Coronavirus Response Act
Small business owners are nervously watching the current House Bill containing Trump's promised employee financial relief. The bill is coined the ‘Families First Coronavirus Response Act'. Much of the original bill is concerning to small business owners. This original proposed House Bill presented by Democrats is currently being focused on. So far, very little of the important updated terms have been discussed.
The up-to-date details from the proposed H.R. 6201 are available here. The House has approved H.R. 6201. It has now moved on to the Senate. The President must approve the bill before it becomes enacted. Some senators have different policy ideas for this Coronavirus Response Act, so the final version may contain different terms than the current proposed terms. Here are a few of the critical divisions:
EMPLOYER-FUNDED Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
- This applies to businesses with less than 500 employees. As the Bill is written now, small businesses with less than 50 employees and certain health care providers might be exempt.
- Employers will cover up to 12 weeks of paid, job protected leave.
- The first 14 days would be unpaid leave.
- For weeks 2-12, employees receive 2/3rd's their normal rate at their normal hours. The hours paid would be based on an average work week for employees with varied schedules.
FEDERALLY-FUNDED Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
- Applies to businesses with less than 500 employees.
- Employees will receive a paid benefit when they must take off 14 or more days.
- Paid sick leave can receive this up to 3 different times.
- The first U.S. diagnosed case was on January 19, 2020. Retroactive benefits will be available.
- Employers will need to post notification on premises describing these rules.
EMPLOYER-FUNDED Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act
All employers must begin allowing employees to gradually accrue seven sick paid days. Employers must also provide another 14 days available immediately for crisis events such as this.
COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020
This would require health care employers to make an infectious disease exposure control plan to protect workers.