The COVID-19 Crisis – Updates
Posted on April 3, 2020
Tips for California businesses to keep their doors open
- Disaster Loan- The Small Business Administration(SBA) is offering special, low-interest economic disaster loans to California companies suffering losses because of the outbreak. The money can be used for debt, payroll or other bills, according to the administration.
- Furlough employees or place them on unpaid leave of absence as an alternative to lay-offs- this option will make it easier to re-staff after the crisis is over and will allow employees to maintain benefits in most cases.
- EDD Workshare Program- allows employees to receive unemployment benefits while keeping their job at reduced hours and is intended to help employers avert the need for layoffs.
- Review benefit plans for cost savings- options may include suspending 401(k) matching or eliminated supplemental or other plans.
- Investigate lines of credit- use available lines of credit in order to avoid cash flow problems that may arise due to further disruption in the lending environment.
- Communicate with creditors and vendors- ask them to increase flexibility and provide ways to adjust payments
Highlights of Package that passed the Senate
- Direct payments to individuals- single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400 and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17.
- Student loan payments suspended
- REAL ID deadline delayed
- Boost for unemployment benefits- the federal government would give jobless workers an extra $600 a week for four months on top of their state benefits. It will also extend benefits to those who do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits including independent contractors and gig economy workers.
- $500 billion lending program- includes $454 billion to businesses, states and municipalities. The measure includes restrictions on businesses who receive the loans. Those businesses may not issue dividends for up to a year after the loan is no longer outstanding and must retain 90% of employment levels as of March 24, “to the extent practicable,” through September 30. The loans also cannot last longer than five years.
Other Important Things to Remember
- Orange County’s order states that employers cannot require a doctor or health care provider’s note to allow a worker who was sick with acute respiratory illness to return to work.
- In other counties employers can require a doctor or heath care provider’s note
- No credit for leave taking for emergency FMLA or PSL granted prior to April 1 will be given, payroll tax credits begin for leave taken after April 1.
- Paid leave under FFCRA must be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay calculation under the FLSA. This is the average rate of pay over a period of up to six months prior to the day the leave begins. Compensation such as commission, tips and piece rates are included.
- Critical infrastructure exemptions were expanded in California from the Department of Homeland Security guidelines.
eqHR Solutions’ trusted advisors are ready to assist you in your unique needs and are happy to answer any questions that you may have and are still fully prepared to continue to service all of your Human Resource and Payroll needs. Included below is some valuable information that can be applied to all businesses.
If you find that you have a unique situation or would like assistance with a policy or procedure for the current Coronavirus situation, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned trusted advisor or any other member of our team.
June Jeong, CEO
CDC -Information & Interim Guidance for Businesses
US Dept of Labor – FAQ Family Medial Leave
EDD – FAQs COVID-10
CA/OSHA – Covid-19 guideline