Ad Spot

May 8, 2021

Rowan Chamber of Commerce’s speaker talks about navigating new paid leave law

SALISBURY — Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in the spring, it has disrupted many aspects of everyday life, including work.

Parents who are employed have been forced to juggle their work life with providing the necessary care for their children or family members.

To help those families and employees in general, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed and signed into law in March. The bill expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act and requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. 

Kenny Colbert, the president and CEO of The Employers Association in Charlotte, delivered a presentation on the bill at the Rowan Chamber of Commerce’s November Power in Partnership Breakfast on Thursday morning. The Employers Association provided human resources training and solutions to over 900 businesses in the Charlotte region.

During his presentation, Colbert delivered advice on how companies can navigate the FFCRA to ensure that their employees are healthy and happy, but also continue to be profitable.

Colbert

“You’ve got a lot of employees that have been impacted by childcare issues and COVID issues that have affected their own personal family,” Colbert said. “But at the same time, they have a job to do, they have to balance their job. On the other side of it, you have the companies that want to be recognized as a family friendly employer. They need to get the product out the door.”

Under the FFCRA, which applies to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, employers must provide emergency paid sick leave. Employees can take sick leave for various reasons, including to self-quarantine as advised by a healthcare provider, if they are awaiting a medical diagnosis after having COVID symptoms, or if they are caring for a child or individual due to the closure of a childcare facility.

The FFCRA also requires employers to provide 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave, including a 10-day “waiting period.”

“This is a well-intended law,” Colbert said. “It has helped a lot of employees balance their work life and their personal family life.”

However, Colbert said, the FFCRA has impacted businesses.

“This may be much more generous than the average leave policy,” Colbert said. “You could be paying a lot of people up to 10 weeks of leave.”

There are tax credits available to help businesses afford to pay for their employees’ leave, Colbert said.

“Employers are entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of the wages paid for the emergency paid sick leave and the expanded FMLA,” Colbert said. “The way you get your money back is when you file your taxes you’ll be reimbursed the next quarter.”

Rowan Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Spalding said that she heard Colbert speak about the FFCRA at a recent meeting and wanted him to spread that knowledge to Rowan County employers.

“This is very valuable information,” Spalding said. “I know that all of our Rowan employers want to support their employees and do the right thing. It’s just that there are so many nuances to the new federal regulations and of course state.”

While the FFCRA is set to expire after Dec. 31, Colbert said that doesn’t expect the law to go anywhere anytime soon.

“I think it’s probably going to be extended in some shape, fashion or form in 2021,” Colbert said.

Although the FFCRA does not apply to businesses with more than 500 employees, Colbert encouraged those companies to learn about the FFCRA.

“If you are a larger employer, the law doesn’t apply to you,” Colbert said. “But I think you should know the mechanics of this law so that you can say ‘I’m keeping up with what the other companies are doing. I’m being a good and responsible employer.’”

For more information about the FFCRA, visit the Department of Labor’s website at dol.gov. The next Power in Partnership Breakfast will be held on Dec. 17 and will feature inspirational speaker Patrick Henry.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras