March 31, 2020

New Compliance Blog breaks down paid leave requirements

Compliance BlogIn a new NAFCU Compliance Blog post, Vice President of Regulatory Compliance Brandy Bruyere explains how the Emergency Paid Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act – enacted earlier this month as part of the Phase 2 coronavirus relief package – could impact credit unions. The provisions are set to take effect tomorrow and expire Dec. 31.

"The [Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)], in part, applies to businesses with under 500 employees and provides workers with paid leave in a variety of situations if they are impacted by COVID-19," Bruyere writes. "While employment law is somewhat beyond the scope of our expertise at NAFCU and credit unions may need to consult with counsel in this area during these challenging times, we wanted to give some basic highlights of these new paid leave requirements as these provisions go into effect tomorrow, April 1, 2020."

For the Emergency Paid Leave Act, Bruyere explains that it "requires credit unions to provide two weeks of paid sick leave in several situations, with amounts of paid leave permitted depending on reason for the leave."

There are six situations in which an employee affected by the coronavirus would be entitled to paid leave, which Bruyere details. She also further explains how much paid leave they could be entitled to, whether an exemption from the Department of Labor would be applicable, and how state and local laws come into play.

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act "applies to credit unions with under 500 employees and entitles full and part-time employees who have worked for the credit union for at least 30 days to twelve weeks of job-protected leave, with ten weeks of that leave paid."

"Specifically, this applies when an employee cannot work or telework because, due to COVID-19, their child's school is closed or paid child care provider is unavailable," Bruyere explains.

She provides additional details on how the paid leave is calculated and other considerations credit unions must take.

Bruyere reiterates that credit unions should seek outside counsel for guidance on these issues and provides links to some guidance from the Department of Labor. She also highlights IRS guidance on the availability of payroll tax credits for paid leave.

Read Bruyere's full blog here. NAFCU's Compliance Team is publishing new blogs daily, Monday-Friday, to keep credit unions informed of important regulatory updates.

Access all of NAFCU's resources related to the coronavirus – including FAQs on Phase 2 and a summary chart of Phase 3 provisions – here.