This legislation is effective April 2. It includes three issues important to dentistry: emergency paid sick leave; emergency expansion of family and medical leave; and, tax credits. Below is a high level summary. More complete details can be found here and here.
The provision on sick leave requires employers with 500 employees or less to provide full-time employees (regardless of their duration of employment) with paid sick leave. There is an exception for employers who are health care providers or emergency responders at their election and there is a cap on the dollar amount to be paid. These sick leave provisions remains in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.
The legislation significantly amends and expands family and medical leave (FMLA). It now applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees; however, it does include language excluding health care providers and emergency responders from the definition of employees who are allowed to take such leave, and it exempts small businesses with fewer than 50 employees if the required leave would jeopardize the viability of their business. Now, any employee who has been employed for at least 30 days (before the first day of leave) may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to allow an employee, who is unable to work or telework, to care for the employee’s child (under 18 years of age) if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency. But please remember, dental offices may fall into one of the exclusions listed above and you will not have to comply with this section. A broad coalition of dental organizations, including the FDA, has sent a letter to the Secretary of Labor requesting that dental practices of fewer than 50 employees be automatically granted that exemption.
Finally, the legislation provides $1 billion in 2020 for emergency grants to states for activities related to unemployment insurance benefit processing and payment, under certain conditions. It also provides a series of refundable tax credits for employers who are required to provide the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave described above.