Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

  • Effective 4/2/20 employers with fewer than 500 employees and all government employers regardless of size must provide both paid and unpaid public health emergency leave to certain employees through 12/31/20.

  • This leave applies to both full-time and part-time employees and takes precedence over all existing sick leave policies and must be provided in addition to the sick leave policy already in place.

  • If leave is requested under this Act, employers must pay full-time employees their regular pay for 80 hours over a two week period and part-time employees are entitled to paid sick leave based upon the average number of hours worked in a given/typical two week period.

    • Compensation is limited to $511 per day and $5,110 in total if:

      • The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;

      • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; or

      • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

    • Compensation is limited to $200 per day and $2,000 in total if:

      • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;

      • The employee is caring for their child if the school or place of care has been closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions; or

      • The employee is experiencing any other substantial condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

  • Employer is entitled to take a refundable tax credit in an amount equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave paid for each calendar quarter plus a pro rata share of the employer’s qualified health plan expenses.

    • The tax credit is capped at either $511/day or $200/day depending upon the type of qualifying leave taken.

    • This benefit is claimed by offsetting the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that was paid against the employer’s payroll tax deposit. Where the amount of the sick and child care leave exceeds the payroll taxes due the employer is eligible to receive an accelerated refund of the excess.

  • Businesses with less than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the leave requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue.