The COVID-19 Crisis – Business Regulation Updates
Posted on March 23, 2020
Governor Office Releases Updated List of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers
The California Governor’s Office released a revised list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” that qualify for an exception from the Governor’s “Stay at Home” directive. The much-anticipated revised list of essential workers was, for the second time in two nights, quietly posted to the State’s COVID-19 response web page overnight with little fanfare.
Legal Update – Coronavirus Impact on Construction Industry
During the coronavirus pandemic, our employment law firm is providing ongoing complimentary webinar series that reviews the current state of the construction industry and the impact of the coronavirus. Each weekly session will run 30 — 60 minutes. We encourage you to register.
EEOC Issues Guidance on Employers’ Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic
What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19, addresses common employer concerns about what medical inquiries an employer can make when it can ask employees to leave the workplace based on such concerns, and under what circumstances an employer can ask for a doctor’s release from such employees before allowing them to return.
H.R. 6021, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”
Mandatory paid employee leave for employers with fewer than 500 employees
H.R. 6201 – Key Provisions
Testing: Insurers would be required to cover testing for COVID-19 without cost-sharing or prior authorization requirements.
Emergency paid leave: Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government entities would have to provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees who have been on the payroll at least 30 days and who are unable to work or telework in order to care for a minor child whose school/child care has been closed.
- The first 10 days of leave could be unpaid, although employees could use accrued PTO during this period.
- Following the first 10 days, employees must be paid at least two-thirds of their normal pay.
- Emergency FMLA paid leave would be limited to $200/day or $10,000 in aggregate.
- DOL would be authorized to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave provisions.
Emergency sick leave: Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government entities would have to provide paid sick leave to self-quarantine, get a diagnosis for COVID-19, or provide care for a family member in quarantine or a child whose school has closed.
- 80 hours of paid sick leave for full-time employees. Paid sick leave for part-time employees based on their work hours over a two-week period. The emergency sick leave is on top of any other paid leave provided by the employer.
- Limited to $511/day or $5,110 in aggregate for an employee’s own illness or quarantine and $200 or $2,000 in aggregate to care for family members.
- DOL would be authorized to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid sick leave provisions.
Employer tax credits: The bill would provide payroll tax credits to employers to cover wages paid while employees are using the emergency paid leave and sick leave established by the legislation.
- Sick leave credit of as much as $511 per day if the employee is caring for themselves, and as much as $200 per day if the employee is caring for a family member.
- Family leave credit of as much as $200 per day, or an aggregate of $10,000.
- Employers could receive the tax credit even if the credit exceeds the amount the employer owes in payroll tax.