No burying the lede today. Join me and an extra special guest for a Facebook Live HR/COVID-19 chat this Friday at 2 PM EDT / 11 AM PDT. It will be here over at The Employer Handbook Facebook Page.
Who is this special guest? Want a hint? I grew up not that far from this person.
Main Street Lending Program – The Next Gold Rush?
Before I get all FFCRA on you, I want to get a shout out to my FisherBroyles LLP partners, Paul Economon and Kevin Gluntz.
They wrote this alert to let you folks in on a little secret🤫.
The Paycheck Protection Program isn’t the only way under the CARES Act for your small-to-mid-size business to get some much needed additional funding from the government.
That is, the CARES Act also created the Main Street Lending Program. And guess what? If your business missed out on PPP, you might be able to get a Main Street loan.
And guess what else? If your business landed a PPP loan, you might be able to get additional funding through Main Street.
And guess what else? Larger businesses can get in on this too!
Have I whet your beak? Good. Now go ahead and read the alert.
DOL ⚡shocks⚡ an electrical company that denied paid sick leave to an employee
See what I did there?
A little over a week ago, the U.S. Department of Labor put it out there that the temporary period of non-enforcement of paid leave protections under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was over. That was on April 20.
On April 23, the DOL announced here that it had bagged its first scofflaw employer:
After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), … an electrical company … will pay one employee $1,600 for refusing to provide him sick leave under the newly passed Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act after health care providers ordered him to self-quarantine with potential coronavirus symptoms.
WHD investigators found that [the employer] failed to pay the employee for what qualified as paid sick leave covering the hours he spent at home after the company received documentation of his doctor’s instructions to self-quarantine. The employer will pay the employee’s full wages of $20 an hour for 80 hours of leave.
For an employee living paycheck to paycheck, $1,600 is real money.
For employers, we’re just scratching the surface:
- Here’s your proof that the DOL is enforcing the FFCRA.
- Systemic violators will pay damages multiplied by the number of violations. That can add up quickly.
- Then, private lawsuits will follow like a two-edged sword. They could be filed one employee lawsuit at a time, with not much at stake in each. But, when the lawsuits multiply, the defense costs alone will be painful to endure for a small-to-mid-size business. Or, it could be one big collective-action with several employees claiming to redress the same harm. (Remember, folks, paid sick leave violations are minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.) One action may be cheaper to defend, but the stakes in that one lawsuit will be much higher.
The Wu-Tang Clan said it best: FFCRA ain’t nothing to f**k wit.
No, they said to Protect Ya Neck against the Coronavirus. (And they’ve got the merch to prove it!)
But, we’ll save the 😷 post for another day. Maybe we’ll touch upon that during the Facebook Live on Friday. But, please don’t rely upon that or this post for legal advice.
If you need help with FFCRA, CARES Act, or other COVID-19 issues, be smart and call an employment lawyer.