Updated: FFCRA Client Q&A From Webinars

We’ve compiled all the questions received about FFCRA from our recent webinars and included them below with answers for all clients to reference.

 

DETAILS

 
When is this law effective?
The effective date is April 1, 2020.
 
Are there any organizations that are considered exempt from the Act? For example, a Healthcare Provider?
We advise that you confirm your exempt status with your legal counsel.
 
Does the acknowledgement provided by DATIS satisfy the notification rule or do I still need to post physically?
Yes the electronic acknowledgement will satisfy the rule. You may also want to post physically as well.
 
What if this is not applicable to our organization?
The updates are being provided to all clients. You may opt out of these system changes by contacting e3support@datis.com.
 
If we reduce our workforce to 500 or below, and then meet the criteria, will these settings be automatically applied?
The settings will not be applied automatically in the future if you have previously opted out. You can reach out to e3support@datis.com to request that the functionality be turned on for your organization. Please refer to the Department of Labor for more information on eligibility.
 
When will the time categories be added to the system?
This functionality is currently available as of March 30, 2020.
 
If we opt out initially, and then guidance is changed by advise by legal counsel, can we opt in at a later date?
Yes. You can notify e3 Support if/when you would like to opt-in. Under this circumstance, you may need to file your own 941 for the quarter. We will provide more information on this soon.
 
Is there any setup we need to do in the system?
We have set up e3 for you with the codes. You should determine via your plan document how retirement basis works for calculating percentage based contributions and employer matches and contributions. You may also want to review how your benefit accruals are configured.
 
 
TAXES
 
How will Tax Credits work for Government Entities? 
Although the FFCRA requires most government employees to provide paid leave, the credits do not apply to the Government of the United States or the government of any State or political subdivision. Government entities can notify support@datis.com so that e3 can exclude the calculation of FFCRA tax credits against your 941. Grants may be issues to eligible governmental entities by your state, and you should review your state resources to see if you qualify. 
 
Will reports show our taxes as normal, and then show the credit separately? Or will it report net?
The credits will be shown separately with separate tax codes for each credit type.
 
If we are an entity that does not pay into Social Security (due to State pension plans) where will we see the Tax credit?
The employer receives the credit against all deposited payroll taxes which includes employee federal withholding. Only if the credit exceeds that amount would you need to carry over to a subsequent quarter.
 
Will there be a report that can be run to determine employees don’t go over the max pay amounts?
e3 will automatically ensure that your employees do not exceed the limit. You can also use Company Labor History report and apply the filter on the FFCRA tax credit codes to validate the maximum amounts.
 
Will you be creating a report for us to run to track emergency leave paid to simplify the application for reimbursement?
The 941 tax deposit that is paid each time you process payroll will automatically be reduced by the credit you are due. You will be able to see this on the cash requirements report for each payroll batch.
 
Do we know how employers can get paid for the leave paid that is over their tax liability?
The 941 tax deposit that is paid each time you process payroll will automatically be reduced by the credit you are due. You will be able to see this on the cash requirements report for each payroll batch.
 
 
EMERGENCY FMLA EXTENSION
 
What is the correct max amount for EFMLEA
The daily max amount is $200 per day and the annual max amount is $12,000 (over a 12-week period—two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave))
 
What How would employees request the EFMLEA at 2/3 and the use PTO for the remaining 1/3?
Employees would request the leave as normal using the reason of Caring for Child.  The earnings codes are tied to the leave automatically and will calculate at 2/3 pay.  Administrators will need to calculate the hours needed to supplement the additional 1/3 pay and enter it into the earnings upload batch using the code requested by the employee. 
 
Do employers pay the emergency sick leave if the employees have no accruals?
Yes. The government is reimbursing employers for 80 hours. For more than 80 hours, the employee can be paid using other accrual buckets per your policy or LWOP per your policy. The employee might qualify for Extended FMLA beyond 80 hours, for which the government is also reimbursing you.
 
Will SS & Med ER be paid when we process under the ER FMLA?
SS & Med employer taxes will be exempt for the COVID-19 pay codes automatically.
 
Will we need to send the FMLA Designation Notices for the FMLA Extension like we do with standard FMLA?
Employers will still need to send FMLA Designation notices as they do with all other FMLA requests.
 
Does the FMLA Extension apply to agencies over 500 employees that would have previously been required to offer standard FMLA?
This is still somewhat unclear. Some organizations based on their state charter can be construed as Public; another variable clouding the waters. We will advise as we learn more.
 
Can we choose to use FMLA for any time Emergency Paid Sick Leave requested?
The employee may choose non-emergency time first but must be allowed to use the emergency time first. The employer can not make this election.
 
What if a staff can work half days as they have daycare for only in the mornings? Does the regulations speak to this and can they use the Emergency Paid Sick Leave/FMLA for this?
The Act does not address intermittent applications of the new emergency payments. DATIS has chosen to apply the Act as available for intermittent use (or partial use as your question is specific).
 
 
EMERGENCY SICK LEAVE
 
What is the correct max amount for EPSLEA?
The daily max amount is $511 per day and the annual max amount is $5,110 (over a two week period)
 
If an employee is out because of this, I wouldn’t expect them to be entering time. The manager should be able to enter this directly from the timesheet, correct?
Yes. This is correct for FMLA. For sick leave, they can enter it when requesting leave or their manager can add to the timesheet manually.
 
Please explain the pay computation for an exempt employee who has some work time and some emergency sick leave using the child care option. Are the hours of sick leave at the reduced rate?
The hours of sick leave will be paid at the reduced rate but the other work time rate will be adjusted so that the employee gets their full weekly salary.
 
If an employee is being paid 2/3 of their pay, will they be able to use their accrued Vacation or Sick leave for the other 1/3? If so, how do we put that in a batch or timesheet?
Yes. They can use Vacation or Sick leave to pay for the remaining 1/3. You will be able to enter the vacation or sick into an earnings entry batch, indicating what date the transaction is being charged to in the Charge Date column. The Week column will need to indicate 1, 2, or 3, depending on which week of your payroll the charge date falls into. All transactions will need to be entered per day in order for the system to charge the transactions to the correct days and apply the rules on a per day basis.
 
How would the employee enter the 1/3 PTO into a leave request on the same day that they are being paid 2/3 their base rate?
The employee would need to add a note to their leave request or advise their supervisor. The Administrator can then enter the supplemented time into an earnings entry batch for payroll processing as described above.
 
Can the 1/3 pay be applied automatically? If so, will it apply to all?
Yes. DATIS has added new functionality to pay the additional 1/3 automatically. If applied, this would be for all salaried employees who only use the COV earnings codes within the payroll run.  We are also working on functionality that will allow hourly employees to be paid the additional 1/3 while only using COV earnings codes as well.
 
How can we pay 1/3 of the pay for hourly employees?
We are creating a company option to pay hourly employees their full weekly wages (based off of their weekly hours), this is still in testing but we are looking to have this deployed by the end of next week April 24th, 2020. To determine the amount, you will calculate the difference in pay based on their weekly salary and divide that by the employee's hourly rate. That will provide the amount of hours needed to supplement the 2/3 pay. For example $400 weekly earnings minus 266.68 = $133.32 / $10 per hour = 13  hours. 
 
If an employee qualifies for 2/3 pay but wants to use employer provided Sick or PTO time how does that calculation work?
The multiplier is applied on COVID-19 earnings. If you enter Sick or PTO time instead, it will be paid at full rate unless you change the rate in Entry batches manually (see above).
 
How will DATIS limit the hours for part time? Will it do a look-back?
Yes. DATIS will use a look-back period of six months to limit hours.
 
If we have an employee who makes more than $511 per day, do we have to pay their full salary or just the $511?
$511 is the daily cap they will receive. If all of their hours for the week are COVID-19, the employee will receive $511 x 5 = $2,555 for the week. If any of the hours are non-COVID-19 then the employee will receive their full salary for the week; the non-COVID-19 hours will bear the difference.
 
Will these hours go toward our PTO accrual?
Please contact e3support@datis.com to review your accrual setup.
 
How are employees being given the 2 weeks paid leave? Do we have to manually add the time?
The time can be entered on the timesheet. Alternatively, an Administrator, or the employee, can use your existing leave request process and select the appropriate code.
 
Will there be an option to require documentation to be attached to any of these types of leave?
Yes, all leave requests allow additional documentation to be added on the submit step (step 4). Please mind the Act for guidance on what is and isn't required.
 
 
FURLOUGH
 
We set up furlough codes and placed the employees on leave already. Is there any reason why we should switch them to the new codes?
The furlough created is a leave status. It does not have any earnings codes associated to track time. They are independent of each other. You are able to utilize your method of furlough or the leave method, which will calculate benefits based on the furlough reason.
 
OTHER
 
How does e3 calculate weekly health insurance for a self-insured plan?
For example, if you contribute $400 bi-weekly for your employee's Medical plan and your employee takes one full week of pay under the COV earnings codes, you will see a credit back to your company for -$200.00 under the code FFC4 crediting back the amount of health insurance you pay for the employee for that week.
 
Will the Attendance Calendar update live same as the timesheet or when payroll is updated? 
The Attendance Calendar will update when the time is approved in workflow.
 
If an employee chooses the incorrect Leave Code on their request for leave, can the employer change the code on behalf of the employee? Or must the employee go back and do that themselves?
If an incorrect leave code is requested, the leave request can be denied and the employee can re-request. After the leave request is approved, the codes can be changed by a manager or an admin directly on the timesheet.
 
How will 401K contributions be handled under this?
This question should be answered by the plan's administrator. Depending on the plans & eligibility, 401K contributions might be handled differently under this Act.
 
Will the employer medical premiums be prorated based on the amount of time employees are out?
Yes. This has also been automated and you will be able to see the total amount on your cash requirements report.
 
Do employers have to share if someone in the company has test positive for COVID-19?
The CDC's website indicates employees must be notified of possible exposure, while maintaining confidentiality as required by the ADA.
 
If we do qualify to offer this leave to our employees, will garnishments and child support still come out of these amounts?
Federally held student loan debt recollection has been suspended. The Federal Government is working on, but has not finalized a bill that temporarily suspends nearly all efforts to garnish tax refunds to repay debts, including those to the IRS. This proposal does not apply to people who are behind on child support. Some states have passed their own legislation to halt debt recollection during this event.
 
We would prefer that the new earnings codes are not available on the leave request for staff. We would like Admin staff to designate the use of those codes. Is this possible?
Yes, you can change the earnings codes attached to the new COVID-19 reasons from Leave Request Setup Page.
 
Our agency, has implemented a precautionary policy, that required all employees that traveled by airplane to self-quarantine for 14-days. This is not outlined as one of the qualifications for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave; however, will the Emergency Paid Sick Leave be an option?
The employee must fall under one of the six requirements to qualify for the emergency benefits offered by the Act.
 
Can these new codes for emergency sick leave be apply to dates prior to April 1st?
The codes are tied directly to the tax implications of the law, so they should not be used prior to 4/1, since that is when the law goes into effect.
 

 

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