An overview of the resources and programs available for Michigan businesses during coronavirus

Workforce PayHub is here for you during this unprecedented time. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of work throughout the nation. To ensure business continuity during COVID-19, we took steps to continue to provide the same level of service our customers have come to expect. And to help you, we've put together the resources that Michigan small businesses need to get through this uncertain time. 

COVID-19 Federal Time Off and Tax Credit Overview

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has adjusted the FMLA and FLSA. You need to take note of for employers under 500 employees effective April 2, 2020:

  • 2 weeks (80 hours) of Federally mandated paid sick leave on top of all current leave that you offer for COVID-19 related illnesses
  • 10 weeks (400 hours) of Federally mandated paid leave (expanded FMLA) to parents or responsible parties of children that do not have access to childcare due to school closings.  The total allowed time off is 12 weeks with the first two weeks being unpaid.
  • Both of these new paid leave 'buckets' will initially be paid for by the employer and the Federal Government will reimburse the employer via a tax credit against their 941 taxes (Federal Income Tax, Social Security Tax & Medicare Tax).  We are waiting on clarification on the reimbursement and implementation of this new law by the IRS.  
  • The IRS and Department of Labor both released statements saying that more information will be released on the application this week.  DOL's notice is here. The IRS's notice is here

Key takeaways:

  1. The leave is not retroactive - only leave taken from 04/01/2020 - 12/31/2020 will be reimbursed by the Federal Government.
  2. You can only receive up to 80 hours for a full time employee of Paid Sick Leave regardless of the number of qualifying events such as the employee has COVID-19 and then their child has COVID-19.  They get a total of 2 weeks of time off, not 4 as in my example.
  3. Employers under 50 can exempt themselves from the two new paid leave categories if they have cause that allowing the leave would be detrimental to their business.  This Q&A signifies that there will be a form (and hints that it will not be sent to the DOL) released at a later time to accomplish this. 

Workforce PayHub will be prepared to assist you with claiming your tax credit with your first qualified employee leave request that is on or after 04/01/2020. If you are struggling with filing for these tax credits, consider becoming a client with us today. We are here and ready with our customer service representatives just a call or email away.