Today President Trump signed the next Coronavirus aid bill that includes additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Act (PPP) small business loan program. Companies that qualify for the forgivable loans will have another opportunity to receive funds that are primarily intended to keep employees on payroll. The program is managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) who will dispense the funds on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications pending from the initial round of funds will be in line for the additional funds.
For more information on the program, go to the SBA loan application page:
An updated memo from United Benefit Advisors (UBA) on the topic of tax credits for FFCRA leave and CARES Act employee retention is attached, and via link below:
State and local governments are planning for the gradual opening of non-essential businesses, and companies should start making plans for re-opening the workplace in preparation for any formal decisions. Below are some resources to help you with that process.
The law firm Fisher Phillips published a Legal Alert, 5 Steps To Reopen Your Workplace, According To CDC’s Latest Guidance.
A recent update to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) What You Should Know page for COVID-19 and the ADA confirms that employers can test employees before permitting return to work.
A.6. May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace? 4/23/20
The ADA requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Therefore an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.
For the full answer, and more Q&As, go to:
Administering tests may not be an option for most employers, and until tests are more readily available, employees may have to wait for a test through their doctor or the local health department.
ThinkHR has a Return to Work checklist and employee communication pieces, available by link below and attached for your convenience.
- Return to Work Checklist
- Sample Welcome Back Return to Work Letter
- Sample Employee Notice – Face Coverings
Employers should follow the guidance of their state and local governments to determine appropriate timing of any business reopening decisions.
The Guardian summarized the top 10 questions employers are asking about leave law and COVID-19 from a recent webinar. The link to this informative article is below:
The Department of Labor (DOL) continues to add to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Q&A page as guidance is released regarding the Emergency Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act. Additional questions related to calculating hours and rate of pay have been added. Be sure to check periodically for updates: