Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program — The CARES Act, through the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program gives access to individuals not traditionally eligible, including self-employed, independent contractors and “gig workers” and those with limited work history, who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus.
- The legislation gives 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits, to allow workers to receive up to 39 weeks, though the end of 2020. It also provides an additional $600 each week to individuals receiving unemployment benefits for up to four months.
- The one week waiting period is waived.
- Those who apply are exempt from the requirement that they be actively seeking work.
Ohioans can apply for unemployment online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at https://unemployment.ohio.gov/PublicSelfServiceChoice.html
Employers with questions should email: UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov
2. KEEPING EMPLOYEES ON THE JOB
SharedWork Ohio — SharedWork Ohio is an alternative to layoffs for employers with an hourly workforce. It allows employees to remain employed and employers to retain their staff during times of reduced business hours. The idea is to allow employers to reduce hours to avert layoffs.
- The gist is that the participating employee works the reduced hours and the ODJFS provides unemployment benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
- To implement, employers should provide ODJFS with a list of participating employees and specify their normal weekly hours of work, not to exceed 40 hours and not including overtime. Part time employees may be eligible, but all employees must have their hours reduced by this same reduction percentage.
3. PAID SICK LEAVE AND MEDICAL LEAVE
Emergency paid sick leave — Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 2 weeks of paid sick leave or full-time covered employees, which they may use for quarantine, caring for an individual in quarantine, or caring for a child due to school closures. Employees receive their regular rate of pay capped at $511/day for quarantine leave and 2/3 pay capped at $200 per day for caring for a child.
Emergency Family and medical Leave — Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 10 weeks of paid family medical leave for employees employed for at least 30 days, if the employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for a child under 18 years of age. Wage replacement must be no less than 2/3 of regular rate of pay capped at $200/day. The Secretary of Labor has the authority to make exceptions for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to prevent emergency paid leave from causing hardship
Tax credit — For both emergency paid sick leave and family and medical leave, employers receive a 100% payroll tax credit (refundable as needed for required wages plus certain health care expenses.)
4. LOANS AND GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
- Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grant and changes to traditional EIDL — The CARES Act enables applicants to request an advance on that loan of $10,000. The advance does not need to be paid back and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased productions costs, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection program provides 100 percent federally guaranteed loans up to $10 million through December 31, 2020. The maximum loan size for borrowers is capped at the lesser of 250% of the average monthly payroll costs, or $10 million.
If employers maintain their payroll, a portion of the loan would be forgiven.
These loans require the cooperation of your bank, and lenders make determinations on borrower eligibility and creditworthiness without going through the SBA.
The PPP is available to small businesses, 501(c)(3) organizations, sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals.
The borrower may be eligible for forgiveness equal to the amount spent during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan. Amounts forgiven may not exceed the principal amount of the loan. The amounts forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation.