Preface: These are genuinely “uncharted waters,” as Governor Wolf said. The economic expedition employers and employees have involuntary embarked on does not promise an easily charted path forward.
Surviving Amidst A Business Euroclydon
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA
It is a year for the history books—a global pandemic with unparalleled complexity for the globe, nation, and each state community. The continuing pandemic developments are surreal for both business and individual families.
On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf ordered a shut-down of non-life sustain businesses. Valid on that day, enforcement is scheduled to begin on Monday the 23rd at 8:00 AM. This Governor’s proclamation is planned to be strictly enforced. Remote business activities are permitted to continue, so employees who can work from home, you can supposedly continue business as usual.
The individual list of Pennsylvania life-sustaining businesses and non-life sustaining businesses can be read on this link. March-21-2020-Industry-Operation-Guidance. If you have a question, please contact your trusted advisor. If you need an opinion on the specifics for your business or the risks of disregarding this crisis order, contact your attorney.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on Wednesday, March 18th, and goes into effect on April 2nd, 2020. The new law specifics have been expanded requirements for family medical from work. This crisis law extension remains in effect until December 31st, 2020.
The Family Medical Leave Act is for emergency paid sick leave: Full-time employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees that are unable to work due to COVID-19 are eligible for 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave. Part-time employees are eligible to receive the equivalent of the number of hours they would work, on average, for two weeks.
The crisis law extends to the FMLA for an employer with fewer than 500 employees, expands the definition of a covered employee to include all employees who have worked for covered employers for at least 30 days. So now, your employees will be eligible for up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave if they are seeking a diagnosis or have quarantine instructions from a doctor. Or if they are caring for a person under quarantine, self-quarantine, or say for children unable to attend school or childcare, or any similar condition. So, if an employee has a dependent home from school or childcare, they qualify for the FMLA extension parameters.
Any full-time qualifying employee is entitled to 80 hours of paid leave, and a part-time employee is entitled to pay for regular hours worked in two weeks. Employers with one to forty-nine employees must provide qualifying paid time off under the above circumstances. An employee may apply for sick leave before opting on the extension to the Family Medical Leave Act.
There is a clause that employees laid off before April 2nd do not qualify for the new crisis laws. Consult your labor attorney before making any crisis decision.
To quote Albert Einstein, “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.” Ernest Shackleton was a genius explorer. Also consider what you can learn from the book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage.
These are genuinely “uncharted waters,” as Governor Wolf said. The economic expedition employers and employees have involuntary embarked on does not promise an easily charted path forward.
Will you be safe in a crisis with a significant cash position? Remember the trivial concern with the Cypriot Financial Crisis 2011 haircuts? Maybe not?
And to our friends, Godspeed. Feel free to call if you want to chat.