COVID-19 - How it Affects Your Payroll
The links below to payroll pertinent websites are intended to keep you informed as regulations, news, etc. develop.
Check these links for updates, and we will also be providing updated information as it becomes available.
NOTE: If you will be terminating employees as a result of COVID-19, all regular termination procedures should be followed, and final paycheck rules apply. Click to view our Terminate Employee Checklist and Final Paycheck Reference Guide, and contact us if you have any questions.
03/19/2020 LEGISLATION PASSED AND WHAT APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Applies to all companies with fewer than 500 employees
* Employers with fewer than 50 workers may be able to apply for an exemption from providing paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave if it would jeopardize the viability of the business. Details on this are pending and we will inform you as they develop.
- Becomes effective April 2, 2020 and is set to automatically expire on December 31st, 2020
Here are the key points:
EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT
- Employers are required to provide full-time employees (regardless of how long the employee has been employed) with 80 hours of paid sick leave if they are absent from work for reasons related to Coronavirus (see details below)
* Part time employees receive only the number of hours they have worked over an average two-week period.
* Healthcare providers and emergency responders may be excluded from the definition of employee who are allowed to take this leave
An employee's leave must be for one of the following purposes:
1) The employee is subject to a government quarantine/isolation order related to Coronavirus
2) The employee has been advised by a health care provider to quarantine for Coronavirus concerns
3) The employee is experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus and seeking a medical diagnosis
4) The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described above or has been advised by a health care provider as described above
5) The employee is caring for a child if the child's school or place of care has been closed or the child's childcare provider is unavailable due to Coronavirus precautions
6) The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor
The Federal Government's Wage and Hour Division put together two pages with questions and answers pertinent to employers affected by COVID-19:
Fair Labor Standards Act in relation to COVID-19: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/pandemic
Family and Medical Leave Act and COVID-19: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic
- Employees who need leave to care for themselves are entitled to their full regular rate of pay for the number of hours they would work per day.
* Employers are allowed to cap this amount of paid benefits at $511 per day ($5,110 aggregate) per employee
- Employees who need leave to care for others - including children home from school or without childcare - are entitled to 2/3 of their regular rate of pay (or the applicable minimum wage, if greater).
* The amount of paid sick leave for this leave is capped at $200 per day ($2000 aggregate) per employee
- Employers must provide these benefits IN ADDITION TO any existing paid leave benefits.
EMERGENCY FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
- This is available to eligible employees to care for the employee's child (under 18 years old) if the child's school or place of care is closed, or the child's childcare provider is unavailable, due to Coronavirus.
* Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 30 days
- Employers may provide the first 10 days of this leave without pay, however, employees can elect to substitute or use otherwise accrued paid leave during this time or their paid sick leave provided by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
- After this initial 10 day period, employers must provide additional paid leave to their employees for the remaining 10 weeks, but only at 2/3 of the employee's regular rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work.
* The amount of pay during these 10 weeks is capped at $200 per day ($10,000 aggregate) per employee.
- Employees are required to give their employers as much notice as practicable when this type of leave is foreseeable.
EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS
- This act provides for a refundable tax credit to employers for 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid to their employees. The tax credits would be provided on a quarterly basis and are allowed against the employer's Social Security Taxes
Contact Easytrack Payroll if you need to set up paid leave for any your employees.
We will work with you to ensure everything is recorded and tracked properly.
Federal Loan Assistance for Colorado Small Businesses
Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2 million as part of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
The SBA Disaster assistance provides low-interest federal loans for working capital to Colorado small businesses that have realized economic injury from COVID-19.
For more information on eligibility, requirements, and how to apply for a loan visit the Colorado Small Business Development Center website https://bouldersbdc.com/.
1) Department of Labor and Employment Information and Resource page:
This is the home page for all information and resources on Coronavirus. It includes information and links for employers and employees and will be updated regularly as things develop.
2) Employee Resources
If you work for an employer that closed or reduced hours to help stop the spread of COVID-19, visit these pages regarding filing an unemployment claim:
Main unemployment claim page: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/file-claim
Benefits Calculator: http://www.coworkforce.com/uibEstimator/
NOTE: When an employee fills out the application for unemployment benefits, there is a question that asks "will you be returning to work for this employer?". They should answer YES to this question if the intent of the employee and the employer is to have them return to work if and when they're able to.
By answering this way, for up to 16 weeks of unemployment, the employee is exempt from having to look for another job. This time frame could change based on where things stand in 16-weeks time. The governor will make the decision to extend this amount of time as necessary.
This is called "job attach" meaning that they are attached to a job but unable to work due to extenuating circumstances.
3) Employer Resources
An alternative to laying off employees is the Colorado Work-Share Program. More information on this program can be found here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/layoffassistance
If you will have employees filing unemployment claims, this is the general web page regarding responding to job separations:
To expedite the process so that employees can begin receiving benefits as quickly as possible, we recommend registering for online access here:
Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources from the SBA:
4) Workers' Comp Claims
If an employees files a Workers' Comp claim: provide the employee with the necessary paperwork and advise them to file it directly with the insurance company so that the insurance company can process the claim accordingly.
For more detailed and complex situations, we recommend working with local labor and
business law attorney:
Julia M. Knearl, Esq.
Law Offices of Julia M. Knearl, L.L.C.
945 Front St.
Louisville, Colorado 80027
Please keep in mind we at Easytrack are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice. We are simply providing you with resources to pertinent information.