The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act"), provides additional unemployment benefits and clarifies certain provisions of the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

  1. Unemployment Insurance

    The FAQ sheet is available online at: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/ui-covid-faq.pdf

    The Act also covers an individual who is self-employed, is seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment or extended benefits under state or federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation and meets their requirements.

    Assistance is available to a covered individual for weeks of unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work caused by COVID-19 beginning on or after January 27, 2020 and ending on or before December 31, 2020.

    The Act expands the total number of weeks for which a covered individual may receive assistance to up to 39 weeks which would include any week for which the covered individual received regular compensation or extended benefits under any federal or state law.

    Compensation shall be made to an individual otherwise eligible for such compensation without any waiting period.

    Such assistance shall be provided through agreements with the states.

    Compensation payable to an individual shall be the amount determined under state law plus an additional amount of $600 (referred to as "Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation") until July 31, 2020.

     

    1. In sum, the new law provides:
      • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits (e.g., self-employed workers, independent contractors)
      • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation–An additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all unemployment insurance recipients; and,
      • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – An additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.
      • Title II, Subtitle A is the "Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act." The Title expands the definition of a covered individual to include an individual who is not eligible for regular compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation including an individual who has exhausted all rights to regular unemployment or extended benefits under state or federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation and:
        1. The individual one has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
        2. A member of the individual's household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
        3. The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual's household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
        4. A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
        5. The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine and posed as a direct result of COVID-19.
        6. The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
        7. The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19.
        8. The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.
        9. The individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19.
        10. The individual's place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
        11. The individual meets any additional criteria established by the Secretary for unemployment assistance.
  2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
    1. The CARES Act amends the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) to clarify that the cap of $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate when an employee takes leave related to his or her own condition applies to each employee, and similarly, the $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate when the employee takes leave related to the employee’s role as a caregiver, applies to each employee.
    2. The CARES Act amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993— Section 110(a) of Title I of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2611 et seq.) (as added by division C of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) by authorizing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to exclude for good cause from FMLA leave requirements certain employers of the United States Government with respect to certain categories of Executive Branch employees.
    3. The Act also amends the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.— (Division E of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) by authorizing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to exclude for good cause from the definition of employee under section 5110(1) certain employees, including by exempting certain United States Government employers from the Paid Sick Leave requirements with respect to certain categories of Executive Branch employees.
    4. The Act amends the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, to include for purposes of the term “employed for at least 30 calendar days”, an employee who was laid off by an employer not earlier than March 1, 2020, had worked for the employer for not less than 30 of the last 60 calendar days prior to the employee’s layoff, and was re-hired by the employer.
    5. The Act allows for advances of tax credit for employers’ Required Paid Sick Leave and Required Paid Family Leave costs.

 

If you have any questions about these recently enacted laws or any recent employment issues or concerns related to the COVID-19 crisis, please contact Brett R. Gallaway () or Jacqueline C. Gerrald ().

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