Last year federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) which required a majority of employers to provide emergency paid sick and/or family and medical leave benefits related to COVID-19 circumstances. These required benefits also came with tax credits to cover the expense. This requirement sunset on December 31. On December 27, the President signed into law a new relief bill which has several provisions related to OPTIONAL COVID-19 leave and paid sick leave. There are several things to keep in mind:
- Congress have extended the tax credits if an employer continues to provide BOTH paid sick leave and paid family leave (as previously defined). These credits are available through March 31, 2021.
- If the employer chooses to continue these leaves:
- You are unable to “discharge, discipline, or in any other manner discriminate against any employee who” takes leave, files a complaint, or provides testimony in support of a complaint.
- This is not a new allowance of hours. The tax credit will only apply to the maximum hours and dollars identified in the FFCRA. In other words, if a person has already used the maximum, you may provide them leave and/or pay, however you will not be able to claim a tax credit for the organization generosity beyond the leave eligibility identified in the FFCRA (80 hours maximum for Paid Sick Leave and 400 hours maximum Paid Family leave).
- Once your organization has determined if they will continue these provisions, notice must be provided to all employees.
Oregon-Columbia Chapter members can contact HR Answers, Inc., AGC’s human resources partner: