Monday, March 23, 2020

Treasury, Labor, and IRS issue some guidelines on EFMLA and emergency paid sick leave

On March 18, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law. Over the weekend, the Departments of Treasury and Labor, and the IRS, issued some guidelines. Frankly, they're more like notices of intent, with not a lot of "meat" yet. But, here they are:

A few highlights:
  • Complete Coverage
    Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the act.
    • Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
    • Employers face no payroll tax liability.
    • Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.
  • Fast Funds
    Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
    • An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided
    • Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.
Easing Compliance
  • Requirements subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.
Small Business Exemption
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue. The exemption will be available on the basis of simple and clear criteria that make it available in circumstances involving jeopardy to the viability of an employer’s business as a going concern. The Department of Labor will provide emergency guidance and rulemaking to clearly articulate this standard.

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