Senate Passes Coronavirus Relief Package

03/18/2020 4:34 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate passed a a multibillion-dollar aid package aimed at helping those impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. President Trump is expected to sign the bill, which provides paid sick leave for some workers in addition to other forms of aid such as free diagnostic testing.

How to best support small businesses amid mandates for paid leave continues to be a point of contention in negotiations. From Business Insider:

"Through increases in programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act would provide aid to those affected by the respiratory illness COVID-19 and efforts to contain it. The fast-tracked bill also expands paid sick leave for some workers, though the number of those who would be covered has been significantly reduced since its passage in the Democratic-controlled House early Saturday."

The bill offers two weeks of paid and family leave at 100% of their normal salary to many American workers who are in quarantine, helping a family member with COVID-19, or who have children whose schools have closed. The bill also includes a provision allowing for 12 weeks of paid leave at 67% of their normal salary to workers with children whose schools have closed. Offsets for the increased costs to businesses are provided in the form of tax credits, which has been criticized as not coming quickly enough to pay employees.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) committed to keeping the Senate in session to begin working on another stimulus package with the House of Representatives and the White House.

Read the full Business Insider article here, and more information on both the package passed by the Senate and what is expected in future legislation is available in this piece by Roll Call. ACRA will continue to provide updates on how this could affect CRM businesses as the situation evolves.

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