To our valued business partners and clients,
These are uncertain times. One thing I am certain of, though, is that our team here at MBA is working hard for you. As your trusted partner for payroll, workers’ compensation, and human resources, we are doing everything we can to help you through this time. We have been providing you with daily updates, our team has been answering your calls, and we are continuing to provide excellent service to our clients.
As part of our daily updates, I wanted to address the proposed legislation impacting many of our clients and provide some resources to you:
Over the weekend, the House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Act. The House has now passed a corrective bill addressing some errors in the original bill. Both bills have been sent to the Senate and it appears the Senate will pass them. The corrective bill can be found here. While the bills are still pending Senate approval, the bills will likely impact employers as follows:
- Employers who have less than 500 employees will have to offer up to two weeks of paid sick leave to those told to quarantine, showing symptoms, exposed to the virus, or trying to get tested for or receive preventative care for the virus, or those who need time off to care for individuals impacted by the virus.
- Employers who have less than 500 employees will also have to offer job-protected Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees who need time off to care for a child under the age of 18 whose school has closed or for whom child care is not available due to the public health emergency. This leave can be unpaid for the first 10 days. Thereafter, employers must offer paid leave at 67% of the employee’s normal pay.
- There is a financial hardship exemption that will be available to qualifying employers who have less than 50 employees. It remains to be seen how this exemption will be implemented. There is also an exemption for health care providers and emergency responders.
Both the federal and state governments are considering a variety of options to assist businesses impacted by the pandemic. For example, in Florida, Governor DeSantis has activated the Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program. This program offers interest-free loans to small businesses experiencing economic injury due to the pandemic. Eligible employers can apply for the loans now through May 8, 2020. More information about this program can be found here. Small businesses can also find additional resources and funding options here.
We are actively monitoring federal and state government action on this matter and will continue to provide updates to you.
If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 727-563-1500.
Sean McConnell, CEO