CertiPay News: COVID-19 Client Update

Dear Clients, 

CertiPay is closely following the COVID-19 developments and changes on a daily basis.  We are currently preparing and taking steps to implement the Families First Act by April 2nd.  We have prepared a high level overview of the new bill  for you and we will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020 with an effective date of April, 2nd and an expiration date of December 31st, 2020.

As we move through this new territory we will rely on our federal regulatory agencies to provide us with additional guidance on execution and implementation of the new requirements. In an effort to help you understand the basics, we have put together a high level summary of the new Bill based on our interpretation.   We will closely follow the Department of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for additional guidance and update you when we know more.

Please follow this link to a Workplace Guidance Document we provided to our HR Services Clients. CertiPay would like to share the document with our Payroll Clients to assist during this time. If further HR guidance is needed, please reach out to Client Solutions for more information.

 Summary of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Notice Requirements:  Employers must post a notice for employees to see as provided by the federal government.  We will send you a copy of the proper notice as soon as available.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

This pertains to ALL employers with fewer than 500 employees and ALL employees no matter how long they have been employed (some health care providers and emergency responders may be excluded).  Full time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave and part time employees are entitled to sick leave equal to the average number of hours in a two week period.

Covered Leave and pay:

  1. When quarantined or isolated subject to federal, state, or local quarantine/isolation order; Full regular rate of pay capped at $511/day
  2. When advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine (due to concerns related to COVID-19); Full regular rate of pay capped at $511/day
  3. When experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis; Full regular rate of pay capped at $511/day
  4. When caring for an individual who is sick or quarantined; 2/3 regular rate of pay capped at $200/day.
  5. When caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 (2/3 pay); 2/3 regular rate of pay capped at $200/day.

Interaction with Other Employer-Provided Paid Sick Leave and other Paid Leave:

  • This act does not preempt existing state and local paid sick leave requirements.
  • Employers cannot require employees to use other leave first.
  • Sick leave provided for under the act does not carry over from year to year, and the requirements expire December 31, 2020.

Covered Leave Purpose: Up to 12 weeks of job protected leave to:

  • Adhere to the requirements or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure or symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Care for a family member who is adhering to the requirements or recommendation to quarantine due to exposure or symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Care for a child of the employee if the child's school or place of care has been closed or is unavailable due to coronavirus.

Compensation:

  • No pay for first 10 days of leave (other paid time off, and emergency sick leave under the FFCRA, may be applied)
  • After 10 days, employers must pay two thirds of the employee's regular rate of pay for the number of hours they would normally be scheduled to work, capped at $200/day and $10,000 total.

Normal reinstatement provisions will apply as traditional FMLA with the exception of employers with fewer than 25 employees under certain conditions:

  • The job no longer exists because of changes to the economy due to the public health emergency; 
  • The employer must make reasonable efforts to return the employee to an equivalent position for at least one year following the return date.

Note: Small business employers with fewer than 50 employees may be able to apply for exempt status if business viability is jeopardized.  We will provide you with additional information when it becomes available.

Payroll Tax Credit

  • Applies to both the emergency FMLA expansion and the emergency sick leave.
  • Dollar for dollar credit for sick leave and paid FMLA wages against the employer portion of Social Security taxes.
  • Refund is possible for amounts that exceed what is available as a credit.

Health Plan Benefit Mandate

This act requires all medical plans to cover diagnostic testing and diagnostic related services for COVID-19 to be covered at 100% without any deductibles or co-payments.  This mandate does not cover actual treatment following testing.

If you need any additional information please reach out to us at CertiPay. Please stay informed and pay attention to trusted health resources.

Sincerely,

Your CertiPay Online Family

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