Representative John Curtis (R-UT) sent a letter to United States Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for relief for small businesses who are obligated to make paid leave payments to employees under the newly signed Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
“I have heard from small business owners who are worried about how they will afford this new set of required paid leave benefits. Unfortunately, in many instances, this could bankrupt businesses if done incorrectly, and potentially force an employer to lay off employees. The intent of this legislation was to help employees and employers during a time of need, not make their survival through this temporary hardship more difficult.”
On behalf of the countless small businesses that he represents, Congressman Curtis urges the Treasury Department to consider these issues as they issue subsequent regulations for qualified businesses to follow:
- Ensure the Department of the Treasury can offer small businesses payments in advance if waiting to receive their tax credits would be harmful to the employee in addition to jeopardizing their business;
- Establish a clear set of guidelines or requirements for employees to follow in order to prove eligibility to avoid systematic fraud and abuse;
- Permit regulatory flexibility in the emergency paid leave program to account for subsequent developments as more information regarding the virus emerges.