Employers should check Federal, State and Municipal guidance often for updates that impact their business and their employees. To help you stay on top of this rapidly evolving situation, Asure has compiled a list of Federal, State, U.S. Territorial, and select Municipality websites with coronavirus updates and guidance.
On March 13, 2020, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan legislative Coronavirus relief package. A summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201, is here. After receiving support from President Trump, the vote passed 363-40 to build on and expand the government’s $8.3 billion emergency spending package enacted into law on March 6.
After a brief delay waiting for technical corrections to be made, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was officially passed on to the Senate for vote consideration late on March 16. Many government officials and news sources expect the Senate to make changes to the bill before it is passed. Additionally, some Senators have indicated a desire to build on the existing bill. Senator Mitt Romney has proposed a third Coronavirus relief package that would contain “major economic stimulus for corporations and consumers” including a proposal that would give $1,000 to every American adult.
The White House announced today that it is also working on another legislative proposal that would total about $850 billion. Referred to as the “phase three” plan, the proposal is expected to address relief for the airline industry, a $500 billion payroll tax holiday, and $250 billion in small business loans.
In the meantime, the Senate is reviewing the House-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act this week. House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), said “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act will help ensure the physical safety and financial security of our nation’s working families during this time of crisis. With this bill, we can provide paid leave, guarantee free testing, and enhance important benefits for children and families.”
As it currently stands, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) would provide:
Free Coronavirus testing.
Paid emergency leave.
Enhanced unemployment insurance.
Additional funding to address food insecurity.
Protections for health care workers and employees responsible for cleaning at-risk locations.
Increased federal funding for Medicaid.
This bill will provide most of America’s almost 159 million workers with access to some paid time off if they or their families are affected by the coronavirus. If approved by the Senate and signed into laws, the bill will grant two weeks of paid sick leave at 100 percent of the person’s normal salary, with a cap of $511 per day. Up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave are also available at 67 percent of the employee’s salary, with a $200 per day cap. Companies with less than 50 workers can apply for a waiver from paid family leave. Additionally large companies with more than 500 employees are left out of the bill.
For more information or sample tools you can use to communicate with your employees, check out SHRM’s resource page on Coronavirus and COVID-19. They have posted several sample HR forms and communication documents you can use to keep employees informed of policy updates and prevention measures.