UPDATE: On Friday March 12th, President Joe Biden has signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act.
On Wednesday March 10th, the House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in a vote of 220-211. This follows the 50-49 Senate vote on the bill, on March 6th (as you may recall from reading our blog post here, the House already took an initial pass at this bill, but due to modifications made in the Senate, the bill went back to the House for approval). The bill will now head to the desk of President Biden, who is expected to sign the bill during an event on Friday March 12th.
Here’s what employers will need to know:
- FFCRA remains voluntary. Private employers with fewer than 500 employees can claim tax credits for FFCRA leave wages through September 30, 2021.
- On April 1, 2021, each employee of employers who voluntarily continue to offer FFRCA leave will have their 10 days of leave replenished.
- In addition to existing reasons for leave, employees can use FFCRA leave to obtain their vaccination and recover from post-vaccination symptoms or illness.
- Employers may take a maximum tax credit for FFCRA leave wages of $200 per day, and $12,000 total per employee for family leave wages.
- The bill includes a $300 federal boost to weekly jobless payments and extends two key pandemic unemployment benefits programs through September 6, 2021.
- $15 billion to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans via the Small Business Administration (SBA). Businesses with fewer than 10 workers will be given priority.
- Almost $30 billion for a new grant program specifically for bars and restaurants. Eligible businesses may receive up to $10 million in aid, and can use for a variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage/rent, utilities, and food/beverage.
- The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) has been replenished with over an additional $7 billion. The program has recently begun to take applications for a new round loans, and more non-profit organizations will be eligible.
Please note this current global emergency and applicable laws, regulations, proposals, guidance, advice, and responses change rapidly. We strive to keep you up to date as much as possible, but this blog article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Contact myHRcounsel with questions concerning specific facts and circumstances.