Emergency Sick Leave in Brief



Office Evolution caters to a variety of businesses and organizations, but the most common member is a for-profit company with less than five employees. So, typically, a small, entrepreneurial business. A podcast episode released this morning from OneZone Commerce details some aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a COVID-19 relief bill signed into law on March 18. The podcast can be found here and is super-helpful for an organization of any size. A couple of important highlights of the episode are below.

Within the bill is an aspect titled Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. It codifies how employers should allow their employees to take paid time away from the workplace for reasons connected to the pandemic. There are three qualifying reasons an employee can take the paid sick leave, but as of tonight at midnight, when everyone in Indiana will be under the governor’s quarantine order, all employees who are unable to work from home will qualify since one of the three reasons is being subject to a government-mandated quarantine order.

So, what do employers have to pay? And does this really apply to you and your organization?

Employers are required to pay up to 80 hours of full pay (up to $511/day or $5,110 over the benefit period). And this only applies if the employee is unable to telecommute and work from home. If your employee can work from home, then they will just continue doing their job from there instead of the office.

While paying people their full pay and not requiring them to work for it in exchange should allow employees to stay at home thereby allowing all of us to help end this pandemic sooner, it would stink to pay employees with no work in return. Rest easy, Congress thought this through. The payroll distributed due to quarantine becomes a tax credit for 2020.

There is page after page after page of additional detail in this bill. This blog post seems timely, though, as Indiana will be under a quarantine order as of midnight tonight.

Of course, speak with your legal and CPA leaders connected to your organization. They should study the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to determine its overall effects on your business. We hope this post and linking to OneZone’s podcast is helpful, though. Additionally, this breakdown of the bill from KFF is also super useful. (Be warned, it’s still somewhat written in legalese.)

Stay safe out there, Fishers!