regularly on paid leave & tax credits. A special thank you to the National Propane Gas Association that helped us compile this information.

For more important COVID-19 information from the Texas Propane Gas Association, click here .

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