COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation
COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation (Phase 2)
Congress passed legislation on March 18, 2020, which was immediately signed by President Trump. This stimulus builds on the first stimulus bill of $8.5 billion passed in early March and provides numerous employee benefits including:
• Establish a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak
• Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave for employees who are unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for a child because of school or daycare closing.
• The payment is capped at $200/day and $10,000 total.
• Employers may receive 100% payroll tax credit for required paid leave for employees plus health care expenses of the employer.
• Require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees
•Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 2 weeks of paid sick leave for full-time employees if the employee meets the qualifying reasons for leave (described in the matrix below).
• Employers may obtain a credit for wage replacement of required paid sick leave wages
• Expand unemployment benefits and provide grants to states for processing and paying claims
• Unemployment benefits for laid-off workers are extended to 26 weeks in most state and an additional 13 to 20 weeks may be added for workers in states with rising unemployment rates.
• Provide self-employed tax credit
• Self-employed individuals may receive a credit against the tax imposed for net earnings up to 100% of the individual’s time taken for sick-leave or 67% if taken for the care of a sick family member with a cap up to $511 per day under certain circumstances.
• Other Provisions included in the Phase 2 bill include:
• Establish requirements for providing coronavirus diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers,
• Treat personal respiratory protective devices as covered countermeasures that are eligible for certain liability protections, and
• Temporarily increase the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP)