All posts by Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT – PART II

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“Act”) was passed on March 18, 2020 and amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”). The Act takes effects no later than April 2, 2020. The Act is part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A copy of the full text and history of the Act can be found online at Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Act applies to any employer who has fewer than 500 employees and any employee who was employed for at least 30 days prior to submitting a request for leave. However, the Department of Labor has ability to exempt those small business with fewer than 50 employees if compliance with the Act would jeopardize the viability of the small business.

Leave Based on Qualifying Need Related to Public Health Emergency.

An employee may request leave under the Act if the employee is “unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.” For the purposes of the Act, a “public Health emergency” means “emergency with respect to COVID–19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authority”.

Types of Leave Available Under Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

In the event that an employee needs to request leave, the employee must notify the employer as soon as the employee reasonably believes that they will need to request leave. Once a request has been submitted, there are 2 types of leave that the employee will receive under the Act.

Unpaid Leave

The first 10 days of leave that an employee takes under the Act are unpaid. However, an employee can elect to substitute any accrued vacation, personal, medical, or sick leave for the unpaid leave. It is important to note that this choice to substitute leave is the employee’s choice, an employer cannot make an employee do this.

Paid Leave

After the first 10 days of leave have passed, if an employee needs to take additional time, such additional time is to be treated as paid leave. Under the FMLA eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks leave, so that means employees can take up to 10 weeks paid leave under the new amendment.

The amount to be paid is dependent varies based upon the employee and should be calculated using the following formula:

Wages to Be Paid = Amount Not Less Than 2/3 Of Employee’s Regular Pay Rate X the Number of Hours the Employee Would Normally Be Scheduled to Work.

The Act provides some relief for employers and limits the amount to be paid to each employee to $200 per day and $10,000 total.

 

For those employees whose schedules vary, an employer should use the number of hours the employee was scheduled on average over the 6-month period prior to the leave request to calculate the wages to be paid. If any employee has not been employed for 6 months, an employer should use the number of hours a day that the employee was reasonably expected to work at the time of hiring. The same cap applies here.

Return to Work Following a Public Health Emergency Under Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

In the event that an employee takes leave under the Act and then notifies the employer they are ready to return to work, an employer is required to restore the employee back to their prior position.

An exception exists for those employers who have 25 or fewer employees and whose business was modified by the public health emergency. In the event that the employee’s position no longer exist due to economic conditions or other changes in operating conditions of the employer: (i) that affect employment; and (ii) are caused by a public health emergency during the period of leave. But the employer must still make a reasonable effort to restore the employee.

If the employer is unable to restore the employee back to their prior position or give them an equivalent position, the employer is then required to contact the employee if an equivalent position becomes available within a year after the expiration: (i) of the public health emergency; or (ii)  after the 3 month anniversary of employee’s leave request, whichever is earlier.

Special Provisions Within the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act for Health Care Providers and Emergency Respondents

The Department of Labor has ability to exclude certain health care providers and emergency respondents from the definition of “eligible employee” under the Act. In addition, an employer of an employee who is a health care provider or an emergency responder may elect to exclude such employee from the Act.

Definitions Under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

To assist in understanding the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the changes made by it, Congress provided the following definitions:

The term ‘child care provider’ means a provider who receives compensation for providing child care services on a regular basis, including an ‘eligible child care provider’ (as defined in section 658P of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858n)).

The term ‘school’ means an ‘elementary school’ or ‘secondary school’ as such terms are defined in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

Discrimination and other Violations Under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

The Act expressly prohibits the taking of any discriminatory or retaliatory action against any employee as result of said employee taking FMLA leave under the Act, for reporting any violations of the Act, and/or for testifying or instituting proceedings related to the Act. Any violation of the Act will be treated as a violation of the FMLA

Should you have any questions about business law or any other laws that may affect your business, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

OUR LOCATION

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

3701 Algonquin Rd. Suite 300, Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

Phone: (847) 253-8800
Fax: 847-253-8822

View Map | Driving Directions

 

 

 

EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT – PART I

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“Act”) was passed on March 18, 2020. The Act takes effect no later than April 2, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2020. The Act is part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A copy of the full text and history of the Act can be found online at Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The Act applies to any employer who has fewer than 500 employees. However, the Department of Labor has ability to exempt those small business with fewer than 50 employees if compliance with the Act would jeopardize the viability of the small business.

Employers are required to post a flyer in a visible and conspicuous location notifying employees of their rights under the Act. The Secretary of Labor is to release an approved flyer within 7 days after the Act goes into effect.

Sick Leave Based on Qualifying Need Related to Public Health Emergency.

An employer is required to provide paid sick time to each employee to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because:

  • The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID– 19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in subparagraph (1) or has been advised as described in paragraph (2).
  • The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child-care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Requirements of Paid Sick Leave Under Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

In the event that an employee needs to request leave, the employee must notify the employer as soon as the employee reasonably believes that they will need to request leave. After the first workday (or sick day) that an employee receives paid sick leave for, an employer can require the employee to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue to receive such paid sick leave.

It is important to note that an employer cannot require that an employee, as a condition to receiving paid sick leave, search for or find a replacement to cover the shifts/hours of work that the employee will miss while on leave.

Duration of Leave

The duration of the paid sick leave to be provided varies based upon the type of employee. A full-time employee is entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave while a part-time employee is entitled to a number of hours equal to what they normally work over a 2-week period.

The leave available under the Act is available for immediate use, regardless of how long the employee has worked for the employer, whether it be a day or a month. An employer cannot require an employee to use other paid leave available to the employee before using the paid sick leave provided under the Act.

It should be of some relief to employers that the leave available under the Act expires and will not carry-over to next year (2021); if it is not used, it is lost.

Compensation To Be Paid During Leave

The amount to be paid varies based upon the employee and is a multiple step process.

Step 1: Determine Rate of Pay

General Rule: The amount to be paid to an employee is required to be the greater of: (i) the employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”); (ii) the minimum wage rate in effect under the FLSA; and (iii) the minimum wage rate for such employee in the State of locality where such employee is employed.

Special Rule for Care of Family Members: If an employee is taking paid sick leave for reason #4, #5, or #6 above, the rate to be paid to such employee is only required to be 2/3rd of the amount due to such employee under the general rule above.

Step 2: Calculate Required Hours

If the employee works a set schedule, an employer should use the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work during such leave period. If the employee’s schedule varies, an employer should use the number of hours the employee was scheduled on average over the 6-month period prior to the leave request to calculate the wages to be paid. If any employee has not been employed for 6 months, an employer should use the number of hours a day that the employee was reasonably expected to work at the time of hiring.

Step 3: Calculate Sick Pay Due

The amount to be paid to an employee should be calculated using the following formula: Wages to Be Paid = Wage Rate x Required Hours.

The Act provides some relief for employers and limits the amount to be paid to each employee to $511 per day and $5,110 total for those employees who are on leave under reasons #1 – #3 above and to $200 per day and $2,000 for those employees who are on leave under reasons #4 – #6.

Special Provisions Within the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act for Health Care Providers and Emergency Respondents

The Department of Labor has the ability to exclude certain health care providers and emergency respondents from the definition of “eligible employee” under the Act. In addition, an employer of an employee who is a health care provider or an emergency responder may elect to exclude such employee from the Act.

Definitions Under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

To assist in understanding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the changes made by it, Congress provided the following definitions:

The term ‘‘employee’’ has the same meaning given such term in section 3(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203(e)).

Discrimination and other Violations Under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

The Act expressly prohibits the taking of any discriminatory or retaliatory action against any employee as result of said employee taking FMLA leave under the Act, for reporting any violations of the Act, and/or for testifying or instituting proceedings related to the Act. Any violation of the Act will be treated as a violation of the FMLA

Should you have any questions about business law or any other laws that may affect your business, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

OUR LOCATION

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

3701 Algonquin Rd. Suite 300, Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

Phone: (847) 253-8800
Fax: 847-253-8822

View Map | Driving Directions

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING – UNSETTLING WITH COVID-19

To our past and current clients, advisors, colleagues and friends:

It is the first day of spring of 2020 and instead of looking with anticipation to our summer of fun, we find ourselves  in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis, with no clear answers or definite end in sight.  Fear of what is to come is unsettling to everyone and we are all feeling a loss of control and sense of helplessness as we try to care for our loved ones. The list of what we cannot control is staggering and shocking.  We cannot control the stock market.  We cannot control the closing of businesses or the imploding of our economy.  We cannot control our ability to access simple things like toilet paper.  We can try to be careful with our health, hygiene and safe practices, but we cannot control COVID-19.  We find ourselves stunned, saddened and afraid. At WPD, the attorneys and staff members have dedicated lifetimes of work to helping people prepare for what life throws at them.  We cannot stop this pandemic nor can we ensure that you will not get sick, but we can help.

As counselors, we want to share information regarding steps you can still take now to have your legal and financial affairs in order and prepare for a medical emergency or death.  Most federal and state courts are now closed, which means there may be no avenue to address legal matters if someone becomes incapacitated or dies without legal documents in place to provide for decision-making and handling of finances and the transfer of assets.

Illinois law requires Wills, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney and other Advance Directives to be executed on paper, in person, and most with witnesses and/or a notary public present.  Our policy has always been to include additional witnesses and a notary seal on documents we prepare, even when not required under Illinois law, in case the documents are being administered in a different state, must be recorded, or are ever challenged by someone.

Due to the circumstances and health risks in the world right now, we understand that coming to our office to discuss your circumstances and estate planning needs may not be possible for some people, and is not likely practical. This does not, however, mean you cannot still prepare and execute certain legal documents to provide protection for you and your family in case of emergency.  We have options and would like to help you.  We can work with you by telephone and e-mail to discuss and prepare documents for you, and will instruct you as to how to execute your documents remotely, in your own home and with as few other people present as necessary.

We have been taking affirmative steps to protect ourselves and our clients by working remotely, minimizing in-person meetings, providing hand sanitizer throughout our office, and regularly and rigorously cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces in our offices, including pens before and after each meeting.  However, if leaving your house and coming to our office to take care of your legal needs is not an option, please know that we have do have other options for you and will help you in any way we can to give you some peace of mind during this very frightening time.

Now is not the time to dally or delay.   While your college-age students are home, have them execute Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives.  While you are able, let’s take care of your family with properly funded Revocable Living Trusts and Wills that address issues related to guardianship of your minor children.   We are here.  We can help.

Should you have any questions about estate planning, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

 

 

WHY IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY AND AN ESTATE PLAN CRITICAL AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME?

During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are all sharing in the concern for our families, businesses, and communities. In this era of social distancing we are finding new ways to stand together.

At Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, (“WPD”) LLC we are taking precautionary measures to keep our employees and our clients safe. We are holding the majority of client meetings by phone. In some instances, we are executing important legal documents, such as Powers of Attorney for Health Care & Property, Last Wills and Testaments, Guardianship Directives and Trusts in person as these documents require signatures in front of a notary and witnesses. For those meetings, we are using our conference space and distance with care and taking steps to disinfect our office space, including door handles, chairs, tables and pens that we have for you to use for the signing so you feel comfortable knowing every pen is disinfected before and after your use. Employees are using sanitizer on their hands and work spaces throughout each day.

We are all anxious about our health and financial well-being. We are worried about being exposed to contracting the virus and spreading that exposure to others. We are all confronting our mortality and asking what will happen if I get sick and become incapacitated? Or worse, what will happen if I die? While we cannot prevent bad things from happening, we can help make the outcome better. We urge you to plan for your family with care. We are here to help.

Should you have any questions about Estate Planning or would like to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attornies, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law, Collaborative Divorce & Mediation.

This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

OUR LOCATION

Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC

3701 Algonquin Rd. Suite 300, Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

Phone: (847) 253-8800
Fax: 847-253-8822

View Map | Driving Directions