The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act builds on the previous federal laws passed in response to COVID-19.
The CARES Act allows small and medium sized businesses to receive federal loans (in some cases forgivable) to cover payroll and other expenses. It aims to boost the economy with provisions that impact unemployment insurance, business loans, employer-sponsored health insurance, retirement savings, and employer-provided education assistance.
It also expands unemployment benefits for workers impacted by the outbreak, while extending unemployment eligibility to many who are otherwise not regularly entitled to receive such benefits.
The CARES Act Works for All Americans
Payroll Tax & Unemployment Questions
I see that the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Application requires a payroll report, is there any issue if an eligible borrower contracts with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to process payroll and report payroll taxes?
The SBA recognizes that eligible borrowers who use PEOs or similar payroll providers are required under some state registration laws to report wage and other data on the Employer Identification Number (EIN) of the PEO or other payroll provider. In these cases, payroll documentation provided by the payroll provider that indicates the amount of wages and payroll taxes reported to the IRS by the payroll provider for the borrower’s employees will be considered acceptable PPP loan payroll documentation. Relevant information from a Schedule R (Form 941), Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers, attached to the PEO’s or other payroll provider’s Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, should be used if it is available; otherwise, the eligible borrower should obtain a statement from the payroll provider documenting the amount of wages and payroll taxes. In addition, employees of the eligible borrower will not be considered employees of the eligible borrower’s payroll provider or PEO.
Last Updated: 4/4/20
Will there be any issues receiving our payroll package from Prestige during the New York State on Pause Executive Order?
Although there is a lockdown order in place for New York State, it will be “Business as usual” for Prestige. Payroll packages will be delivered as normal, unless you require an alternative method. Please direct requests or questions to your Payroll Specialist.
Furlough or Terminate, what should I do?
Generally, Furlough or temporary layoff is used with the understanding that the employee be recalled back to work if business conditions improve. Furlough status can be used to continue benefits or offer the employee COBRA while keeping the employee status active.
Terminations should be used when an employer is less certain that improved business conditions will allow the employee to be recalled. Benefits are typically terminated with a permanent lay off.
Please reach out to either your Payroll Specialist or Human Resource Business Partner to discuss your options in detail.
Can I opt-out of Federal Tax?
You can update your Federal or State taxes on the PrestigeGO mobile app or PrestigePRO
employee portal. It is always recommended that you speak with your tax professional before changing your Federal or State tax withholdings.
How do I apply for the stimulus check?
If you have filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you don’t need to do anything else. If you haven’t filed taxes for either year, the IRS recommends that you file back taxes for 2018. The government will first look at your 2019 return to determine your eligibility. If you have not filed your 2019 return, they will look at your 2018 tax return.
How do I count hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?
A part-time employee is entitled to leave for his or her average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, you calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee’s schedule varies, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. Such a part-time employee may take paid sick leave for this number of hours per day for up to a two-week period and may take expanded family and medical leave for the same number of hours per day up to ten weeks after that.
If this calculation cannot be made because the employee has not been employed for at least six months, use the number of hours that you and your employee agreed that the employee would work upon hiring. And if there is no such agreement, you may calculate the appropriate number of hours of leave based on the average hours per day the employee was scheduled to work over the entire term of his or her employment.
When calculating pay due to employees, must overtime hours be included?
Yes. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act requires you to pay an employee for hours the employee would have been normally scheduled to work even if that is more than 40 hours in a week.
However, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires that paid sick leave be paid only up to 80 hours over a two-week period. For example, an employee who is scheduled to work 50 hours a week may take 50 hours of paid sick leave in the first week and 30 hours of paid sick leave in the second week. In any event, the total number of hours paid under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is capped at 80.
If I am an employer, may I supplement or adjust the pay mandated under the FFCRA with paid leave that the employee may have under my paid leave policy?
If your employee chooses to use existing leave, you have provided, yes; otherwise, no. Paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave under the FFCRA is in addition to employees’ preexisting leave entitlements, including Federal employees. Under the FFCRA, the employee may choose to use existing paid vacation, personal, medical, or sick leave from your paid leave policy to supplement the amount your employee receives from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, up to the employee’s normal earnings.
However, you are not required to permit an employee to use existing paid leave to supplement the amount your employee receives from paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. Further, you may not claim, and will not receive a tax credit, for such supplemental amounts.
If I want to pay my employees more than they are entitled to receive for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, can I do so and claim a tax credit for the entire amount paid to them?
You may pay your employees in excess of FFCRA requirements. But you cannot claim and will not receive a tax credit for those amounts in excess of the FFCRA’s statutory limits.
Do I have to pay my employees if we close the company?
Paying employees is determined by their status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or under state law.
Generally, nonexempt employees are compensated for hours worked. With nonexempt employees, scheduled hours and hourly pay can be reduced unless “reporting time” pay is required under state or local regulations. While exempt employees must be compensated for any weeks in which some work is performed. Exempt employees are not required to be paid in which they perform no work.
A company may also have pay obligations covered under contractual agreements such as an employment contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement.
*The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements.