HR6201 – FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate and then signed by the President before it becomes law. This is a very “fluid” situation. It is changing by the minute.
So many of you have called, e-mailed and texted me your questions. All the questions revolve around the payment of compensation to your teams, now and in the future.
Below are my notes as they relate to your questions:
Employees can collect 24 weeks of unemployment.
It is mandatory to pay employees if they are being asked to work remotely.
Unemployment law is unique to each State. If the Dental Practice is closed and it is out of the employee’s control, the employee can apply for unemployment.
Schiff Dental CPA Clients – Please go to your individual State unemployment website to review the frequently asked questions. Please see the direct links below:
Maryland – https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml
Virginia – https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Frequently-Asked-Questions-from-Workers-Regarding-COVID-19.pdf
DC – https://dccouncil.us/council-unanimously-passes-emergency-covid-19-response-bill/
Pennsylvania – https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/covid19.aspx
Texas – https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/how-do-i-file-for-unemployment-in-texas-due-to-covid-19/285-a7ee5287-dc88-4ccc-bcb5-5d1eea831695
North Carolina – https://des.nc.gov/need-help/covid-19-information
West Virginia – Nothing posted yet.
No penalty now if the employee files for unemployment-this was confirmed with the ADA today (we needed to hear this today, before we could release this update).
Associates treated as independent contractors are not employees and cannot claim unemployment.
I am waiting for clarity from the stimulus package with respect to the following questions:
Does an employee have to use their PTO before they can file for unemployment?
How much of the current and future payrolls will be subsidized by the Federal Government? How will they be subsidized?
Will there be payroll tax refunds from the payroll taxes paid thus far in 2020?
Will there be “tax credits” issued in lieu of tax refunds?
There are still many unanswered questions. We need to be patient and allow the Stimulus Package to be passed…it is forthcoming.
Legal & Financial Topics
The ADA is trying to get dentists exempt from the HR 6201 Stimulus Bill. https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/march/ada-lobbies-coronavirus-legislative-package
The ADA may lobby the insurance commissioners to gain help with office overhead insurance policies (business interruption policies). Many policies exclude pandemics.
I have just become aware of some large group dental practices not abiding by the ADA recommendations and “scaring” young associates into working. This is very sad!
We are encouraging all clients to secure a line of credit (LOC) with their bank.
What is a “dental emergency”? Examples include life-threatening, soft tissue bleeding, postoperative, for medical clearance, denture adjustment…please see the ADA website for further definitions.
“Routine dental treatment” examples include ortho extractions, cosmetic, aesthetic, prophy.
M95 masks – You cannot practice dentistry without these masks, but these masks are almost impossible to get because they are now being directed to hospitals.
Covid -19 – If an employee meets the following criteria:
- The employee has a current diagnosis of COVID-19.
- The employee is quarantined (including self-imposed quarantine), at the instruction of a health care provider, employer, or government official, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- The employee is caring for another person who has COVID-19 or who is under a quarantine related to COVID-19.
- The employee is caring for a child or other individual who is unable to care for themselves due to the COVID-19 related closing of their school, childcare facility, or other care program.
If an Employee falls within these four (4) categories, they will qualify for the “Emergency Paid Leave Benefits”
This section creates a new federal emergency paid leave benefit program. Eligible workers will receive a benefit for a month (up to three months) in which they must take 14 or more days of leave from their work due to the qualifying COVID-19-related reasons. Days when an individual receives pay from their employer (regular wages, sick pay, or other paid time off) or unemployment compensation do not count as leave days for purposes of this benefit.
The program will be administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
I will be in touch as the situation progresses…please email me any specific questions you may have after you have had a chance to read this information.
My best to all…please stay healthy!