Legislative Updates Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)March 11, 2021 Alert
We’re keeping you updated on legislative changes and how you can leverage Paylocity products to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Updated March 11, 2021
The legislative response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by government organizations, businesses, and individuals continue to evolve in efforts to both slow the spread of the virus and to help Americans manage the personal and financial impact of COVID-19.
We want to help you stay informed on the impact on your people and your business. Paylocity is closely monitoring legislative changes, including ongoing enforcement and revisions to the major federal bills. Bookmark and revisit this page for ongoing updates.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021
- Extension of leave benefits and tax credits from Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- Earned Income and Child Tax Credit Improvements for 2021
- Expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits
- Direct stimulus payments
- Worker safety
- Grants to impacted industries
- Modifications to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Extension of Employee Retention Credit
- COBRA subsidy credits
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA)
- Passed Congress on December 21, 2020. Signed by the President on December 27, 2020.
- Get more details in our CAA Compliance Alert.
At a Glance
- Extends tax credits on leave benefits from FFCRA
- Extends and enhances Employee Retention Credits
- Additional funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with updated eligibility requirements and possibility of second loan for hardest-hit small businesses
- Expands unemployment insurance benefits
- Student loan provisions
- Direct stimulus payments
- Temporary relief for Healthcare FSAs and Dependent Care FSAs
- Extends due date for repayment of deferred Employee Social Security tax
- Allows for up to 40% of the loan to be invested into cloud and software upgrades
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Paylocity Product Updates
Clients can take advantage of new tax and earning codes to track different types of payments and associate tax credits to maintain compliance. Here is a summary:
- Paid Sick Leave
- Paid leave accruals and requests under the appropriate type will reflect the new accrual policy.
- Paid leave accruals and requests are applied at the correct rate depending on type of leave (self or dependent) and daily maximum for time taken between April 1 and December 31, 2020.
- Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA)
- When you add this new leave tracking request type, the platform will calculate how much EFMLA the employee is eligible for and populate total hours. Users will be prevented from adding an item before April 1 or after December 31, 2020.
- Calculations ensure the first 2 weeks of this time is unpaid; pay is at 2/3 the average pay rate; only entries between April 1 and December 31, 2020, are paid; and the daily pay is capped at $200.
- Tax Credits
- Payroll Summary and Pre-Process Register reports include tax credits for employees who use the new EFMLA or Sick Leave, including:
- FFCRA SS Credit
- FFCRA Medicare Credit
- FFCRA Wage Credit
- FFCRA Medical Premium Credit
- Unapplied Credit FFCRA
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
PPP Flexibility Act
President Trump signed HR 7010, PPP Flexibility Act on Friday, June 5, 2020. The provisions of this bill provided below are now effective.
- Extend the forgiveness eligibility timeline from eight weeks to the earlier of 24 weeks from the loan origination date, or December 31, 2020
- Allow borrowers who had a forgiven PPP loan to defer employer SS tax
- Allow borrowers to use PPP funds for more non-payroll costs.
Paylocity Product Updates
- Employer social security tax payment deferral
- Clients can simply contact their account manager or implementation consultant to make this adjustment.
- The system keeps a running total, which you can view in the Year to Date Report.
- Employee retention credit
- Opt in via our system in two short steps.
- Paylocity will automatically calculate your credits to any ongoing check dates, including furloughed employees.
- Reports include eligible credit amounts.
- Paylocity helps calculate the credit available credit back to March 13
- Paycheck Protection Program
- The new Paycheck Protection Program report helps you understand how much you’re eligible to receive and easily access critical data required for the application.
- Postpone student loan garnishments easily by updating deductions in Payroll Setup.
Other Federal Legislation and Activities
- Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
- IRS Extends Due Date for Tax Payments
- IRS FAQs Clarify 2019 HSA Contributions
- Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response
- Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Computer Equipment and Peripherals for Remote Employees
- Stop Wage Garnishment and Collection Actions for Student Loan Borrowers due to COVID-19 Emergency
- Routine visa services at all US embassies and consulates worldwide
State and Local Legislation and Activities
More than 30 states or localities have paid sick leave ordinances or paid family and medical leave ordinances already in place, but additional state-level legislation is in progress to offer support for families. Please be sure to check your state or local paid leave requirements for employee and employer eligibility requirements. Note: The CDC recommends that you do not ask employees for a doctor’s note to approve their paid leave requests.
See Shelter-in-Place Orders By State for a list of all states and local areas that have issued shelter-in-place and business closure orders.
HDHP Coverage for Testing and Treatment
On March 11, the IRS released Notice 2020-15 to facilitate the nation’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency by removing potential administrative and financial barriers to testing for and treatment of COVID-19. The notice allows for all medical care services and item purchases associated with testing for and treatment of COVID-19 to be disregarded in determining the status of a health plan as a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).
As a result, individuals covered by such a plan will not lose eligibility for HSA contributions merely because of the provision of those health benefits for testing and treatment of COVID-19.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided some guidelines for workplace safety to protect employees and limit exposure:
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment Standard
- OSHA’s General Duty Clause
- OSHA’s Blood Pathogen Standard
OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements require that employers record certain work-related illnesses and injuries on their OSHA 300 log. COVID-19 is a recordable illness if the employee contracts the virus during work hours.
Along with the federal OSHA standards, there are 28 states that have their own OSHA standards. Please see OSHA State Plans for more information on the state-specific standards.
The CDC has issued guidance for traveling within the United States and abroad. It is recommended that employers review their existing travel policies and take the necessary steps to ensure their employee population has a minimal risk of exposure.
Remember to check these sites regularly for the most up to date information on the COVID-19.
- World Health Organization
- U.S Department of Health and Human Services
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
We’re in this together. Check out our COVID-19 Resources page for legislative updates, helpful guides and templates, and Micro Kits that offer tips on using the Paylocity suite to support your employees and business. Stay up to date by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.