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Most employers offer different types of leave for different situations, from paid family leave and sick leave to leave based on special circumstances. Review your company benefits to prepare better for your time away from work. Your employee benefits portal is a good place to start your research.
Take a good look at your current income and expenses to understand how you currently spend your money. Now that you’re aware of your current cash flow, consider how it may change during your time away from work.
If your time away from work is expected to last for a while, it makes good financial sense to have backup options to cover your everyday expenses.
A change to your income will affect your taxes. An Ayco coach can help you understand how your time away from work may impact your federal tax situation. Consider meeting with your tax preparer to discuss the state tax specifics.
One of the ways the government has responded to this health crisis is by enacting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18, 2020.
Among other provisions like free COVID-19 testing, expanded Medicaid funding and unemployment insurance, a key provision of the Act is emergency paid sick leave for certain individuals affected by the coronavirus and social distancing measures.
Who is eligible?
If you’re employed at a company with fewer than 500 workers or are a public sector employee, you are eligible for paid emergency sick leave if you are unable to work (or tele-work) for any of the following reasons:
How much time off do you get?
The Act allows for 80 hours of sick leave for full-time workers and the equivalent of average hours worked over a two-week period for part-time workers. This sick time is available for immediate use, regardless of your tenure at your employer. If your company already offers a sick leave benefit, paid sick time under this provision will be used first.
Your employer cannot require you to use PTO or any another type of leave before availing this emergency sick time. Your job is protected and you’re also protected from workplace discrimination under this Act, if you avail of this sick time off.
If you’ve taken leave on account of your own sickness, you will be paid your normal wage or the applicable federal, state or local minimum wage, whichever is greater, subject to a cap of $511 per day and $5,110 in aggregate.
If your time off is to care for affected family members, you will be paid at two-thirds of the rate mentioned above, subject to a cap of $200 per day and $2,000 in aggregate. This will also apply if you’re experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by Health and Human Services in consultation with the Departments of Treasury and Labor.
These provisions will expire on December 31, 2020.
1Only available to individuals who have access to Ayco.
Information related to The Families First Coronavirus Response Act sourced from The National Law Review, https://www.natlawreview.com/article/senate-passes-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-what-employers-need-to-know
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Updated for tax year 2020
Updated for tax year 2019