We know that business owners have a lot of questions about the rapidly evolving
COVID-19 situation in our community and around the world. We are here to try to help.
On this page, you can find resources and information about COVID-19.
DISCLAIMER: We will continue to update this page as information becomes available, but we cannot guarantee that all information will be up to date at all times. The information on this page is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice for your business, please contact us to find out about the services that we offer.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act - On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law. The FFCRA created three new benefits to address the COVID-19 outbreak:
Expanded FMLA - expands the federal Family and Medical Leave Act until December 31, 2020 to provide 10 weeks of paid leave for parents and guardians to care for children who are out of school due to COVID-19;
Paid Sick Leave - provides 2 weeks of paid sick leave for employees who are quarantined, experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or caring for individuals who are quarantined or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; and
Employer Tax Credits - provides employers with tax credits for providing expanded FMLA or paid sick leave under the FFCRA.
The FFCRA applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees, governmental agencies, and schools. These employers are required to be ready to provide these leaves by April 1, 2020. Congress has given the Department of Labor the authority to issue regulations to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from these leave requirements. We are watching these developments closely and will post an update when available.
SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loan Program - Congress has approved up to $7 billion in low-interest disaster loans to assist small businesses in eligible disaster areas that have been impacted by COVID-19.
IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief - The Internal Revenue Service has extended the filing and payment deadline for tax year 2019 to July 15, 2020. This extension is automatic and no forms or requests are required; however, taxpayers who expect to receive a refund should file their tax returns as soon as possible. The extension also applies to estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020. Those who can't file their return by July 15 may request an additional extension.
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a resource page to help businesses and employers plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19.
Washington State Resources
Washington State Proclamations related to COVID-19 - Governor Inslee has issued proclamations regarding school closures, limits on gatherings, and mandatory closures of certain businesses.
Confused about whether you are an "essential business" under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order? Click here for a list of essential worker categories that are excluded. Still confused or want your business to be added to the list? Click here.
Department of Revenue - The DOR is making available certain types of business relief beginning on February 29, 2020, including extensions for filing and paying business tax returns, delaying tax audits and collection efforts, amending or extending payment plans, and waiving delinquency fees for late renewals.
Employment Security Department - ESD has options for businesses that need to reduce employee work hours, including flexible rules for unemployment benefits for workers under a shared work program, partial employment, and temporary or permanent layoff. ESD is also waiving financial penalties for late filings and payment due to impacts of COVID-19.
Labor and Industries - LNI will extend workers' compensation benefits to health care workers and first responders who are quarantined by a physician or public health officer.
If you are an essential business and your employee contracts COVID-19 at work and files a workers' comp claim, click here for answers from LNI to some common questions.