CALL US: (847) 382 - 3206

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Update: Tax Credits May be Available

11/30/2020

Covid-19 cases are on the rise, so we are getting more questions about how/if the Families First Coronavirus Response act (FFCRA) applies to them. Here are some questions that we are receiving. This information below is based on our best understanding of the program as of this writing.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

You can review the Department of Labor’s FAQ, but to simplify this to the common questions we are receiving, see below:

1.    Do I need to inform my employees of this program?

If you have not already done so, please post the FFCRA employment poster in your breakroom or somewhere local where employees can see.

2.    I run a doctor’s/dentist’s office, do I have to comply with this?

 

Yes. There was some confusion when this program was first enacted, but only employees who are deemed healthcare providers are exempt:

·       Employees who provide direct diagnostic, preventative, treatment, or other patient care services (i.e. doctors, nurses, NPs, PAs, hygienists, technicians, etc.).

·       Employees who directly assist or are supervised by a direct provider of diagnostic, preventative, treatment, or other patient care services.

·       Employees who do not provide direct health care services to a patient but are otherwise integrated into and necessary to the provision of those services (i.e. lab technician).

 

3.    Can I still pay an employee (who is considered exempt) under this program if they are unable to work?

 

Yes

 

4.    If I pay an exempt employee who cannot work, will I still receive a tax credit for this?

 

Yes

 

5.    Can I choose which exempt employees I want to pay under this program?

 

There is not definitive guidance on this, but the general feeling is that you should apply the same program to all employees regardless if they are exempt/not exempt.

 

6.    I have under 50 employees, does this still pertain to me?

 

You may be able to claim an exemption from having to comply with the FFCRA if you have fewer than 50 employees AND you can demonstrate that complying with the FFCRA would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. See Question 58 on the Department of Labor’s FAQ here: DOL FAQ #58

 

7.    If the employee can work from home, does the employee still qualify for this program?

 

No. Employees can be paid under this program if they CANNOT work.

 

8.    How long does the employee have to have worked for me to be eligible for this?

 

See the Program Overview below for the 2 types of paid leave under this program

 

Sick Pay – Available immediately

Expanded FMLA Pay – 30 calendar days

 

9.    How do I calculate the hours available to an employee who is part time under this program?

 

You should use the average number of hours in a 2-week period. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee’s schedule varies, you may use a 6-month average to calculate the average daily hours.

 

10. How much do I pay employees under this program?

 

See Program Overview below.

 

11. If an employee’s total accumulated leave is greater than 10 business days (from 4/1/20-12/31/20), how much should I pay them?

 

Pay under this program is capped at 10 business days (80 hours), for which those wages are eligible for a tax credit. Anything paid above this is on the employer and not eligible for the tax credit.

 

12. What documentation do I need from an employee taking leave under this program?

 

·       Name of employee requesting leave

·       Name of child being cared for (if applicable)

·       The date(s) for which leave is requested

·       The reason for leave

·       A statement from the employee that he/she is unable to work because of the reason

·       A statement from a health care provider to self-quarantine

·       The name of the school, place of care, or childcare provider that has closed or become unavailable (if applicable)

·       A statement from the employee that no other suitable person is available to care for the child (if applicable)

 

13. If the employee is not receiving their normal pay under the FFCRA during their leave, can they use their accumulated vacation/sick/paid time off to help supplement the income?

 

Yes, but this would have to be agreed upon by the employer. The employer cannot receive a tax credit for wages outside of the FFCRA program.

 

14. If an employee is sick and unable to work, but we don’t know if that employee has Covid-19, are they eligible for the program?

 

An employee is eligible for this program if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and they are attempting to seek a medical diagnosis. If after the medical diagnosis, it is deemed not to be Covid-19, only the time not worked prior to the diagnosis is eligible for the FFCRA program.

 

15. Since the program’s inception (4/1/20), an employee has taken more than 10 days (80 hours) for Covid-19 reasons. How much is eligible for pay under this program?

 

It depends. They are entitled to a maximum of 10 days (80 hours) of Sick Pay. Any pay more than that would either be on the employer, or they might be eligible for the Expanded FMLA. See program overview below for qualifications.

 

16. An employee’s child’s school has given the choice between having the child attend in person or participate in remote learning. If the employee choose remote learning for their child, does the employee qualify to be paid under this program on those days the employee is home with their child?

 

No. The school is technically open, but the employee chose to have his/her child remote learning. If the school is operating on an alternate day schedule, then they would be eligible since this was not the employee’s choice.

 

 

Program Overview of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

·       Sick Leave Pay

o   Who is an eligible employee?

§  You can reference the Department of Labor’s web tool here to determine if an employee is eligible.

§  Employee must meet one of the 6 criterium below:

1.    Employee is subject to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19;

2.    Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to Covid-19;

3.    Employee is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

4.    Employee is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);

5.    Employee is caring for her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child-care provider is unavailable) due to Covid-19 related reasons; or

6.    Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

o   How much do I need to pay them?

§  If they are taking paid sick leave for the reasons 1-3 above, you must pay the eligible employee at their regular rate of pay, not to exceed $511 per day or $5,110 total over the entire paid sick leave period (up to 80 hours of pay).

§  If they are taking paid sick leave for the reasons 4-6 above, you must pay the eligible employee at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, not to exceed $200 per day or $2,000 total over the entire paid sick leave period (up to 80 hours of pay).

§  Both scenarios carry a maximum of 10 days of paid sick leave combined.

§  If you pay them more than the allotted amounts, only the allotted amounts are covered by tax credits. The rest would be on you, the employer.

·       Expanded FMLA Pay

o   Who is an eligible employee?

§  The expanded FMLA leave is for employees who have been employed for at least 30 days and is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to Covid-19.

§  This type of leave has a maximum of 10 weeks.

§  Reference the Department of Labor’s web tool here to determine if an employee is eligible.

o   How much do I need to pay them?

§  This is different than the normal FMLA. This is paid leave, but not for the 1st 10 days (employee would be paid under the sick provision in the FFCRA for the 1st 10 days and then paid under the expanded FMLA thereafter).

§  This covers up to 10 weeks of leave and pay, after the 1st 2 week waiting period.

§  The employee would be paid at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, not to exceed $200 per day or $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period).

§  If you pay them more than the allotted amounts, only the allotted amounts are covered by tax credits. The rest would be on you, the employer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Links

FFCRA Fact Sheet: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

FFCRA Employee Eligibility Tool: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/ffcra/benefits-eligibility-webtool

FFCRA Employer Poster: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/FFCRA-Employer_Paid_Leave_Requirements.pdf

FFCRA FAQs: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

 

Disclaimer: The information contained within this communication represents our best understanding of the rules and regulations as of the time of writing.  PBM may make updates to the contents of this communication to incorporate future changes.  These resources are not a substitute for the original authoritative guidance. This communication is provided with the understanding that PBM is not engaged in rendering legal services. All such information is provided without warranty of any kind. Readers are encouraged to have any advice herein reviewed by their own legal counsel for suitability to their particular circumstances.

 

Back to PBM Update

leave us a review on