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Federal COVID-19 Related Paid Leave

As part of a massive response to the unprecedented coronavirus, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed by Congress and signed by the President will go into effect April 2, 2020. Here are the key takeaways you need to know because it affects ALL employers:

Paid Sick Leave for Workers
For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.

Complete Coverage
Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the act.

  • Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.
  • Employers face no payroll tax liability.
  • Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.


Fast Funds

  • Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.
  • An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided.
  • Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.


Small Business Protection
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.

Easing Compliance
Requirements subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.

To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the cost of paid leave, employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form that will be released next week.

State Government Updates:
Vermont

  • Closure of “close contact” businesses such as hair salons, fitness centers and other such services until at least April 15. 
  • NO restrictions on construction. 
  • There are NO "shelter-in-place" orders. 
  • VT has limited public gatherings to 10 people. 
  • Gov. Scott has pushed back state income & corporate income tax deadlines to July 15. 
  • State’s rooms and meals tax is suspended “until further notice.” 
  • Testing continues to be difficult to attain.
  • Visit HealthVermont.Gov for the most up-to-date information.


New Hampshire:

  • There is NO "shelter-in-place" or stop work order in place.
  • NH has limited public gatherings to 10 people.
  • There are NO restrictions on construction. 
  • The state has tripled its ability to provide testing.
  • Visit NH.gov for the most up-to-date information.


Massachusetts:

  • Massachusetts has deemed construction as an essential service put in place effective immediately. Specifically: “Construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)." 
  • Support services (i.e. office staff) ought to be provided remotely rather than having staff in the company office. As an essential service they are not subject to the restrictions. 
  • All other businesses not deemed "essential" are to stand down through April 7. Temporary closing began at noon on March 24, 2020. 
  • Mass has limited public gatherings to 10 people.
  • There is NO “shelter-in-place” mandate however Nantucket and Provincetown have declared their own shelter-in-place orders which began on Monday. 
  • Visit Mass.gov for the most up-to-date information.
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