On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) that responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to expansion of unemployment benefits and provision of grants to states for processing and paying claims as well as establishment of requirements for providing coronavirus diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers, major provisions applicable to employers follows:
Employer’s Requirement to Provide Paid Sick Leave
Employers are required to provide to each employee employed by the employer paid sick time to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
The Act expands the FMLA Act of 1993 for COVID-19, which has an effective date beginning April 2, 2020, and ending on December 31, 2020.
Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave
Employers who are subject to the required paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave provisions of the Act are allowed a credit for each calendar quarter of an amount equal to 100% of the qualified leave wages paid by the employer for such calendar quarter.
Special Provisions Related to Tax on Employers
Any wages required to be paid by reason of the Act shall not be considered wages for purposes of Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (employer excise tax for old-age, survivors, and disability insurance) or compensation for purposes of Section 3221(a) of such Code.