While we wait for the next federal legislative dump to send us back into furious reading and digesting, here are some take-aways on what’s already happened, and an opportunity for small businesses to do something about this paid sick and FMLA leave requirement that has many people freaking out or simply shutting their doors and laying off an entire workforce out of the fear they’ll be bankrupted by employee leave payments:

  • First, the DOL has not yet finalized whether the 50 employee threshold will take effect, but they ARE actively inviting public comment. If you’re a small business owner and care about being exempted from this requirement, now is the time to take action. You’ll need to create a username and account (no heavy lifting there, you probably did it 5 times today to setup homeschooling apps for your kids, right?), and then you can submit your ideas and comments, and vote up or down on the ideas and comments of others. This is important. Don’t complain if you don’t speak up. Here’s the link.
  • Next: the DOL has issued some useful posters that summarize, or try to summarize, the FMLA/sick leave requirements. If you are a “covered employer” under last week’s law, then you need to send this to all of your employees. But see my first point – you might not be a covered employer if the 50 employee threshold is implemented or if you are in certain occupations. So read this poster with that context in mind, and if you have questions about what to do, call your lawyer.
  • Third, late this afternoon, Maine Revenue Service caught up to the Feds and extended the deadline for state income tax filings and payments. Note that sales and payroll taxes are not affected. Corporate state returns and estates and trust returns are covered.