Be Aware of Legal Obligations for COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

— Written By
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Bob Milligan’s May 1 newsletter that noted a potential liability for employers related to COVID-19.
Fortunately, most of you have not yet had employees with COVID-19. It is imperative that you be prepared by a) protecting your business from a calamity like the one that has hit many packing plants, b) following the rules and guidelines for combating COVID-19, and c) keeping records so your business can be credited for the expenses covered under the new laws. What you must do relative to COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave for Employees is spelled out in a poster that you are legally required to post or sent to all employees if you have from 1 to 499 employees.
You can read the details in the poster, but essentially whenever an employee has COVID-19, they are entitled to two additional weeks of paid sick leave. You, however, can recoup this expense by reducing your Federal employee tax deposits.
The law also requires sick leave at 2/3 pay for several reasons related to COVID-19. There is a provision for this part of the law to exempt businesses with less that 50 employees when that payment will result in undue financial hardship. The hardship exemption details are not yet determined to my knowledge.
The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that sick employees do not come to work and to financially assist their employers – you. Legally you are obligated to follow these regulations; however, I encourage you to do it to protect you, your employees, and your farm.

Written By

Brittany Whitmire, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionBrittany WhitmireDairy Extension Associate E-mail Brittany Agricultural & Resource Economics
NC State Extension, NC State University
Updated on May 3, 2020
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