There is a TON of information out there, and some of the information seems to be changing daily in response to new legislation. You may have had staff asking about coverage due to quarantine, illness, or a need to care for children who are sick, or have to be home due to school and daycare closures.
One area that seems to be changing for the better seems to be a broadening of disability benefits and paid family leave benefits based on new legislation on both the state and federal levels:
Federal–Goes into effect on April 2, 2020 and will expire December 31, 2020.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave–It applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, and requires you to provide 10 days of sick leave to employees that qualify (I will get to that in a minute). Employees should be paid at their regular salary rate, but no more than $511 per day, or at 66% of their regular salary rate, maximum $200 per day, depending on the reason the employee has been affected.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act for Childcare–Provides job protection and entitles employees to 66% of their regular wages, up to $200 per day. The first two weeks are unpaid.
Possible exemption for small employers–For employers with less than 50 employees that can show that these obligations would jeopardize the viability of the business, the Secretary of Labor can exempt that business. If you have less than 25 employees, you will not have to guarantee an equivalent position to returning workers.
Who pays? To help alleviate the payment burden, employers will be able to take tax credits.
Next steps and more information–The Secretary of Labor must issue guidelines within the next two weeks. Here is a link to the Secretary of Labor’s Press Releases: Department of Labor
NYS–Enacted March 18, 2020 and in effect immediately. No expiration date.
New York’s Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave–Employers must provide Paid Sick Leave of 1-2 weeks depending on employer size and income, to employees unable to work due to Covid19 quarantine or isolation orders. Employees would receive 60% of their salary up to a maximum of $840.70 per week for the duration of the mandatory or precautionary quarantine. Applies if the employee can’t work due to quarantine OR has to care for a child under 18 subject to an isolation order.
Insurance Company Resources—
ShelterPoint – has put together a nice description on their blog, and has suggested you register and check for updates at: ShelterPoint Blog
The Hartford – to get the latest developments please register at The Hartford and to view their response to Federal and State Legislation with titles and drop-downs please click here.
As always, please be sure to let me know if there is anything else I can be doing to help you or your firm. Thanks–Mike
Michael J. Maloney