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BHBM Tax Law Alert | Clarification Regarding Meaning of Quarantine or Isolation Order


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FEDERAL TAX LAW UPDATE

BREAKING NEWS: CLARIFICATION REGARDING MEANING OF QUARANTINE OR ISOLATION ORDER

There has been some confusion over whether Proclamation Number 33 JBE 2020 (the “Stay-At-Home Order”) issued by Governor John Bel Edwards on March 22, 2020, would qualify as a State or local quarantine or isolation order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “Department”) announced a new action in the form of a temporary rule (the “Rule”), which clarifies the governmental orders that qualify as quarantine or isolation orders for purposes of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”).

The FFCRA entitles full-time covered employees to up to eighty (80) hours of paid sick leave, and generally entitles part-time employees to up to the number of hours that they work on average over a two-week period, although special rules may apply to part-time employees with varying schedules. Under the FFCRA, an employee may take paid sick leave if the employee is unable to work due to any of the six (6) qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.

The first reason for paid sick leave applies where an employee is unable to work because he or she is subject to a Federal, State, or local COVID-19 quarantine or isolation order. The Rule clarifies that quarantine or isolation orders will include a broad range of governmental orders, such as orders that advise some or all citizens to shelter in place, stay at home, quarantine, or otherwise restrict their own mobility. As a result, the Stay-At-Home Order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards likely qualifies as a quarantine or isolation order for purposes of the FFCRA.

In addition, the Rule does the following with respect to paid sick leave due to quarantine or isolation orders:

Please see the full text of the Rule here.

To view all of our COVID-19 related Tax Law Alerts, click here.


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