NLA Member Guidance
Families First Coronavirus Relief Act
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) was signed into law by the President Trump on March 18, 2020. This legislation takes effect on April 1, 2020.
 
The general purpose of this Act is to provide businesses and employees with financial relief as they address the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
The key highlights of the Act are listed below.
NEW Employment Law Poster REQUIRED By Department of Labor
The Department of Labor has issued an additional employment/labor law poster that must be posted with or near your other labor law posters by April 1, 2020.

This poster outlines your employee's rights under the new law.

To print your copy of the New Poster, please click here .
Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA)
There are several tax implications from the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), including a 100% tax credit for amounts paid out to employees under the FFCRA provisions for sick pay or family leave as detailed below.
 
Please note this provision applies only to employers with 500 employees or less and there are certain other exemptions for employers with under 50 employees. 
 
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
 
The bill provides the following benefits to employees:  

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. Employees can receive their full pay, up to $511 per day for 10 days, or $5,110 total; or

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor. Employees can receive two-thirds the employee's regular rate of pay, with a maximum of $200 per day for 10 weeks, or $10,000 total; and

  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

  • Employers cannot force employees to use up vacation or other sick time before receiving this benefit.
 
Employers will receive a tax credit on their quarterly payroll tax return for wages paid under the FFCRA in that quarter. This credit is refundable if the total wages related to the FFCRA exceed the total payroll tax liability. Employers may also short their payroll tax deposits based on the expected credit. Employers may also apply for an advance if the expected credit will be more than their total payroll tax liability.

It is suggested that members speak with their accountant and/or payroll department/firm to determine how best to track paid leave for employees under this Act. Likewise, these parties should/will be able to address questions as to how you will claim the tax credit(s) on your payroll tax return(s).

Requirements are subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.
 
Qualifying Reasons for Leave:
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
  6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

Duration of Leave:
  • For reasons (1)-(4) and (6): A full-time employee is eligible for up to 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.

  • For reason (5): A full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave at 40 hours a week, and a part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
Northwestern Lumber Association
701 Decatur Avenue North, Suite 105
Golden Valley, Minnesota 55427
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