BENEFITS FOR UNIONS, NOT-FOR-PROFITS, PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, AND SMALL EMPLOYERS DURING THE COVID 19 CRISIS
Recently enacted Federal legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), provide a number of benefits for unions, not-for-profit corporations, employee benefit plans, professional corporations and associations, and other employers. If you have questions or want to talk to an attorney about the rights of your non-profit or small business during this pandemic, please contact us online or call 314-732-1127 or 888-365-0445 or visit us on Facebook.
- PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM: The American Rescue Plan provides that 501(c)(5) labor unions, apprenticeship programs exempt under 501(c)(5), and employee benefit plans exempt under 501(c)(9) are now eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in addition to small businesses, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, 501(c)(6) exempt market research funds, and other 501(c) exempt organizations. PPP loans are designed to help avoid layoffs during the Covid-19 crisis. Part or all of the loan amount may be forgiven. The current deadline for filing an application for a PPP loan is March 31, 2021.
- ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS: This program provides loans with low interest rates and deferred payments under certain circumstances.
- EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT: A refundable payroll tax credit may be available to eligible unions, trust funds, apprenticeship schools, and other businesses that, due to COVID-19-related government orders, (1) experience a significant decline in gross receipts or (2) partially or fully suspend their operations. A “significant decline in gross receipts” is defined as 50% drop in revenue in any quarter in 2020 compared to comparable 2019 quarter increased to 80% for any quarter in 2021. For wages paid between March 12, 2020, to December 31, 2020, the maximum credit per employee is $5,000 per year. For wages paid between January 1, 2021 and July 1, 2021, the maximum credit per employee is $7,000 per quarter.
- CHARITABLE DEDUCTION LIBERALIZATION: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extended the CARES Act changes to the rules governing charitable deductions, including allowing corporations to deduct more of their charitable cash contributions through 2021 and raising the limit on the amount of the allowed deduction for donations of food inventory to a charitable organization from 15% to 25% of a corporation’s taxable income through 2021.
- TAX CREDITS FOR EMERGENCY SICK LEAVE AND EMERGENCY FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT PAYMENTS: Employers are no longer required to pay employees additional emergency sick leave and expanded Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave under the FFRCA; however, effective March 31, 2021 employers that voluntarily provide such paid leave are permitted to take payroll tax credits to offset the cost of such leave.
- RETALIATION OR DISCRIMINATION: Federal and State laws may also be implicated during this crisis if an employer retaliates against or fails to accommodate employees with COVID-19 or its symptoms or who take COVID-19 related leave. A COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms of it and an individual vulnerability to it may raise issues of disability or age discrimination, reasonable accommodations, and confidentiality of personal health information.
- WORKPLACE SAFETY CONCERNS AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF MEDICAL INFORMATION: In these COVID-19 times, small businesses and not for profits might find themselves with unprecedented conflicting obligations under laws intended to protect employees’ safety and others intended to protect confidentiality of medical information, such as, OSHA, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and HIPPA.
This is a developing and changing area of the law which our firm is monitoring for the most up-to-date government regulations and guidance regarding its interpretation and application.
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