As we communicated yesterday, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed, has now been signed into law, and will take effect on April 2, 2020. In addition, new resources are available that we have summarized below. There are many questions still unanswered, and we expect to be seeing guidance from the Federal agencies in charge of implementing the new law as we get closer to the effective date.
If you were not able to attend the ThinkHR Coronavirus webinar, below are the links to the audio recording and the presentation slides.
Webinar Slides Webinar Recording
- Current Guidance from the CDC
- Illness and Quarantine
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- FMLA expansion
- Paid Sick Leave
- Payroll tax credit
- Reducing Hours and Closing
Some employers may have to consider the difficult decision to furlough employees. If you are in need of a communication piece, two options are attached. Covid-19 Furlough Letter | WARN Notice
Please note that one of the attachments is a WARN Notice. The WARN Act requires an employer with 100 or more employees to provide a 60-day advance notice of plant closings or mass layoff of employees. California has temporarily suspended the requirement to provide an advance notice of layoff. Click Here for an article from Fisher Phillips for more details.
Beere & Purves is a Northern California General Agent that works with most insurance carriers. They have a website devoted to how the carriers are handling the situation and what resources they have available. The site is updated frequently: https://ga.beerepurves.com/covid-19-carrier-responses.html
There are some Flexible Spending Account (FSA) considerations to keep in mind.
- FSA and COBRA – If you are conducting layoffs, or reductions to work hours that impact plan eligibility, be sure to offer continuation of the FSA plan to employees with a balance remaining in their account. The COBRA will extend through the end of the FSA plan year.
- Dependent Care Account qualifying event – A change to a participant’s Dependent Care election would be allowed if there is an unexpected change to daycare cost due to school closings.
The State of California has a new one-stop Coronavirus resource website that consolidates information related to unemployment, disability benefits, paid family leave, and other resources for businesses. https://covid19.ca.gov/
For eligible employees, the disability benefit waiting period has been waived. See the EDD website for more information: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
Claims for unemployment insurance now include reduction in hours and is resulting in an increase in claim filings, so individuals may be seeing delays. There will be system maintenance on the Unemployment Insurance claim system tonight from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight. To check payment information or hear general Unemployment Insurance information, individuals can call 1-866-333-4606. More information on the EDD website: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI_Online.htm