The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed life as we know it in America. As a result, schools have shut down, businesses have closed, and many major events have been cancelled across the nation and in Houston. Many people have been asked to work from home. Others have been making unemployment claims in record numbers. This story is constantly developing. The coronavirus relief package passed by the government includes provisions for paid sick leave if workers need to take time off because they are sick from the coronavirus or because they need time to care for a family member or loved one who has become sick. But what is or isn’t covered under the coronavirus relief law? Who is covered?
The New York Times reports that the coronavirus relief law provides up to two weeks of paid sick leave to workers who become ill with the coronavirus or workers who have been asked to quarantine because of the virus. The relief law gives two weeks of paid leave to workers who are caring for family members who have become sick and it gives 12 weeks of paid leave to workers who need to take time to care for children because of school closures.
However, the new law only protects some workers. Those who employ more than 500 workers may be exempt from providing paid sick leave, and companies with fewer than 50 employees may be able to claim exemption if paying for sick leave would put the company out of business. Workers who are employed at mid-size companies and government workers would qualify to receive paid sick leave. Fortunately, larger companies which are exempt from the paid sick leave law may already offer their workers some form of paid sick leave, so workers who don’t believe they qualify under the new law, should speak to their company’s human resources department.
Self-employed workers can also claim coronavirus sick leave by calculating the amount of money they would earn a day, and claiming the daily earning amount as a tax credit, up to the permitted limits. These workers may be able to take the tax credit by paying less in quarterly taxes, and this credit can also save them money in taxes when they file.
Going to work while sick puts other workers at risk and the general public at risk. By providing paid sick leave to the American workforce, the new law, gives workers and employers a way to ensure that those who shouldn’t come in to work don’t infect others around them. If you have questions about whether you qualify for paid sick leave, are being denied paid sick leave that you believe you should receive, or have other questions about employment law, reach out to Moore & Associates, a Houston, Texas employment law firm today. Or, reach out to USAttorneys.com to get connected with Moore & Associates.