Dairy farms with fewer than 500 employees on the payroll are required to provide your employees with the following paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave entitlements for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These requirements are from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which is a new Federal law that became effective on April 1, 2020.
These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Learn more about what you need to know as an employer and the entitlements you must be providing to your farm employees.
Paid Sick Leave Entitlements
These benefits are available to any employee on your payroll. As an employer, you must provide 80 hours of paid sick leave benefits paid as follows:
- 100% of their regular rate of pay for qualifying reasons #1-3 below – up to $511 daily and $5,110 total
- 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for qualifying reasons #4 and #6 below – up to $200 daily and $2,000 total
- Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for qualifying reason #5 below – paid at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay
Part-time employees: They are eligible for leave for the number of hours they are normally scheduled to work over that period.
Qualifying Reasons for Leave Related to COVID-19
An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if they are unable to work for the following reasons. Use these reasons to determine the rate of pay for your employee’s leave based on the requirements listed above.
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local isolation order related to COVID-19* (*The current Governor’s ‘Stay at Home’ order doesn’t qualify for these benefits)
- The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
- The employee is caring for an individual with an isolation order or a self-quarantine order
- The employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the US Department of Health and Human Services
Tax Refund: Your business will receive credit for the same amount you are required to give the employee. Credit is refundable and offsets the employer’s portion of the social security tax when you file your quarterly payroll taxes.
Paid Family Leave
Paid family leave benefits provide a total of up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees who cannot work because their minor child’s school or childcare service is closed due to COVID-19 precautions.
- These benefits apply to any employee who has been on the payroll for at least 30 days.
- The employee may use Emergency Paid Sick Leave for the first two weeks (otherwise unpaid).
- The employee may also substitute other available paid leave.
- The leave benefit should be paid at 66% or regular earnings up to a cap of $200/day (or $12,000 total)
- Varying hour calculations may be used for part-time employees.
- The covered employer will also receive the tax credit for mandatory Paid Family Leave payments.
- Your employees may first use the available Emergency Paid Sick Leave before being required to use their accrued leave. Emergency Paid Sick Leave will not be available after COVID-19 crisis, and there is no pay-out or carry-over.
- Make sure you send this poster to any employees working remotely so they understand their rights if they or one of their family members gets sick.
- Track the benefits you pay to any employees who get sick, so your business can receive a credit when filing quarterly payroll taxes. You must obtain written documentation from the employee requesting this sick pay or paid leave.