Under the new law, employers are required to offer 10 days of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons. Existing leave offered can count toward the 10 days. If the sick leave is for an employee who is sick or seeking a diagnosis, the benefit must replace all of the employee's wages up to a maximum benefit of $511 per day. If an employee is caring for another individual who is sick, the benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee's wages up to a maximum benefit of $200 per day.
Payroll tax credits will be provided to employers with up to 500 employees to cover 100% of the cost of the paid sick leave for COVID-19-related absences. Tax credits will also be offered to offset the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. Self-employed individuals will also be eligible for tax credits.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees will be able to apply for a hardship exemption if they can show that the paid sick leave would jeopardize their business.
In addition to the federal emergency aid, individual states have announced various new legislation, resources, and assistance for impacted business and workers. Check your state’s Department of Labor, Department of Revenue, unemployment division, insurance division and other commerce-related websites for information specific to your state.
Additional details about expected future federal and state legislation will be forthcoming as they are available.