State Specific COVID-19 Guidance

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Alongside FFCRA, the federal act leading the national response to protect our workforce amidst COVID-19, states are implementing support services and emergency regulations as developments with the pandemic unfold.

Our team at Sparrow is monitoring COVID-19 related state resources as they are continually updated and we are incorporating these logistics and paperwork into our streamlined LOA process. This includes FFCRA tracking, alerts for updated emergency state regulations, payroll calculations, and state/federal benefits paperwork.

Here, we will review state resources and address common questions for states we receive the most questions about, and provide general tips for evaluating these resources for your company.

Overview of State-Specific Regulations and State Resources

State Regulations Employee Wage Replacement Resources
New York Depending on the size and type of business, employers must provide job protection and respective amounts of paid sick leave.

Small businesses (<11 employees) must provide:
  • Job Protection
Medium businesses (11-99 employees), Large businesses (100+ employees) & Public Employers must provide:
  • Job Protection
  • At least 14 days of paid sick leave
NYS Paid Family Leave (PFL) and Disability Benefits (DB):
  • DB and NYS PFL benefits combined are capped at $2,884.62/week.
  • No unpaid waiting period for either benefit.
  • Remote employees or employees who can work through other means are not eligible to receive these benefits.
California California's Department of Industrial Relations published FAQs on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner's Office. The FAQs address various issues such as paid sick leave. CA EDD Unemployment Insurance (UI), State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits:
  • 60-70% of wages capped at $1,300/week.
Washington Washington does not have specific Covid-19 regulations at this time. WA Paid Family & Medical Leave (WA PFML) Benefits:
  • 12 weeks of paid leave capped at $1,000/week.
WA Employment Security Development (WA ESD) Benefits

What states have changed their unemployment insurance rules in response to COVID-19?

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their unemployment insurance rules and/or issued some type of guidance to account for the COVID-19 pandemic.

When evaluating a state-specific regulation, it is important to understand:

  • Mandated job protection
  • Paid sick leave
  • Types of employers that are subject to the respective regulation

Employers should also consider any local requirements, such as the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) and Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST).

Are employers required to post any state-regulations (CA, NY & WA) related to COVID-19?

For FFCRA, employers are required to post a notice by April 1, 2020 in places where other required employment postings are located. You can obtain the notice at the Department of Labor’s website. For more information regarding the notice requirements, please see the DoL Frequently Asked Questions page.

Aside from FMLA, FFCRA/EFMLEA, and paid sick leave as it applies to a company’s state and business, there are no other required notices for other state regulations related to COVID-19.

For example, NY employers are required to post:

Will Sparrow help manage FFCRA leaves?

Yes, Sparrow will help manage FFCRA leaves.

Once the HR team adds the employee to the Sparrow dashboard and introduces them, your assigned Product Specialist will arrange an onboarding call with the employee. During the call, we will talk through the employee’s FFCRA rights and determine their eligibility for EPSL, EFMLEA and other state/third party insurance benefits. We will also assist your HR and Payroll team by obtaining the appropriate documentation, tracking their leave dates, and providing the employee’s benefit calculations and personalized payroll plan.

To learn more, please watch our free webinar (Information as of Friday March 27, 2020) or visit Sparrow’s post “Demystifying FFCRA & COVID-19”. Both discuss various state and federal programs and support services for individuals affected by COVID-19.