MMCA COVID-19 Update & Resources XV April 8, 2020 Check our website for frequent updates.
Stay at Home Order Extended to May 4, 2020
Governor Walz extended the Stay at Home executive order to May 4, 2020. Beginning on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm through Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 11:59 pm, all persons currently living within the State of Minnesota are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except to engage in certain activities and critical sector work, including construction work.
New clarification of critical sector work from updated CISA guidance and Minnesota-specific additions is available here.
Critical employees may engage in critical work provided that all persons follow the guidelines set forth and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Health including but not limited to social distancing.
Here are some reminders and resources to use when evaluating your jobsite(s) and ensuring a safe workplace.
Calculating Paid Leave Under the FFCRA
Beginning April 1, 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to employees who are unable to work or telework because of different COVID-19-reasons. See chart below for the different reasons and eligible leave benefits.
Regular rate of pay includes taxable wages, but not amounts payable as fringe benefit contributions.
Maintain the employee’s Health and Welfare coverage as though the employee had been continuously employed.
Tax credits are available to reimburse, dollar-for-dollar, the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to employees including health insurance costs.
DEED Authorized Additional Unemployment Benefits
DEED has authorized the first payments of the temporary additional compensation of $600/week for people receiving unemployment benefits. The first week the additional benefits are eligible begin the week of March 29th and can be requested the week of March 29 on or after April 5.
Claimants do not need to contact DEED or do anything to get the additional $600. DEED will automatically process the additional $600 payment AFTER you request benefits for the week of March 29 (and every week after that you are eligible).
Claimants will not see the $600 payment on their online unemployment account. Payment will only be on the bank account or unemployment debit card statement.
Payments may take a few days to reach the bank/debit card
Effective April 6, 2020 and through December 31, 2020, employers must notify separated employees about the availability of unemployment insurance benefits. This change occurred on April 6, 2020 to comply with new unemployment insurance provisions under the CARES Act, the Governor’s Executive Order and existing Minnesota law
Employers may use thismodel language and notify employees through letters, emails, text message, or flyers given or sent to the individual.
Filing Income Tax for Businesses
The IRS has issued a notice that announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency.
Minnesota has not changed its due date for Business Income Taxes for Corporation Franchise, S Corporation, Partnership, or Fiduciary taxes. However, under state law:
C corporations receive an automatic extension to file their Minnesota return to the later of 7 months after the due date or the date of any federal extension to file.
S corporations, partnerships, and fiduciaries receive an automatic extension to file their state return to the date of any federal extension to file.
The payment due date has not changed.
Paycheck Protection Program FAQs
The Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department released FAQs relating to the Paycheck Protection Program. Stinson law firm has provided some clarifications provided by the FAQs - notably that the paycheck protection loan program applies to all small construction firms.
If you have employees who need assistance with stress, financial, or familial issues refer them to HealthPartners Employee Assistance Program at 866-326-7194 or text US HEAP and your question to 919-324-5523 or log on to hpeap.com (website password “ptsmn”).