COVID-19 Federal Updates: April 2
Updated: Jun 9
Everything you and your business need to know about federal coronavirus response efforts for April 2, 2020.
In the U.S., a record number of 6,648,000 people filed initial unemployment claims in the last week of March, shattering the record number for the second week in a row.
President Trump said he is considering using federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid to cover the rising ranks of the uninsured after his administration decided it would not reopen the Affordable Care Act insurance markets to address the coronaivrus crisis. The President and Vice President Pence did not offer details but did indicate they were looking at some version of Medicaid and Medicare to fill in some of the cost gaps.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020.
FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. WHD administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
WHD will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA. To view the webinar visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.
On March 31, the president extended the nation’s “Slow the Spread” campaign until April 30.
The American people play a key role in the campaign to help slow the virus’ spread and keep our most high-risk populations safe.
The initiative presents the entire country with an opportunity to implement actions designed to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19, like staying home as much as much as possible, canceling or postponing gatherings of more than 10 people, and taking additional steps to distance yourself from other people.
For the latest updates and information on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick is available at www.coronavirus.gov.
Numerous federal agencies are implementing the CARES Act pursuant to last week's signing of the legislation. Please note information is being updated rapidly, but here is a brief outline, courtesy of the Ohio Business Roundtable, of public information:
IRS – Economic Impact Payments
Treasury/SBA – Small Business Loans / Paycheck Protection Program
Treasury – Employee Retention Credit
Treasury – Paid Family and Sick Leave Tax Credit
Department of Labor – Paid Family and Sick Leave Guidance
FDIC – CECL Interim Final Rule