By: Stefano Tromba Mar 26, 2020

$2T COVID-19 Stimulus Package: What Small Biz Owners Should Know

The US Senate has approved the unprecedented $2 Trillion stimulus package in an effort to keep families and businesses across the nation afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

At Fingercheck, one of our main priorities is to keep business owners informed and aware of any and all pertinent news that may affect you. The stimulus package includes provisions designed to help small businesses survive, which include:

  • Loans
  • Direct Payments to Individuals/Families
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits
  • Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits.

Below are some important items related to the FFCRA you should be aware of:

PAID FAMILY & SICK LEAVE

Loans and checks mailed to businesses and families are great, however since we are a payroll company, we’d like to go over the (PFL) and Paid Family & Sick Leave Benefits. This was recently signed into law on March 18, 2020, with an effective date of April 1, 2020, through the end of the year. This benefit will be applicable to all employees who work at companies employing under 500 people (this will apply to all sections listed below unless otherwise noted). Also, companies with less than 50 employees might have exclusions to this law, especially if it affects their ability to function. However, they would need to get an exclusion from the Dept. of Labor (DOL). Fingercheck will be monitoring this situation as details become available on how this process will work.

For your benefit, we’ve listed (3) common scenarios in which employers will need to pay their employee(s) for taking time off. In each of the following (3) scenarios, the employer is responsible for paying the employee(s) while the government reimburses you.

SCENARIO 1: SICK EMPLOYEE(s)

Defined as any employee deemed sick or ill (even if waiting on a diagnosis), is quarantined (under the advisement by a health care provider) or under state-mandated isolation due to COVID-19. They are entitled to 80 hours of their regular pay (P/T employees are entitled to their regular scheduled hours over a 2-week period). Pay is capped at $511 a day for up to 10 days.

SCENARIO 2: SICK EMPLOYEE FAMILY MEMBER

If any employee is a caretaker of someone with COVID-19 or with symptoms of the virus symptoms as listed above – he/she is entitled to two thirds (2/3) pay; capped at $200 for up to 10 days.

SCENARIO 3: EMPLOYEES’ CHILD NOT IN SCHOOL DUE TO CLOSINGS

Any employee who has worked 30 days will have their job protected for up to 12 weeks to either care for a sick family member or to watch their child (under 18) who is home from school closures.

NOTE: 
There will be no pay for the first 2 weeks (unless the employee is using vacation/sick days). After which they will receive pay two thirds (2/3) of their current pay capped at $200 a day ($1,000 per week), for up to (10) weeks. In this scenario, the employer will be reimbursed by the government.

THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT – (FFCRA)

This act does not apply to laid-off employees, state laws such as State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) however, may be applicable though.

Later, as details emerge, we will provide details on how/when reimbursements will be made. The normal reinstatement provisions that normally apply to (FMLA) will be applicable, except for a company with less than 25 employees. In this instance, they will NOT need to guarantee the job, if the job no longer exists due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

IMPORTANT:
A notice of these employee rights must be posted in your place of business. You can not require your employees to use other leave first. Businesses will have 30 days to be within compliance with this notice.

REMINDER: The IRS is expected to soon issue further guidelines on how reimbursements to you (the employer) will take place. There will be an expedited refund form and a way to use payroll tax to help employers fund this (PFL). Starting in April, Fingercheck will post IRS guidelines on how to use your payroll tax to fund this crisis and where to obtain the required forms.

Please click here to learn more.

We hope you have found this information useful. Remember, Fingercheck is committed to serving and helping you every step of the way during this crisis.

Category: Hiring | News | Payroll | Small Business | Tax

Stefano is a seasoned marketing professional and writer with diverse industry experience. Born and raised in NYC, he holds a Journalism degree from Queens College, and is currently the Head of Marketing at Fingercheck.

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