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Trump Signs Families First Coronavirus Response Act

OVERVIEW


President Trump signed into law on Wednesday night the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) following a 90-8 vote by the Senate earlier in the day. The Act provides paid sick leave to American workers affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a variety of ways.

IN DEPTH


President Trump signed into law on Wednesday night the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) following a 90-8 vote by the Senate earlier in the day. The Act provides paid sick leave to American workers affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a variety of ways.

The Act includes the following important benefits effective not later than April 2, 2020:

  • An emergency paid sick leave benefits program for employees taking paid leave

  • A requirement for certain large employers to offer paid sick leave

  • A tax credit against payroll taxes for employers offering paid sick and paid family and medical leave

  • Expanded unemployment benefits for workers losing their jobs because of COVID-19

  • Grants to states to cover processing and paying claims

The Act provides for COVID-19 diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers, makes personal respiratory protective devices eligible for certain liability protections, and temporarily increases the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). It also includes emergency appropriations for select nutritional assistance programs, suspends the work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), permits states to request waivers to provide emergency SNAP benefits, and relaxes requirements for the school meals program.

Policymakers are considering additional economic stimulus measures, and there is cautious optimism that additional legislation will be enacted shortly to help avert economic hardships that are arising due to business shutdowns. A Treasury memo proposes a $1 trillion stimulus and relief package, including direct cash payments to individuals, targeted secured lending for especially impacted industries such as airlines, small business interruption loan guarantees, and the use of the Exchange Stabilization Fund to guarantee money market mutual funds. A group of Democratic senators led by Cory Booker (NJ), Michael Bennet (CO) and Sherrod Brown (OH) proposed immediate cash payments of $2,000 per adult and child, subject to a phase-out for high-income taxpayers, with automatic quarterly follow-on payments triggered by macroeconomic performance.

© 2020 McDermott Will & Emery

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Justin Jesse International Tax Attorney McDermott Will Emery Law Firm
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Justin Jesse is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Washington, DC office.  He focuses his practice on U.S. and International Tax.

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Andrew C. Liazos Executive Compensation Attorney McDermott Will Boston
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Andrew C. Liazos is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP based in the Firm’s Boston office. Andrew heads the Firm's Executive Compensation Group and the Boston Employee Benefits Practice.

Andrew regularly represents Fortune 500 companies, public companies, large closely held businesses and compensation committees on all aspects of executive compensation, ERISA fiduciary matters, employee benefits in business transactions and bankruptcy, and employee stock ownership plans. He also counsels executives in employment agreement and joint venture negotiations.

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Andrew R. Roberson tax attorney McDermott Will. Andy handles tax cases in Federal court, United States Tax Court
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Andrew R. Roberson is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  Andy specializes in tax controversy and litigation matters, and has been involved in over 30 matters at all levels of the Federal court system, including the United States Tax Court, several US Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court. 

Andy also represents clients, including participants in the CAP program, before the Internal Revenue Service Examination Division and Appeals Office, and has been successful in settling...

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