House Bill may present major changes for employers
House Bill 6201 passed in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 14, 2020. The key components of the House Bill for employers allow, under certain circumstances associated with COVID-19, paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
Covered employers include those employing fewer than 500, leaving out large employers. Smaller employers, those employing fewer than 50, can apply for a hardship excluding them from the payment requirements. The Bill will also allow tax credits for employers to offset the expense of paying for these additional benefits.
In addition to the employee relief, House Bill 6201 provides for paid coronavirus testing and increased unemployment benefits. The Senate will take House Bill 6201 up this week. Here are the key takeaways from the bill:
Paid Sick Leave
- 80 hours (two weeks) paid sick leave due to circumstances related to COVID-19 for full-time employees and the equivalent hours worked during a two week period for part-time employees.
- Employers cannot require the exhaustion of current sick pay before providing the mandatory pay.
- Notice to employees will be required.
- Paid FMLA leave due to circumstances related to COVID-19 for covered employees (those employed for at least 30 days), not including the first two weeks.
- During the first two weeks, employees may use accrued personal or sick time.
- Covered leave includes caring for a child under 18 whose school is closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both portions would go into effect 15 days after enactment and would expire on December 31, 2020.
For more information on the current bill or our thoughts on key provisions, please contact the author or any member of our Labor and Employment team.
Additional updates will be provided in the COVID-19 Resource Center on our website as well as through social media.