Business owners are being challenged by a rapidly changing work environment due to the coronavirus pandemic. State officials are implementing policies that affect businesses, consumers, and employees daily.
Here’s a brief overview of businesses’ rights and responsibilities concerning employment issues and creating a safe workplace.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect Apr. 1, requires companies under 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. This covers employees impacted by quarantine requirements, those caring for children whose school or daycare has been closed, or someone sick with COVID-19 or a similar condition. The amount of paid leave employees are eligible to receive depends on the reason for their absence.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can request a small business exemption, but the exact criteria for this exemption is forthcoming. Businesses with less than 500 employees will be fully reimbursed by the federal government within three months through tax credits. Self-employed people who are paid as independent contractors are also eligible for tax credits if they’re facing similar coronavirus-related circumstances. Again, the details of this program are still in progress.
Exempt, salaried employees generally must receive their full salary any week in which they perform any work, according to the Department of Labor. However, if an employer offers vacation benefits, the business can require employees to use their accrued leave on specific days.