COVID-19 Related Employment Alert
March 24, 2020
THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT THE FACT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR HAS JUST INDICATED THESE LAWS WILL GO INTO EFFECT ON APRIL 1ST RATHER THAN APRIL 2ND AS ORIGINALLY INDICATED.
If you are an employer with under 500 employees, you may have some big decisions to make before April 1st when the federal sick leave and paid family leave laws go into effect.
- Employers need to decide if they have sufficient funds to float two weeks of paid sick leave and/or 10 weeks of paid leave for employees till the end of the quarter (end of June) when the federal government is allegedly going to provide a credit against payroll taxes that would otherwise be due. If payroll taxes are insufficient to cover the cost, the government indicates they will reimburse employer the difference. Remember, the 10 weeks of paid family leave is only available to those employees that need to stay home to care for their children who are out of school.
- Employers who are considering laying off or furloughing employees would be best served if they made a decision before the April 1st effective date of the federal law. If employers try to terminate anyone who is in the process of taking federal sick leave or paid family leave after April 1st, they run the risk of opening themselves up to a retaliation claim (though obviously, those allegations can be rebutted by showing dire financial circumstances).
- Employers should understand the difference between furloughing and terminating and when to consider each option.
Posted in: Labor & Employment