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How does the Paid Emergency Family and Medical Leave work?

Of the 12 weeks, the first two can be unpaid. (However, this 2- week period may be claim using the new Sick Leave provisions) The next ten weeks MUST be paid.

For the first two weeks of unpaid leave, the employee can elect to use paid vacation or sick leave, if available.

For the next ten weeks, the employer must pay the employee based on:

  • At least 2/3 of the employees' regular pay (this must be above the federal minimum wage or the applicable state or local minimum wage), and
  • The number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work. (You must factor in overtime hours into this computation. In addition, a part-time employee is subject to a separate calculation)
  • The leave pay is not required to exceed $200/day or $10,000 in the aggregate to any one employee. iv. Family leave is not subject to the 6.2% employer Social Security tax.

What are the Sick leave provisions?

An eligible employee is entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick leave (over a two-week period) for any of the following six reasons:

  • Subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID19.
  • Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine or has been advised to self- quarantine.
  • Caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
  • Experiencing any other substantially similar condition.

Can Paid Family Leave and Paid Sick Leave work together?

Yes, IF the employee is taking care of a child because school is closed or child care isn't available, both Acts can work together. In this case the first two weeks (80 hours) could be paid sick time and the next ten weeks would be paid medical leave time.

Have tax filing deadlines changed due to COVID-19?

Yes. Any taxpayer who originally had:

  • A tax return,
  • A payment of 2019 tax liability, or
  • A 1st quarter 2020 estimated tax payment ...

Due on April 15, 2020 now gets an AUTOMATIC EXTENSION until July 15, 2020. No extension form is required prior to April 15th; it's as if July 15th steps into the shoes of April 15th for both filing and payment. There is no limit on the amount of tax originally due April 15 that may now be paid July 15, 2020.

The CA Franchise Tax Board has conformed to these new deadlines with one additional extension which is that Q2 estimated tax payments are also due on July 15. (The IRS has not pushed out the Q2 estimated tax payment deadline so, for federal purposes, the due date is still June 15.)

Is the deadline for making IRA/Employer Contributions/HSA payments also extended?

Yes, contributions to an IRA, employer contributions to qualified retirement plans, and HSA contributions are also pushed back to July 15, 2020.

What are some of the basic provisions of the new Paid Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act?

This new law provides that an eligible employee is entitled to 12 weeks of leave for any period beginning April 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020 if you have a "qualifying need" related to a "public health emergency".

Employers who are subject to this Act are those which have fewer than 500 employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can argue that paying the leave will jeopardize the viability of their business as a going concern and avoid paying the leave. They should document why their business meets the criteria set out by the DOL, which has NOT YET BEEN ESTABLISHED

Employees who are eligible for the paid benefits of this new Act include those who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days before leave is requested.

Definition of a "qualifying need related to a public health emergency":

  • Public health emergency: An emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a Federal, state or local authority.
  • Qualifying need for leave: An employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or if the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.
  • Thus, it appears you are not entitled to paid leave because your business closed its doors, voluntarily or involuntarily. It has to be because you need to stay home to care for a child.

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