Good morning, everyone,
As promised, here’s our quick effort to keep you on top of things. Also, please don’t forget about Stanton Law’s webinar Friday at 11:30 a.m. We’ll be running down the latest news and providing best practices advice for how your shop can contend with this nuttiness. Register Here
• Attention all Georgia employers, on March 16, 2020, the Georgia Dept. of Labor (GDOL) implemented an emergency rule regarding partial claims. This emergency rule mandates that all Georgia employers file online partial claims for their employees any week they work fewer than the number of hours they usually do because of a partial or total company shutdown due to COVID-19. This applies to both full-time and part-time employees.
o It is huge for Georgia employers, so do not ignore this. First off, the responsibility is on the employer, not the employee to file these partial claims. If you violate this rule, you will have to fully reimburse the GDOL for unemployment insurance benefits. Second, filing partial claims results in your employees receiving unemployment insurance benefit payments faster (usually within 48 hours if you file online). Also, for whom you file for do not have to report to a GDOL career center, register for employment service, or look for additional work. This helps put money in the pockets of your employees, making them happy, AND keeps money in your pockets to keep you in business.
• The Feds are trying to process tax returns over the next two weeks to put more cash into consumers’ pockets. An estimated $200 billion is expected to be paid out by early April. Also, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that individuals or businesses that owe taxes to the IRS can defer payments up to 90 days interest free.
o With this ability to defer, it may be best to file taxes now, even if you think you will owe money – then hold off on payment. If you fail to file, however, there may be a late filing penalty. We’re not accountants, though, so please talk with one.
• The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the second relief bill in response to COVID-19, was amended Monday night by the House of Representatives to help iron out some issues. The amendment changed the reasons for leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act and Emergency Paid Leave Act and provided some additional safe harbor provisions. The Senate is expected to review both the original bill and the amended bill and vote on it today. President Trump has publicly supported the FFCRA, so expect it to be in the books soon. The provisions most immediately relevant to businesses under 500 employees will become effective just two weeks after the president signs.
o If you have questions regarding these new changes or what this relief bill will do to your business, please check out our detailed post and do not hesitate to give us a call at 404-531-2341.
• A third relief bill has been mentioned by White House officials pushing roughly $850 billion as an economic stimulus, with $500 billion coming in the form of tax cuts and $250 billion coming in the form of Small Business Administration loans.
o This third relief bill coming down the track could relieve some of the pressure associated with the mandatory paid leave required in the FFCRA. Obviously, no one knows what this potential third relief bill will look like after getting through Congress, so don’t rely on this to keep your business afloat — make other adjustments.
• As mentioned in yesterday’s Stanton Law Daily Digest, President Trump and his coronavirus task force have released guidelines for everyone to implement in order to slow down COVID-19. These guidelines are in effect for the next 13 days and have been referred to as a “trial” by the task force, suggesting there may be more to come.
o Although these guidelines are recommendations and referred to as a “trial” by the Trump Administration, they should not be taken lightly. If you have not implemented or made plans for your business to work remotely, you should do so now while you still have time. Response to COVID-19 has exploded in the last week so it is hard to say where we will be in the next few weeks. Best practice will be to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
With that, have a good day. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 and your business, please do not hesitate to call us at 404-531-2341 or set up an appointment on one of our attorneys’ Calendly.
Stanton Law is your resource for daily updates on COVID-19’s effect on your business. Just contact your experienced Atlanta employment attorneys at 404-531-2341 or online.