Farmers subject to new paid sick leave provisions in coronavirus package


Farmers subject to new paid sick leave provisions in coronavirus package

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An Extension economist says farms with employees need to be aware of the new sick leave law passed as part of the coronavirus relief package.  Paul Mitchell with the University of Wisconsin tells Brownfield the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act that passed in March took effect April first, and might be catching employers by surprise. He says, “It requires all employers, people who have W-2 employees to provide up to 80 hours of sick leave for employees affected directly by the COVID virus, so if you get someone who gets sick, by this new law you have to require them (to take) 80 hours of paid leave at their full rate.”

Mitchell says the new law provides a way to pay for the sick leave through payroll tax credits. “So, like let’s say you would pay the employee one-thousand dollars in this sick leave, just to make a nice round number, you can reduce your payroll taxes when you file your quarterly taxes by a thousand dollars, so it’s meant to balance out that way so you don’t have to be out money directly.”

Mitchell says the mandatory sick leave applies for all W-2 employees who have symptoms, are sick, waiting for test results, or under recommended quarantine by state rules or a doctor’s advice.  He says farmers and all employers paying the extra sick leave should work with their accountant or tax specialist to make sure they get the appropriate tax credits.

Note: Mitchell also discusses some of the CFAP information for crop producers in the attached video.

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