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MP: Good afternoon, everyone and welcome we’re going to give everybody a few minutes to join and we’ll start the program at one.
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MP: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today for an MP webinar with important updates on Massachusetts extended coven 19 emergency sick paid sick leave Program.
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MP: I mean human head of marketing here at MP and for those of you joining us on a webinar for the first time.
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MP: MP, is a full service human capital management company offering a suite of products and services, including HR payroll benefits administration.
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MP: Time and attendance and compliance assistance we support our clients with cutting edge technical solutions, as well as proactive reliable service and deep HR and payroll expertise.
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MP: At MP, we are wired for HR help our clients succeed by aligning their people strategy with their business goals i’m thrilled to introduce your presenters today.
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MP: To have MPs HR solution specialist sherry Heller and amanda leonardi.
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MP: sherry Heller is a senior HR advisor here at emp she provides HR support to businesses in a wide variety of industries.
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MP: sherry consults with business owners and managers at all levels of the organization to develop and implement their HR infrastructure.
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MP: sherry has over 20 years of experience and training and development strategic planning policy development and employee relations, along with a master of education and instructional design from umass Boston.
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MP: amanda Leonardo is an HR generalist here MP, she currently provides HR support to small, medium and large sized businesses in a variety of industries and previously managed HR for 250 employee nonprofit organization.
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MP: amanda received her BA degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and received her sherm certification earlier this year.
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MP: Just a few reminders if you’d like to submit a question during the program please use the Q amp a feature at the bottom of the screen they’ll be plenty of time for answering questions.
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MP: Also, will be sending out a recording of the webinar later today also with the PowerPoint presentation as well, and with that i’m going to hand the MIC off to sherry.
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Sheri Heller: Thank you amy and good afternoon everybody, excuse me i’m going to start out with our legal disclaimer especially today because this training is intended for educational and.
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Sheri Heller: informational purposes only we are going to be talking a lot about employment law today, but we are not attorneys and we don’t want anything to be construed as legal advice.
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Sheri Heller: Alright, so our presentation topics today we’re going to go over the mask over to emergency paid sick leave law.
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Sheri Heller: And we’re going to talk a little bit about the interaction with esl and the arpa and FF CRA leaves that expired back on Sep tember 30.
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Sheri Heller: amanda is going to cover how you’re going to get reimbursed for of the leaves that you provide.
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Sheri Heller: we’ve got some Frequently Asked Questions will review and then we’re going to try and leave as much time as we can, at the end for live Q amp a so as amy mentioned, please make sure you send in your questions because.
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Sheri Heller: This is really going to get a little bit complex, now that the other leaves have expired and it’s very, very different from the leaves on the arpa and FF CRA.
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Sheri Heller: And then, finally, there is an awesome resource slides at the end so we’re going to be talking about the notices and request forums and all of that.
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Sheri Heller: So we’ve got links to all of that for you at the end of the presentation.
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Sheri Heller: All right, so with all that said so back on may 28 governor baker signed into law, the Act, providing for mass coven 19 emergency paid sick leave.
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Sheri Heller: So, at the time that this went into effect, and this applies to all Massachusetts employers, regardless of size, so at the time, this went into effect, it was actually running concurrently with the leaves are under the.
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Sheri Heller: Excuse me, the American rescue plan act arpa and also the FF CRA the family’s first promoted virus response act that was an active back in 2020.
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Sheri Heller: So those two leaves are the programs under those laws were for employers under 500 employees, so the majority of the.
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Sheri Heller: client or the clients that we deal with this that’s what applied to them when the when this Massachusetts statute went into effect the one of the specifics out of this.
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Sheri Heller: program was that if you are going to use this to get reimbursement from the state, you first have to defer to the federal law first, so what happened was as of December 31 2020.
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Sheri Heller: Those leaves under the FF CRA slash Arba were optional from players, you do not have to offer them.
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Sheri Heller: And then may 28 this law goes into effect and for Massachusetts and what it said was if you’re going to ask for reimbursement from the State.
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Sheri Heller: First, you got to get reimbursement from the Federal Government so basically forced employers with under 500 employees to then offer leaves on the arpa.
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Sheri Heller: So R va and fs era those news all expired on may 3 i’m sorry September 30 and actually, that is when.
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Sheri Heller: The emergency paid sick leave from Massachusetts was also supposed to end and then at the 11th hour on September 29 they decided to extend the duration of the plan so it’s now going to run through April 1 2022.
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Sheri Heller: or until they exhaust the $75 million at the program funds that have been set aside whichever is earlier, and they also expanded the reasons that employees can take leave under the law so we’re going to go over all the specifics of a lot and then talk about again reimbursement.
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Sheri Heller: Alright, so reasons for leave so an employer has to provide these employees if they need to sell isolate due to a coven 18 day gnosis if they’re seeking a medical diagnosis care or treatment for.
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Sheri Heller: or they are getting a recovering from a coven 19 immunization it’s also allows employees to use asleep to care for a family member for those same reasons.
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Sheri Heller: it’s also a lead, that you can see that employees can use if they are under some sort of quarantine order now notice that it says local state or federal officials health authorities.
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Sheri Heller: It also says employees employees are so if you as the employer decide that you need an employee to quarantine until let’s say they get results of a PCR tests that would fall under this using for leave.
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Sheri Heller: And again, it is also for caring for a family member who also has to quarantine by one of those orders.
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Sheri Heller: And then, it also has to be it, you also have to certify that the employee is unable to telework do the coven 19 symptoms so, for example, if you have somebody who is working remotely or is able to work remotely.
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Sheri Heller: And they have coven 19 symptoms or let’s say they’re getting a vaccine and they have some side effects to the vaccine, they would not be eligible for this leave it’s only for employees who cannot telework.
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Sheri Heller: Alright, so let’s talk a little bit about the leap amounts, so this particular law allows for up to 40 hours of emergency paid sick leave.
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Sheri Heller: it’s very specific in the Statute that employees who work 40 hours or more per week.
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Sheri Heller: are eligible for up to 40 hours anybody who works under 40 hours, so if you call somebody full time because they work 3032 or 35 hours they’re not eligible for 40 hours.
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Sheri Heller: The only eligible for the average amount that they would normally work in a work week.
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Sheri Heller: For employees who have a variable schedule from week to week you just want to take a look, maybe at the last six months to average out how many hours that they would work.
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Sheri Heller: And then again also if you’ve got a new employee hasn’t been there, six months, you just want to make a reasonable.
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Sheri Heller: Excuse me a reasonable assessment of what they would be expected to work and then the maximum amount in employer can.
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Sheri Heller: is required to pay the employee in the maximum that they can seek reimbursement for is $850 so.
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Sheri Heller: If you have an employee that say makes typically $1,000 a week on the maximum that you’re required to pay under this leave at $850.
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Sheri Heller: The employee, then, can maybe use, excuse me there accrued paid time off of vacation time or insect time what have you to top that off if you want, but the maximum reimbursement, you can seek for any employee is $850.
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Sheri Heller: All right now, one is going to be important is to make sure that you have employees requesting this lead.
00:13:04.800 –> 00:13:12.570
Sheri Heller: You in order to be eligible for the lead the lead request has to have the employees name the dates that the lead was taken.
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Sheri Heller: The coven 18 related reason the employees requesting leave and then a statement that, because of the coven 19 related reason the employee is unable to work for telework.
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Sheri Heller: Along with that request if it’s for a quarantine or self quarantine they also you also have to list the name of the government agency or whoever is recommending that quarantine.
00:13:35.220 –> 00:13:44.730
Sheri Heller: And then again it’s for caring for a family member who’s subject quarantine you need to list the name of that family member and the relationship to the employee.
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Sheri Heller: Right, so the state has a sample leave request form my theory is why reinvent the wheel they’ve already done it for you, there is a link at the end of the presentation.
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Sheri Heller: For this form, I suggest you download it and make sure you have your employees using this form to request the under this law.
00:14:07.800 –> 00:14:13.440
Sheri Heller: Okay, so reimbursement information amanda is going to go through how to get reimbursed.
00:14:13.740 –> 00:14:25.740
Sheri Heller: But what’s going to be important is, as you are allowing employees to use this leave that you’re collecting this information and have it available when it’s time for you to file or claim your reimbursement.
00:14:25.980 –> 00:14:41.400
Sheri Heller: So you’re going to need the employee social security number your employer identification number the length of the lead and the wages paid the benefits applicable to the employee taking the lead, and then the employees regularly scheduled hours.
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Sheri Heller: And with any law, we always have to have these non retaliation provisions so under the law, excuse me an employer cannot interfere or deny somebody the ability to take me under the.
00:14:55.290 –> 00:15:03.240
Sheri Heller: psl you can’t discipline or take any adverse actions for somebody using it, and after its actions are not just.
00:15:03.750 –> 00:15:13.860
Sheri Heller: terminating somebody or disciplining them, but it could be a reduction of hours of change of shift anything like that that could be considered an adverse employment action.
00:15:14.400 –> 00:15:26.400
Sheri Heller: And then you can’t take any adverse action against an employee because they’re opposing a practice that they believe is in violation of the program or if they are supporting the right of another employee to exercise that.
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Sheri Heller: Alright, so amanda is going to go through the interaction with the FF CRA and our believes that again expired back on Sep tember 30 but some of you may still be.
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Sheri Heller: filing for those leaves are still paying people for those leaves in the next couple of payrolls so amanda i’m going to hand it off to you.
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Amanda Leonardi: All right, thank you, sherry and Hello everyone so all of you know very well by now that there have been you know countless changes in legislation apple the state and federal levels over the course.
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Amanda Leonardi: Of the past year and a half, and one thing that certainly has been a challenge is understanding the interaction and interplay between state and federal programs.
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Amanda Leonardi: Especially when it comes to paid time off and understanding what your obligations as a Massachusetts employer are so let’s dive in and make some sense of this.
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Amanda Leonardi: So if if we all had a nickel for the new acronyms that have been thrown at us throughout the pandemic.
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Amanda Leonardi: You know, we can all just retire right now, and not even have to worry about these Labor laws that we’re talking about weekend and week out between PPP etc ffc era, our mascot psl.
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Amanda Leonardi: You know the list goes on and it’s hard to keep them all straight so for the purposes of today we’re going to be focusing in on FF CRA arpa and Massachusetts esl and the common thread here.
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Amanda Leonardi: between these three is you know all of these imposed legislative updates, which included emergency paid sick leave requirements for offerings for paid time off.
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Amanda Leonardi: For employees who needed to be out of work for kuvan related reasons so first if we remember way back.
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Amanda Leonardi: We had the FF CRA which stands for the families first coronavirus response act, and this was originally in effect April 1 2020 through December 31 2020.
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Amanda Leonardi: And provided up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of extended MLA for coven related reasons.
00:17:37.050 –> 00:17:44.130
Amanda Leonardi: And this was initially an obligation for employers at the time to offer these types of paid leave.
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Amanda Leonardi: But you were able to claim a federal tax credit on those wages and then a little while later the consolidated appropriations Act was passed which ultimately extended the availability of fs era tax credits until.
00:17:59.670 –> 00:18:10.440
Amanda Leonardi: march 31 2021 but employers were no longer obligated to provide paid leave after December 31 it was it became optional after that date.
00:18:11.400 –> 00:18:24.510
Amanda Leonardi: Then we moved into arpa which was enacted on march 11 2021 and once again extended the FF CRA paid sick and family leave tax credits until Sep tember 30th 2021.
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Amanda Leonardi: But again, this was still no longer required employers had the option to to offer this type of leave and then to add another layer and.
00:18:35.250 –> 00:18:46.470
Amanda Leonardi: You know another player in the mix the State of Massachusetts passed their own Massachusetts emergency paid sick leave, which went into effect on may 28 2021.
00:18:46.890 –> 00:19:03.750
Amanda Leonardi: And was only originally supposed to last through the end of September of 2021 so you know, once this was when this was initially passed it once again created an obligation for Massachusetts employers to offer up to 40 hours.
00:19:04.860 –> 00:19:11.400
Amanda Leonardi: or the equivalent of one week of emergency paid sick leave, so, as you know, and the reason why you’re all here today, it.
00:19:11.970 –> 00:19:23.070
Amanda Leonardi: is most recently the law was amended on September 29 to extend the duration of the program and to expand the reasons employees may take the leave.
00:19:23.550 –> 00:19:40.530
Amanda Leonardi: Under the law until April 1 2022 or the exhaustion of the program funds, whichever comes sooner, so how on earth do all of these things gel together and what are you as Massachusetts employers obligated to provide.
00:19:41.670 –> 00:19:53.130
Amanda Leonardi: One very confusing piece of this is from you know may 28 through September 30th the Massachusetts you know state programs said that the Federal tax credit is primary like sherry mentioned so.
00:19:53.490 –> 00:20:03.480
Amanda Leonardi: Unless the employer had exhausted the federal tax credit, you know or where otherwise ineligible they had to use that federal program over the state Program.
00:20:03.840 –> 00:20:09.570
Amanda Leonardi: However, now that the Federal program has ended, and the State program has been extended.
00:20:09.990 –> 00:20:19.440
Amanda Leonardi: One of the most frequently asked questions is you know, does this mean that employees get an additional 40 hours of paid sick leave, on top of what was taken under the federal Program.
00:20:20.040 –> 00:20:28.170
Amanda Leonardi: And of course in true golden HR answer fashion, it depends, so it really boils down to this.
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Amanda Leonardi: Any paid sick leave that was taken under ffc era or prior to may 28 2021 will not satisfy your obligations under Massachusetts.
00:20:39.630 –> 00:20:49.590
Amanda Leonardi: He psl so if an employee took Federal Emergency paid sick leave, prior to may 28 they would be eligible for an additional week of emergency paid sick under the Massachusetts Program.
00:20:50.250 –> 00:21:02.700
Amanda Leonardi: On the other hand, if an employee took any paid sick leave, under the federal arpa program between may 28 2021 in September 30 2021 that time actually ran concurrently.
00:21:04.620 –> 00:21:15.270
Amanda Leonardi: With the Massachusetts esl program so you’re not obligated to provide an additional 40 hours of emergency coven sick leave, so may 28 is the important date there to remember.
00:21:15.660 –> 00:21:26.670
Amanda Leonardi: and any leave that occurred prior to that date, does not satisfy the Massachusetts requirements, however, any leave that occurred after that date rank and currently and you are not required to provide more time.
00:21:27.450 –> 00:21:35.310
Amanda Leonardi: So let’s take a look at a practical example here, we have our employee James and he is a full time employee that works 40 hours per week.
00:21:35.790 –> 00:21:42.420
Amanda Leonardi: And let’s say in April 2021 James took 80 hours of paid sick leave under are due to quarantine.
00:21:43.320 –> 00:21:51.270
Amanda Leonardi: This instance is prior to may 28 so those 80 hours of Arba would not run concurrently with Massachusetts coded sickly requirements.
00:21:52.140 –> 00:22:00.720
Amanda Leonardi: But then, in June of 2021 James took 16 hours of paid sick leave to recover from the side effects of getting his vaccine.
00:22:01.680 –> 00:22:10.530
Amanda Leonardi: This time was paid under the arpa tax credits because remember it was between may 28 and Sep tember 30th and the Federal credits were primary.
00:22:11.010 –> 00:22:30.270
Amanda Leonardi: However, that time ran concurrently with Massachusetts a psl so you could deduct 16 hours from the total 40 hours at James is entitled to for qualified reasons under the the state program and then present day, in October, say, James is feeling under the weather and goes to get tested.
00:22:31.530 –> 00:22:37.950
Amanda Leonardi: He would still be eligible to take 24 hours of paid sick leave, while waiting for coven 19 test results.
00:22:38.340 –> 00:22:45.030
Amanda Leonardi: So you are obligated to provide James with the 40 hours of sick leave, between the 16 hours that you offer James and June.
00:22:45.420 –> 00:23:01.260
Amanda Leonardi: Through the federal program and the 24 hours, he took in October, through a State program you have now satisfied or obligations under the Massachusetts EPL requirements so as you can see a lot of moving parts here, but hopefully that example helped make a little more sense of this.
00:23:04.890 –> 00:23:13.410
Amanda Leonardi: Alright, so now that the Federal program has ended, and you are no longer able to seek tax credits through our BA.
00:23:14.070 –> 00:23:25.980
Amanda Leonardi: The burning question is how do I apply for reimbursement through the Massachusetts state program well, you have certainly come to the right place, because we are going to give you a step by step playbook today.
00:23:28.860 –> 00:23:37.050
Amanda Leonardi: So first let’s go through a quick overview of what you need to know about applying for for reimbursement in general, so.
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Amanda Leonardi: Between July 8 2021 in April 1 2022 or the exhaustion of the 75 million designated to the program fund again whichever comes sooner.
00:23:50.880 –> 00:23:58.920
Amanda Leonardi: employers will be able to apply for reimbursement through the State of Massachusetts up to a maximum amount of $850 total so.
00:23:59.520 –> 00:24:15.360
Amanda Leonardi: Even if your employee makes a higher weekly salary than 850 you’re only obligated to provide them with a total maximum amount of $850 for 40 hours of leave and that’s also the maximum amount in wages that’s eligible for reimbursement through the state.
00:24:16.590 –> 00:24:25.440
Amanda Leonardi: Also, the faq on the state’s website, which was pretty expensive, so I definitely recommend that you, you check that out as well, if you have questions.
00:24:25.860 –> 00:24:36.210
Amanda Leonardi: But the faq made it clear that if the state funds are expected to become depleted prior to April 1 2022 that you as employers will be notified within.
00:24:37.320 –> 00:24:45.390
Amanda Leonardi: 15 days advance notice so you’ll have a heads up on that if it’s going to end prior to the April 1 2020 to date.
00:24:47.250 –> 00:24:54.240
Amanda Leonardi: Now, when you go to apply for reimbursement you’re going to do so through the Department of revenues mass tax connect website.
00:24:54.750 –> 00:25:03.150
Amanda Leonardi: And I did get confirmation from the Department of revenue that you will receive a check from them containing your reimbursement so.
00:25:03.930 –> 00:25:13.140
Amanda Leonardi: You know it’s not a credit on future tax liability, you are going to receive a direct payment in the form of a check from the DLR when your reimbursement has been processed.
00:25:17.160 –> 00:25:29.700
Amanda Leonardi: Alright, so the state site also says that it may take several weeks or longer to to process reimbursement application so that’s about as ambiguous, as it gets but it’s something.
00:25:30.810 –> 00:25:44.070
Amanda Leonardi: The good news is that they did provide a direct email that you can contact with any questions you may have surrounding reimbursement so that email is on your screen here it’s esl at do R dot state ma.us.
00:25:44.490 –> 00:25:51.150
Amanda Leonardi: And we will provide that again for you at the end of the presentation and our resource slides so you have access to that in the future.
00:25:52.410 –> 00:25:58.890
Amanda Leonardi: Again, any leave time taken prior to may 28 2021 is not eligible for reimbursement through the state.
00:25:59.670 –> 00:26:17.040
Amanda Leonardi: And as sherry mentioned earlier, one very important piece to know is that you must collect the appropriate documentation that she went over earlier, in order to get reimbursement from the state, so they are requiring that you collect that in order to kind of substantiate that that reimbursement.
00:26:21.030 –> 00:26:28.110
Amanda Leonardi: Alright, so here are the step by step instructions walking you through how to apply for reimbursement.
00:26:28.620 –> 00:26:36.810
Amanda Leonardi: And this is all directly laid out on the state’s website as well, so again, you can go back and access this information in the future so.
00:26:37.650 –> 00:26:43.770
Amanda Leonardi: first step is you’re going to log into your mass tax connect account and then select the more tab.
00:26:44.280 –> 00:26:50.820
Amanda Leonardi: you’re going to select register for emergency sick leave reimbursement hyperlink and the other actions panel.
00:26:51.420 –> 00:26:59.460
Amanda Leonardi: you’re of course going to read the instructions very carefully and then select the acknowledge checkbox and so select submit.
00:26:59.790 –> 00:27:09.930
Amanda Leonardi: And this is going to create an emergency paid sick leave, account for you, so you do need to go in and and register for an account So the first five steps are, how you go about that.
00:27:10.860 –> 00:27:19.110
Amanda Leonardi: Then, once you have established your account you’re going to select the summary tab to return to your list of tax accounts.
00:27:25.260 –> 00:27:34.800
Amanda Leonardi: and share if we can go to the perfect Thank you and then you’re going to locate the emergency paid sick leave panel and select the returns hyperlink.
00:27:35.580 –> 00:27:45.870
Amanda Leonardi: Here you’re going to find a list of returns that are available to be filed to submit your reimbursement request you then select the file now hyperlink.
00:27:46.560 –> 00:27:58.080
Amanda Leonardi: For the week ending in which the sickly was it was paid and on the return you’re going to fill out the required fields with the information for each employee at the individual level.
00:27:58.710 –> 00:28:11.790
Amanda Leonardi: For which for who you’re you’re seeking reimbursement you’re going to read the information section carefully and select the test station checkbox for each of those employees and then click next whenever you’re finished.
00:28:14.970 –> 00:28:27.720
Amanda Leonardi: And then you are going to review the confirmation information to submit to follow your request and at that point you have successfully made a request for the emergency paid sick leave reimbursement.
00:28:28.440 –> 00:28:39.480
Amanda Leonardi: So you can go ahead and click OK, to return to your return screen and then last but not least, the status of your return you filed will you’ll see it as submitted.
00:28:39.960 –> 00:28:50.610
Amanda Leonardi: And that status will then change to processed overnight, and if you need to you can go back and view or amend a previously submitted and processed return.
00:28:51.510 –> 00:29:05.160
Amanda Leonardi: And one additional item to note is that employers may you know apply when whenever and as often as they like so there’s no specific time where you need to go in and.
00:29:05.610 –> 00:29:20.520
Amanda Leonardi: and apply did confirm with the deal on that, and you know there’s no required cadence no deadline at this time sure that’ll change in the in the future, but will continue to to keep an active pulse on that and again reimbursements are submitted per employee.
00:29:21.750 –> 00:29:31.500
Amanda Leonardi: So, on your screen here, you see a video link which we are going to play in a moment, this is a really helpful video that the state has put together.
00:29:31.860 –> 00:29:40.140
Amanda Leonardi: That walks you through how to navigate the mass tax connect system and kind of reiterate everything that we just went over in a visual form.
00:29:41.130 –> 00:29:49.260
Amanda Leonardi: In order to apply for a reimbursement, so we are going to take a couple of minutes to take a quick look at that so sherry, if you could go play the video.
00:29:52.710 –> 00:29:58.500
We will take you through the application process for reimbursement of the cost of providing emergency paid sick leave.
00:30:01.110 –> 00:30:16.920
Using mass tax connect beginning July 5 2021 and until September 30 2021 or the exhaustion of $75 million and program phones, as determined by the Commonwealth employers may apply for reimbursement of the cost of providing emergency paid sick leave.
00:30:18.480 –> 00:30:21.390
you’ll start by logging in to mass talks connect.
00:30:23.400 –> 00:30:24.720
select the more tab.
00:30:26.580 –> 00:30:31.920
select the register for emergency sickly reimbursement hyperlink and the other actions panel.
00:30:33.660 –> 00:30:42.390
Read the instructions carefully when you have select the knowledge checkbox and select submit this will create an emergency paid sick leave account.
00:30:43.800 –> 00:30:47.460
select the summary tab to return to your list of tax accounts.
00:30:49.230 –> 00:30:53.760
locate the emergency paid sickly panel and select the returns hyperlink.
00:30:55.890 –> 00:31:07.320
Here you will find a list of returns that are available to be filed to submit your reimbursement request, we will select the file now hyperlink for the may 29 2021 period to file, our first request.
00:31:09.120 –> 00:31:22.560
On return fill out the required fields with the information for each employee, for which you are seeking reimbursement read the information section carefully and select the test station checkbox for each employee once you have shoes next when you are finished.
00:31:24.660 –> 00:31:29.070
review the confirmation information and then choose submit to file your request.
00:31:32.220 –> 00:31:39.150
you’ve successfully made a request for emergency paid sick leave reimbursement select OK, to return to the return screen.
00:31:41.700 –> 00:31:49.890
notice that the status of the return we just filed is submitted, if you need to you can view or amend a previously submitted and process return.
00:31:50.220 –> 00:31:59.760
Depending on one your request is submitted, and may take several weeks or longer to process if you need to file a request for another week you can proceed here to file and other return as before.
00:32:00.330 –> 00:32:07.590
Thank you for watching and using mass tax can check out other videos on our YouTube channel or the frequently asked questions at the bottom of every mass talks.
00:32:10.530 –> 00:32:23.220
Amanda Leonardi: Alright, so again, we will provide the link to that video for you and our resources slide so you can access that as you’re navigating the system in the future.
00:32:25.140 –> 00:32:30.450
Amanda Leonardi: So to tie this, all together, we wanted to provide you with a little checklist of important things to remember.
00:32:31.170 –> 00:32:44.370
Amanda Leonardi: As you have employees taking this emerge Massachusetts emergency paid sick leave in the coming months so first you want to make sure that, as you get requests for lead from employees you’re collecting that appropriate supporting documentation.
00:32:45.450 –> 00:32:50.070
Amanda Leonardi: Using the sample leave request form that will link for you in the resources slide.
00:32:50.940 –> 00:32:59.340
Amanda Leonardi: Then you also want to make sure that you’re properly coding and tracking any payroll hours and wages paid under the Massachusetts esl Program.
00:33:00.180 –> 00:33:06.750
Amanda Leonardi: so that you can easily you know run a report to see what hours and wages were allocated to this code sick leave.
00:33:07.110 –> 00:33:16.710
Amanda Leonardi: And then, in turn, accurately apply for reimbursement, so you know that’s going to make it easier for you to if you are coding this a little bit differently or tracking it.
00:33:17.190 –> 00:33:26.820
Amanda Leonardi: separately from typical wages that you’re paying out it’s going to make it ultimately easier for you to apply for that reimbursement in a timely fashion.
00:33:28.050 –> 00:33:41.040
Amanda Leonardi: In the long run, for those of you who are MP clients, all you need to do is reach out to your account manager or your account coordinator and request that they add the Massachusetts coven emergency sick earnings code.
00:33:42.000 –> 00:33:48.270
Amanda Leonardi: they’ll add that into I solved for you and happily walk you through how to allocate the hours and wages appropriately.
00:33:48.840 –> 00:34:02.340
Amanda Leonardi: For those of you on the call who aren’t MP clients, we do also recommend that you reach out to your respective payroll providers to see if they have a similar solution for this, so that you can easily track this information.
00:34:03.540 –> 00:34:10.680
Amanda Leonardi: And you then want to make sure that you go in and register to be able to apply for reimbursement through mass tax connect.
00:34:11.100 –> 00:34:25.830
Amanda Leonardi: And then, of course, once you’ve completed all of those registration steps you’ll be able to apply for reimbursement as needed through mass tax can act so those are the tricks of the trade for reimbursement.
00:34:27.810 –> 00:34:31.260
Sheri Heller: So one thing I want to kind of jump in amanda.
00:34:31.500 –> 00:34:34.710
Sheri Heller: Is that For those of you who were providing leave under Arba.
00:34:35.760 –> 00:34:51.330
Sheri Heller: Prior to Sep tember 30 so it’s October 7 so many of you might be processing your payroll this week or next for that pay period covering prior to September September 30 so you would still use that arpa.
00:34:52.770 –> 00:35:02.940
Sheri Heller: earnings code in order to pay those wages, so that it will be that automatic tax credit on your 940 ones you don’t have to apply for that lean but.
00:35:03.270 –> 00:35:18.690
Sheri Heller: Any time taken after Sep tember 30 you’re going to need to apply for reimbursements you want to make sure that you’re using separate earnings codes for arpa sickly versus EPL sickly acronyms galore here.
00:35:20.940 –> 00:35:28.410
Sheri Heller: yeah but it’s going to be really important at least this next couple of weeks to make sure that you’re getting the proper credit where do.
00:35:29.550 –> 00:35:30.240
Amanda Leonardi: Exactly.
00:35:30.870 –> 00:35:32.280
Amanda Leonardi: What you to get the money honey.
00:35:32.730 –> 00:35:43.140
Sheri Heller: Yes, exactly exactly alright so let’s go over some FA cues from the website and then we’ve got a lot of great questions that came in so we’ll cover some of those as well.
00:35:44.520 –> 00:35:45.000
Sheri Heller: All right.
00:35:46.350 –> 00:35:52.770
Sheri Heller: Is there a requirement amanda to issue the notice to employees, individually or does posting satisfy that notice obligation.
00:35:53.400 –> 00:36:01.440
Amanda Leonardi: Right question sherry and so there’s actually not a requirement to issue the notice individually, however.
00:36:01.860 –> 00:36:13.200
Amanda Leonardi: Not a bad idea to do so, the state does say that in there, in cases where you know you as an employer, maybe don’t have a physical workplace or you have employees who.
00:36:13.620 –> 00:36:20.280
Amanda Leonardi: telework or work remotely in the State of Massachusetts you should absolutely send them the the notification.
00:36:20.760 –> 00:36:26.400
Amanda Leonardi: via electronic communication or post it in a conspicuous spot on your Intranet or web based platform.
00:36:26.850 –> 00:36:32.970
Amanda Leonardi: And so, not an obligation, if you’re you’re posting that poster in your you know, in your.
00:36:33.390 –> 00:36:46.440
Amanda Leonardi: break room next year Labor law posters you’re not obligated to provide the notice individually to anyone who’s going to be in the office and have exposure to that, but anyone who does not you do want to make sure that you’re providing them with the notice appropriately.
00:36:47.130 –> 00:36:56.610
Sheri Heller: And the funny thing is, is that you’re providing notice to people who telework however they’re not eligible for this leave so you know go figure let’s see.
00:36:58.110 –> 00:37:06.960
Sheri Heller: All right, is an employer permitted to request medical documentation for categories of leave related to an employee or family members diagnosis or treatment for coven 19.
00:37:08.430 –> 00:37:15.690
Amanda Leonardi: So yes, as we talked about the state is requiring that you collect some documentation in order to.
00:37:16.860 –> 00:37:30.180
Amanda Leonardi: To be eligible for for reimbursement That being said, you do have to treat that health information regarding any employee or any employees family member as confidential medical records.
00:37:30.600 –> 00:37:39.240
Amanda Leonardi: And, of course, you want to do so in accordance with applicable state and federal law, so you know, make sure that you’re retaining that appropriately and and confidentially.
00:37:41.730 –> 00:37:47.700
Sheri Heller: Right and our employers required to get documentation of immunization if this is the reason for their leave.
00:37:49.170 –> 00:38:00.720
Amanda Leonardi: Yes, they are so that is you know, a requirement for documentation if again, you are seeking reimbursement from the state they’re going to want to see that that proof of vaccine.
00:38:01.770 –> 00:38:08.340
Sheri Heller: And one question that comes up pretty frequently from employers is I found I can’t ask for documentation I can’t ask somebody if they’ve been.
00:38:08.700 –> 00:38:25.650
Sheri Heller: vaccinated or get proof of vaccination but the eeoc has absolutely very emphatically said yes, you can you don’t want to get any kind of medical diagnosis, so you just want you, but you can ask for verification that somebody has received the vaccine.
00:38:26.490 –> 00:38:38.220
Amanda Leonardi: Exactly and in the follow up to that is you just want to be mindful and make ensure that you’re you’re retaining that information again appropriately and confidentially in accordance with state and federal law.
00:38:42.090 –> 00:38:49.800
Sheri Heller: All right, so does the does the law apply to Massachusetts residents who work in another state.
00:38:50.640 –> 00:38:59.790
Amanda Leonardi: yeah and i’ve seen a couple of questions surrounding this come through in the chat so i’m eligible employees under the law.
00:39:00.540 –> 00:39:11.910
Amanda Leonardi: are defined as those whose primary place of employment is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and so again, they have to be considered a Massachusetts employee their primary.
00:39:12.570 –> 00:39:21.360
Amanda Leonardi: place of employment has to be in the Commonwealth, in order for them to be eligible for you know these benefits through the state program and.
00:39:21.540 –> 00:39:32.460
Sheri Heller: One thing I did notice in the questions that are coming in there’s some questions about the New York emergency paid sick leave, so do keep in mind when you have employees who are in other states.
00:39:32.850 –> 00:39:40.980
Sheri Heller: There are a number of states had that in actually cities and counties that have enacted their own emergency paid sick leave for koba 19.
00:39:41.550 –> 00:39:56.880
Sheri Heller: So it is really important to know we’re just focusing on Massachusetts right now, but it is very possible that you should be offering it to out of State employees, based on whatever state they are you’re considering their work location.
00:39:57.780 –> 00:40:10.260
Amanda Leonardi: yeah exactly and there are so many nuances to all of these different state laws so just you know be mindful of that as you’re reading through just because Massachusetts has enacted X y&z does not mean another State is going to.
00:40:10.710 –> 00:40:21.810
Amanda Leonardi: You know follow suit so just make sure that you know you’re you’re really diligent about reading reading into that, and you know complying with the with the state specific regs.
00:40:23.130 –> 00:40:29.340
Sheri Heller: So does this little planet businesses based in neighboring states with employees who live in Massachusetts and work from home.
00:40:30.600 –> 00:40:39.510
Amanda Leonardi: yeah so kind of to piggyback off of the last faq the the law does apply if employees primary place of employment is that common of all so.
00:40:39.900 –> 00:40:55.050
Amanda Leonardi: let’s say you know your main office as an employer is in northern new Hampshire but the employee doesn’t go to the office and is always working remotely in Massachusetts they their primary place of employment would be in the Commonwealth, so they would be eligible.
00:40:55.830 –> 00:41:06.480
Sheri Heller: But on the flip side if they’re working remotely and able to telework they’re technically not out you’re not eligible you’re not allowed to ask for reimbursement from the steep.
00:41:06.870 –> 00:41:17.850
Sheri Heller: For that, so if somebody let’s say is working remotely in Massachusetts or new Hampshire based employer, you have an employee who works remotely and Massachusetts they go get their vaccine.
00:41:18.450 –> 00:41:26.670
Sheri Heller: There you know, having some symptoms and X day and need to take that sickly technically because they’re able to tell a work, you cannot claim reimbursement for that.
00:41:26.940 –> 00:41:36.930
Sheri Heller: So it’s a little confusing the way the faqs we do keep in mind that anybody who’s able to telework you basically can’t require on so you can’t request reimbursement for.
00:41:38.970 –> 00:41:42.150
Sheri Heller: Right what is an employee’s regular rate of pay.
00:41:44.040 –> 00:41:58.050
Amanda Leonardi: The the regular rate is the amount that an employee is regularly paid for each hour of work, the State actually says that employers may use reasonable discretion and determining regular rate of pay.
00:41:58.770 –> 00:42:13.560
Amanda Leonardi: Which again very ambiguous and, but they do say for tipped employees who ordinarily receive less than minimum wage, the regular rate of pay on does mean the effective minimum wage so keep that in mind for for tips folks.
00:42:14.430 –> 00:42:21.360
Sheri Heller: And a good rule of thumb is that if employees who work at different different positions at different rates of pay.
00:42:21.750 –> 00:42:32.250
Sheri Heller: A good rule of thumb is is that you want to pay them for the rate of pay, they would have earned for the time they took off So if you have a tipped employee who.
00:42:32.730 –> 00:42:43.020
Sheri Heller: makes below minimum wage and also maybe works as a host at a restaurant and as a host they may work 15 hours they may make $15 an hour.
00:42:43.680 –> 00:42:50.370
Sheri Heller: If the day that they are out sick or or quarantine or what have you, and they were scheduled to work as a host.
00:42:50.580 –> 00:43:02.460
Sheri Heller: You would want to pay them the $15 an hour, not the 1350 for the tipped employee, so you really want to just err on the side of caution when you’re deciding what that regular rate of pay is for anybody who has multiple reads.
00:43:04.440 –> 00:43:12.810
Sheri Heller: Alright last question is is the maximum amount for which the employer can seek reimbursement for anyone employee 850 on a weekly basis or total CAP.
00:43:14.250 –> 00:43:24.180
Amanda Leonardi: drumroll please, it is 850 as a total CAP so that’s it kind of one done deal right there so.
00:43:24.900 –> 00:43:33.990
Sheri Heller: You haven’t you have an employee who is a full time employee eligible for 40 hours and they take your 16 hours because they’re recovering from.
00:43:34.710 –> 00:43:43.590
Sheri Heller: You know, getting the vaccine, or maybe their their quarantining until they get their PCR test results back so you might submit reimbursement for one week.
00:43:44.340 –> 00:43:55.170
Sheri Heller: For part of it, and then the next week, maybe they’re going to get it get the vaccine they’re taking another day off for that all told the maximum you can get is $850 per employee.
00:43:56.700 –> 00:44:05.970
Amanda Leonardi: Right and keep in mind too, if you have an employee who’s you know, a high earner and they’re out for a week let’s say that they test positive for coven.
00:44:06.480 –> 00:44:16.650
Amanda Leonardi: And you’re going to be paying them their their full salary for the week and just keep in mind you, will you will only be getting that eat 50 back from the State.
00:44:17.880 –> 00:44:24.810
Sheri Heller: Already, so we got a bunch of questions in so we’re going to go through as many as we can, before the end of the hour, and please keep sending your questions in.
00:44:25.290 –> 00:44:30.210
Sheri Heller: it’s a great way for us to make sure that we’re we’re really going over all the details the nitty gritty.
00:44:30.870 –> 00:44:39.540
Sheri Heller: So the first question that came in was about it asks about the CDC seven day quarantine following travel for unvaccinated employees do we pay for that so yeah.
00:44:40.140 –> 00:44:47.820
Sheri Heller: So I apologize i’m not up to date on what the CDC is recommending today, since it changes on a on a moment to moment basis but.
00:44:48.330 –> 00:45:01.140
Sheri Heller: If the CDC is recommending quarantine you have an employee who is unvaccinated they have traveled they’re coming back and you want to follow the CDC guidelines for that seven day quarantine.
00:45:01.680 –> 00:45:15.930
Sheri Heller: Yes, that would count, because it is a government agency that is recommending that quarantine and again remember if it’s a seven day quarantine you’re only going to be able to give them at 40 hours at most $850 maximum.
00:45:18.450 –> 00:45:29.280
Amanda Leonardi: We have another question here, so it says once an employee uses their 40 hours for leave they are no longer eligible for pay unless they use their own paid time off correct.
00:45:30.090 –> 00:45:40.350
Amanda Leonardi: So yes, technically, that that is correct, so you’re obligated to provide you know the 40 hours or the equivalent of one week based upon the employees, you know work schedule.
00:45:41.070 –> 00:45:51.540
Amanda Leonardi: Beyond that you, you are not obligated so you could have you could tell employees that they would be required to use, you know any accrued sick time or vacation time beyond that.
00:45:52.290 –> 00:46:04.260
Amanda Leonardi: I do have some clients who are implementing their own you know coven you sick pay bucket in addition to excuse me, in addition to.
00:46:05.100 –> 00:46:10.290
Amanda Leonardi: You know the Massachusetts earned sick time that you know employees are typically.
00:46:10.890 –> 00:46:23.640
Amanda Leonardi: eligible for because they they want to encourage people or I should say they want to discourage people from feeling obligated to show up to work with coven related symptoms, or if they’re sick so.
00:46:24.210 –> 00:46:30.450
Amanda Leonardi: You know if someone is hesitant to dip into their own sick time bucket because they want to save it or they don’t have any time left.
00:46:30.990 –> 00:46:46.980
Amanda Leonardi: You may just want to consider an alternative bucket if employees are exhausting those 40 hours through the state, so that you know they they aren’t inclined to show up to work and then you have a mass outbreak so just something to consider.
00:46:48.960 –> 00:46:53.580
Sheri Heller: Is the mass EP is only available for employers in Massachusetts.
00:46:53.880 –> 00:46:58.140
Sheri Heller: And again it’s really where the employees work location is.
00:46:58.350 –> 00:47:12.510
Sheri Heller: So if you are a new Hampshire based or or any other state other than Massachusetts you’re the employer and you’re based out of state, but your employee works in state so let’s say, for example, you’re a retailer in New England you’ve got multiple locations.
00:47:13.050 –> 00:47:27.090
Sheri Heller: You might be based in new Hampshire, but if you have locations in Massachusetts those employees whose primary location is mass work location is Massachusetts they would be eligible for taking this leap under the psl.
00:47:29.430 –> 00:47:38.040
Amanda Leonardi: So we have a question here is there a report we can pull to show who took FF CRA and I solved, which is you know MPs payroll platform.
00:47:38.640 –> 00:47:44.790
Amanda Leonardi: Yes, there is so just reach out to your account manager your account coordinator and they can point you in the right direction, there.
00:47:45.690 –> 00:48:00.450
Amanda Leonardi: And for those of you who aren’t on you know I solved or with MP clients reach out to your payroll provider and they might have something that is similar So you can see who is still eligible for these.
00:48:01.590 –> 00:48:04.230
Amanda Leonardi: These paid the benefits through the state.
00:48:05.970 –> 00:48:21.300
Sheri Heller: Is the $150 payment considered taxable wages, at the end of the year and, yes, so that $850 are their taxable earnings, so the the employee would be paying the applicable state federal local taxes on any of those earnings.
00:48:25.170 –> 00:48:38.640
Amanda Leonardi: Should you set up an account to be prepared, if and when you have reimbursement to claim so not a bad idea, as you can see through the step by step, guide it doesn’t take too long to register.
00:48:39.450 –> 00:48:50.790
Amanda Leonardi: You know, for the account and then, once you have claims, you can go in and easily enter that in on an employee by employee basis and again.
00:48:51.180 –> 00:49:03.000
Amanda Leonardi: I confirmed with the the do, are you are able to do that on you know, an ongoing basis, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be at the end of a month or quarter on so you can you can do that as you please.
00:49:04.530 –> 00:49:14.250
Sheri Heller: You find out the reimbursement for each individual employee that uses the psl yes, so when you as I showed in the video and amanda reviewed.
00:49:14.970 –> 00:49:25.560
Sheri Heller: When you go to file or claim your reimbursement you actually have to list each individual employee for that week that you are or, for that pay period that you are.
00:49:26.040 –> 00:49:35.760
Sheri Heller: Requesting reimbursement, you have to lift each individual employee what the hours you pay them the dollars you paid them in the regularly scheduled hours so.
00:49:36.270 –> 00:49:49.290
Sheri Heller: For example, if you have somebody who’s regularly scheduled 20 hours a week you can’t claim 40 hours of a psl for them, but yes, you do need to excuse me, you do need to make sure that you are.
00:49:50.550 –> 00:49:52.230
Sheri Heller: You are doing it by employee.
00:49:57.030 –> 00:50:12.300
Amanda Leonardi: let’s see here is there a waiting period for a new hire no there is not so you know all employees are eligible for these benefits as long as they qualify what their primary place of work being Massachusetts.
00:50:16.200 –> 00:50:24.390
Sheri Heller: completed this week, she works, a hybrid schedule home and remote get a fever and was not well enough to work and got tested would she be eligible.
00:50:24.630 –> 00:50:39.300
Sheri Heller: Well, technically, no so you say a hybrid schedule, but if she is able to work remotely that would have basically automatically disqualify her from being eligible for the EPL it’s really only for employees who cannot telework.
00:50:39.660 –> 00:50:47.220
Sheri Heller: So anybody who, even if they work, a hybrid schedule, if they are able to telework they’re not they’re not eligible for this.
00:50:49.860 –> 00:50:58.950
Amanda Leonardi: So we have a question are we required to participate or can we decide at this point that we are no longer offering any government refund programs for Kobe related related absence.
00:50:59.310 –> 00:51:09.060
Amanda Leonardi: So under the Massachusetts program you are required to participate and the you know the the federal programs that have since expired.
00:51:09.690 –> 00:51:24.480
Amanda Leonardi: did become optional at at one point, however, the Massachusetts program has always been obligatory, so you are required to to participate until the the end of the program in April of 2022.
00:51:26.160 –> 00:51:40.890
Sheri Heller: So I see a number of questions regarding people who telework and whether whether they’re eligible so again, and this is different from arpa because arpa did not specify that you had to say that they can’t tell a work.
00:51:42.030 –> 00:51:45.900
Sheri Heller: In order to get that reimbursement, even though it was part of the Statute.
00:51:46.230 –> 00:51:50.760
Sheri Heller: It did say if they’re only able to tell a work, but you didn’t have to attest to that.
00:51:50.940 –> 00:52:05.340
Sheri Heller: Here you have to attest to the fact that they can’t telework and that’s why you’re paying them this so I mean if you are choosing to ask for reimbursement just know that you know you’re going to have to have you’re going to be required to have documentation.
00:52:06.000 –> 00:52:10.380
Sheri Heller: To support that so that is really not recommended.
00:52:13.080 –> 00:52:21.150
Amanda Leonardi: So we have a question here, we are paying our employees for their covered sick time under this law and then collecting the reimbursement should we be waiting to reimburse the staff member.
00:52:21.450 –> 00:52:31.860
Amanda Leonardi: When we receive the reimbursement and know you are going to want to pay the employee their wages during the pay period that they are utilizing this leave.
00:52:33.180 –> 00:52:38.430
Amanda Leonardi: And again you’ll code those wages in a way that you can then take that.
00:52:39.750 –> 00:52:48.780
Amanda Leonardi: and apply for reimbursement and you’ll receive a check in the mail from from the deal or directly but yeah you don’t want to to have the the employees wait.
00:52:49.170 –> 00:52:52.260
Amanda Leonardi: For that payment until you receive it from the State because.
00:52:52.920 –> 00:53:05.790
Amanda Leonardi: You know you just never know the timeframe that you’re going to be getting that reimbursement, to be honest with you so hopefully it sooner rather than later, but yeah you don’t want you, you don’t want to keep the the employees waiting on their on their payments.
00:53:06.900 –> 00:53:12.120
Sheri Heller: And also, and this kind of brings up a point as far as how you’re coding those hours.
00:53:12.300 –> 00:53:21.420
Sheri Heller: So, even though we’re recommending that you code those hours separately, so that you can run reports, and then it would just be easier for reimbursement or claiming reimbursement.
00:53:21.690 –> 00:53:29.910
Sheri Heller: It is not required that you call it something specific in your payroll so if you’re on if you’re just automatically if somebody’s out sick.
00:53:30.540 –> 00:53:41.700
Sheri Heller: And you are paying them as six hours as long as you can discern which hours are eligible for reimbursement in which hours or not, the only thing I.
00:53:42.540 –> 00:54:00.840
Sheri Heller: want to caution you against is that if you have a payroll system or or cruel system that set up that will automatically deduct that sick time from their earned sick time balance you don’t want to do that, so it really is going to depend on how you are set up on the people side.
00:54:03.930 –> 00:54:14.760
Amanda Leonardi: All right, can you explain the interaction between a voluntarily created coven sickly bucket and in Maskey psl so yeah let me, let me clarify on this, so the mass he psl.
00:54:15.090 –> 00:54:29.820
Amanda Leonardi: comes first right, so you don’t necessarily need to create a separate bucket for that if you don’t want to you know you’re you’re providing them the the the up to 40 hours or equivalent of one week with their work schedule under the Massachusetts Program.
00:54:30.870 –> 00:54:42.630
Amanda Leonardi: Those of us who have either gotten coven or know someone who has you know gotten coven know that sometimes it takes a little bit longer than you know 40 hours or one week to recover from.
00:54:43.500 –> 00:54:50.910
Amanda Leonardi: You know the the illness, so if you wanted to provide additional specific coven.
00:54:51.570 –> 00:55:03.330
Amanda Leonardi: Sick time beyond those 40 hours you absolutely could it wouldn’t be reimbursed by the state, but if you wanted to create a little extra cushion beyond the 40 hours.
00:55:03.990 –> 00:55:17.040
Amanda Leonardi: To provide employees who you know are sick with coven you, you could create a secondary coven sickly bucket for once that Massachusetts a psl time expires.
00:55:19.380 –> 00:55:34.860
Sheri Heller: have to work 90 days to be eligible, and no so any employee in Massachusetts or whose primary work location is Massachusetts who needs to take leave for any of these code related reasons are eligible, regardless of how long they’ve been employed.
00:55:38.160 –> 00:55:57.690
Amanda Leonardi: Just to confirm any paid leave that was taken by an employee under Barbara after 528 so may 28 can be considered part of the 40 hours required to be offered under the psl as well we aren’t required to offer an additional 40 hours since October 1 is that right that’s correct so.
00:55:58.740 –> 00:56:07.500
Amanda Leonardi: May 28 is that that golden date so if you’ve provided you know 40 hours or one week of.
00:56:08.550 –> 00:56:19.380
Amanda Leonardi: Emergency paid sick leave, since the 20th of May under either the federal tax credit or the state program you have satisfied your your obligations.
00:56:19.710 –> 00:56:34.290
Amanda Leonardi: However, if someone you know, took 80 hours of ffc era leave prior to may 20 of 2021 you you, you are still obligated to provide those those 40 hours but.
00:56:34.950 –> 00:56:43.260
Amanda Leonardi: The bucket did not reset October 1 when the extension of this this law happened as long as you know, the time was provided after May 28.
00:56:45.450 –> 00:56:54.450
Sheri Heller: If the employees employees sick with coven as a nurse who usually sees patients in their home but could possibly move a couple of patients to telehealth visits.
00:56:54.690 –> 00:57:02.880
Sheri Heller: Is she considered eligible or she not eligible because a few of er visits could be done remotely so one of the things when you if you take a look at the faqs.
00:57:03.660 –> 00:57:09.090
Sheri Heller: One of the things they made very clear, is there really leaving it out to the employer to use your best judgment.
00:57:09.690 –> 00:57:17.430
Sheri Heller: So, for example, even though these are supposed to be coded related reasons, if an employee has coded symptoms goes for a test.
00:57:17.730 –> 00:57:28.650
Sheri Heller: and takes time off and then the test comes back negative they technically don’t have coven related reasons you’re you you’re acting in good faith, as the employer, assuming that.
00:57:29.340 –> 00:57:38.370
Sheri Heller: This is a legitimate reason so really it’s I wouldn’t give you a definitive answer on that if they’re able to telework you’re probably not going to be.
00:57:38.850 –> 00:57:51.150
Sheri Heller: eligible for reimbursement, it does the state know whether they’re able to tell about the state so i’m going to know that and but you’re attesting to the fact that they can’t tell a work so really is up to you as to how you want to handle that.
00:57:55.980 –> 00:57:56.220
00:57:58.110 –> 00:58:05.340
Sheri Heller: If you offer a voluntary coven sickly bucket can you distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.
00:58:07.890 –> 00:58:08.370
Sheri Heller: hmm.
00:58:10.260 –> 00:58:11.130
Amanda Leonardi: that’s a good one.
00:58:11.790 –> 00:58:21.360
Sheri Heller: that’s a darn good question so um anyway, so if you’re doing a voluntary covertly so have some employers are automatically giving employees.
00:58:21.600 –> 00:58:29.190
Sheri Heller: One or two pay days off in order to get their vaccine, in order to encourage more people to be vaccinated which is is permissible.
00:58:30.090 –> 00:58:49.050
Sheri Heller: But you make you always want to make sure that you are not any of the week, and any of your policies are not inadvertently discriminatory so that’s really kind of the best we can advise you, without having more specifics on on the situation.
00:58:49.410 –> 00:59:04.650
Amanda Leonardi: yeah and just to piggyback off that I think that one thing to keep in mind is that there are you know legitimate reasons why someone couldn’t get vaccinated for medical related reasons or religious related reasons and you just want to make sure that any.
00:59:05.670 –> 00:59:24.840
Amanda Leonardi: Of the policies that you are implementing wouldn’t have like sherry said any disparate impact on you know folks who who were not able to get vaccinated so you really do have to think through kind of all of the impacts that implementing something like that would have.
00:59:25.980 –> 00:59:29.040
Amanda Leonardi: And tread very, very, very carefully.
00:59:32.430 –> 00:59:50.160
Sheri Heller: Alright, so we’re coming up on the end of the hour, and I think we’ve answered most of the questions it does one thing here is that is the 50 maximum pre tax or after tax that 850 maximum is gross wages and then they would be taxable income.
00:59:51.930 –> 00:59:59.910
Sheri Heller: Alright, so, as promised, we have some resources here for you, there is a link here for the state’s.
01:00:01.170 –> 01:00:09.420
Sheri Heller: Information on the emergency basically program there’s a link, they just updated the notice that notice didn’t have the current dates.
01:00:10.140 –> 01:00:23.670
Sheri Heller: For April 1 2022 so that I think it just got updated today, so this link is the latest and greatest the sample request form that we showed you during the presentation is a link for that.
01:00:25.380 –> 01:00:36.870
Sheri Heller: And then here’s the address for email questions regarding the temporary periodically program questions you have regarding new reimbursement, you can email, the state directly.
01:00:37.560 –> 01:00:46.830
Sheri Heller: And then applying for emergency paid sick leave that lovely video we showed you there is a link for that as well, if you want to review that yet one more time.
01:00:48.000 –> 01:00:51.360
Sheri Heller: Okay, and with that we’re going to throw it back to me to take us home.
01:00:51.930 –> 01:01:03.180
MP: terrific Thank you sherry and amanda what a helpful program today I want to remind you all that will be sending out a link to the recording of the webinar along with the slide deck later today.
01:01:03.810 –> 01:01:15.720
MP: and be sure to join us next Thursday same time same place to learn what every employer needs to know about FSA and proper employee classification thanks again for joining us and have a terrific day.
Senior HR Advisor, MP
HR Professional, MP
Massachusetts employers of all sizes and industries must be in compliance with an expanded, extended COVID sick leave program. MP’s HR specialists share everything employers must know now to reach compliance.
Register for the webinar to:
- Learn what MA employers must do to be in compliance with the extended MA COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program
- Uncover how leaves taken under FFCRA and ARPA will impact this program
- Find out the number of hours employees may take for COVID sick leave and what will count as qualifying reasons
- Discover how workers who take COVID sick leave under this program will be paid and how employers will apply for reimbursement through MassTaxConnect