Small Businesss Exemptions for Coronavirus Paid Leave Act

The other day I published highlights of The Families First Coronavius Response Act.
We talked about how employees get 80 hours at their regular rate or 2/3’s of their regular rate under certain conditions.

In that article, I stated that there are NO small employer exceptions to this as enacted in the final law. This does not seem to be completely true.
Many of you have contacted us alarmed at this requirement, and we continued to dig more on this.

In the early House version, there was clearly an exemption for small businesses with 50 or less employees. This provision does appear to have been dropped in the version that went to law, but replaced with something else.

The legislation currently states the secretary may “exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of section 102(a)(1)(F) when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”

It’s unclear at this time how a small business can request an exemption and for which guidelines under the legislation the exemption will apply.
It’s our opinion this provision would jeopardisze the viability of virtually all our clients.

We’ll keep you apprised if we learn more.

Thank you,
Steven Feinberg