CARES Act FAQ for Employers

Supporting America’s Health Care System in the Fight Against the Coronavirus

Labor Provisions

Is there a limitation on employers for paid FMLA?

Yes. Paid leave under section 100 of the FMLA (as added by the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act) is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate for each employee. (Section 3601). 


Is paid FMLA leave available to rehired employees?

Yes, The Act clarified the term “eligible employee” means an employee who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested.  For these purposes, the term “employed for at least thirty days” includes an employee who: (a) was laid off by that employer not earlier than March 1, 2020; (b) worked for the employer for not less than 30 of the last 60 calendar days before the employee’s layoff; and (c) was rehired by the employer.  (Section 3605)


Is there a limitation on employers for emergency paid sick leave?

Yes. Paid sick leave under Section 5102 of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is capped at (1) $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for each employee when the employee is taking sick leave because the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, or the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or (2) $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for each employee when the employee is taking leave to care for a quarantined individual or child. (Section 3602)


Can employers receive an advanced refund of payroll credit for required paid sick and FMLA leave?

Yes. Employers can keep money they would have deposited for payroll taxes in anticipation of refunds from the Treasury for paid sick leave and paid FMLA leave provided to employees, including amounts that would have been refunded. According to forms and instructions provided by the secretary of the Treasury, the credit may be advanced up to 100 percent of the qualified family leave wages paid by such employer but shall not exceed $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate when calculated through the end of the most recent payroll period in the quarter. (Section 3606)


How does the CARES Act impact employee benefit related deadlines?

The Act allows the Department of Labor to delay employee benefit related deadlines for up to one year because of a public health emergency, the same as declared national disasters or terroristic military actions.


How does the CARES Act affect employers with single-employer pension plans?

Single employer pension plan companies will have more time to meet their funding obligations because payment of minimum required contributions that would otherwise be due during the calendar year of 2020 have been delayed until Jan. 1, 2021. At that time, contributions would be increased by the amount of interest accruing for the period between the original due date and the payment date. A plan’s status for benefit restrictions as of Dec. 31, 2019 will apply throughout 2020. (Section 3608)


How does the CARES Act affect charitable employers?

A charitable employer that: (i) is exempt from taxation under Code section 501(c)(3); (ii) has been in existence since 1938; (iii) conducts medical research directly or indirectly through grant making: and (iv) has as its primary exempt purpose providing services with respect to mothers and children, and with a pension plan beginning after Dec. 31, 2018, is now able to apply the cooperative and small employer charity (CSEC) pension plan rules.  (Section 3609)


How does the CARES Act impact federal contractors?

The Act ensures federal contractors will continue being paid through Sept. 20, 2020, in the event employees cannot perform work on a federally-approved worksite due to facility closures or other restrictions and who cannot telework because their job duties cannot be performed remotely during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  (Section 3610)