While the Act’s direct payments of $1,200 to low- and middle-income Americans will perhaps garner the most attention, the Act’s unemployment expansion, its tax credit for closed or distressed businesses, and its loan expansion programs are most consequential for employers. Each provision is detailed below.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance –
- The employee is diagnosed with coronavirus,
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and is seeking a diagnosis or test,
- A member of the employee’s household has been diagnosed with coronavirus,
- The employee is caring for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with coronavirus,
- The employee is caring for a child or other household member whose school or daycare facility has been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic,
- The employee is unable to reach his or her workplace due to quarantine imposed as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic,
- The employee is unable to reach the place of employment because a health care provider has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to concerns related to coronavirus,
- The employee “was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job” as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic
- The employee has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household died from coronavirus,
- The employee quit his or her job as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, or
- The employee’s workplace as closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. These unemployment benefits are NOT available to individuals who still have the ability to telework. Neither are these benefits available to employees who are receiving paid sick leave or other sick leave benefits, even if they otherwise meet one or more qualifying criteria.
Tax Credit for Closed or Distressed Businesses –
The credit is available to employers (1) whose operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a coronavirus-related shutdown order, or (2) whose gross receipts declined by 50% or more compared to the same quarter of 2019. For businesses with more than 100 full-time employees, the credit is only available if the business is not providing any services because of coronavirus shutdowns, whereas businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees can utilize it even if they remain open for business.
Loans for Small and Midsize Businesses –
The Act also establishes new loan programs for midsize businesses of between 500-10,000 employees and for particularly distressed industries, including airlines and railroads. We encourage you to reach out to your financial advisors for more information regarding these new loan programs.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of new laws; we expect the next few weeks to be a whirlwind of new guidance. We will continue to keep you informed of new developments and encourage you to contact our attorneys with any questions or concerns you may have. Your workforce is our priority.
The K|W|W Team