March 25, 2020
New: Department of Labor Posts FAQ on Paid Leave from Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of guidance to provide information on the leave included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). If you recall, the FFCRA imposes new family sick leave requirements on certain employers for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members, with tax credits to reimburse small businesses and self-employed to cover the leave.
The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – tries to address questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses may begin to obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.
This guidance is not all-inclusive of every question or situation and is only the first round of resources to be provided. As more questions arise, DOL is soliciting feedback to address in future compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools. Input is being collected until March 29, 2020, online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com.
CARES Act (Phase 3 Economic Stimulus Package) Update
Although it’s been reported that a bipartisan deal was reached on the $2 trillion package early this morning in the Senate, negotiations over the final bill text and details are still ongoing this afternoon. That said, the Senate is expected to vote on the final package at some point today. Speaker Pelosi said yesterday the House could approve a Senate-passed bill by unanimous consent – a procedure that would allow the chamber to pass the bill without calling members back to Washington, provided no lawmakers object. It remains unclear whether any objections will arise. In the meatime, Axios has released a good summary of what the bill will broadly include, though I should caution that details and provisions could still shift in the final version, especially if there are objections from the House.
NAR’s policy and lobby teams are analyzing the draft verions of the bill and will release a summary that will give an overview of the legislation’s impact on/benefits for REALTORS® and small businesses, as soon as the bill is finalized. Stay tuned