HomeWork Solutions is fielding many questions about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) from families and caregivers alike. We are committed to helping nannies and other household workers understand and have access to the benefits they deserve, and equally to helping families to understand their new (temporary) responsibilities. Lastly, HomeWork Solutions is waiving some fees for families who have not been paying their nannies on the books. Catching up on "NannyTaxes" will protect families from liability for unemployment claims and/or unpaid wage claims while ensuring the nannies who care for our families are cared for in this crisis.
It is important to understand that these provisions of the emergency legislation apply equally to documented and undocumented workers, and that employers will be reimbursed for these payments (via credits) on their future employment tax payments.
Q. My nanny is not working because her child’s school is closed. What are my responsibilities?
There are two aspects of the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act that come into play when an employee is unable to work to care for a family member, whether that family member is ill or simply needs care due to school or childcare closure. Both apply to leave taken after 1 April 2020, the effective date of the Act.
First, the Emergency Paid Leave Act of 2020 requires that you pay your nanny or caregiver for 2 weeks at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay, not to exceed $500 per day when leave is requested for a qualifying purpose. The employee is responsible to request the leave in writing and maintaining documentation to support the request.
Secondly, if the need exists beyond these 2 weeks, the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA) comes into play. The employee should be changed to changed to FMLA leave status. In this situation, the first two weeks of leave is covered by the Emergency Paid Leave Act above, and the employee is then eligible for an additional 10 weeks of paid leave (or until the schools reopen), calculated at 2/3 of her regular rate of pay, not to exceed $200 per day. The total pay mandated under the two acts will not exceed 12 weeks.
Employers will be reimbursed...
It is important to understand that these provisions of the emergency legislation apply equally to documented and undocumented workers, and that employers will be reimbursed for these payments (via credits) on their future employment tax payments. For record-keeping, pay for time not work should be separately tracked from pay for time worked. In essence, the family is advancing the money today to be reimbursed off future taxes due. It goes without saying that the household employee needs to be paid legally.
Enforcement is via the state’s Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, and is treated as any unpaid wage claim. This means that if a nanny or household employee does not receive the compensation as outlined above and files a claim, she will be awarded not only the unpaid wages but additional liquidated damages equal to the amount of the unpaid wages. Even workers being paid off the books can file these claims, and the family becomes liable for wages, damages, and all back taxes including the FICA that the employer failed to collect from the worker’s pay.
HWS is here to help...
HomeWork Solutions is committed to do our part to get employees access to the benefits they deserve. We'll waive or discount service fees for prior year payroll tax returns to ensure employees have unemployment insurance income and employers are eligible for a refund of paid sick and family leave. Contact us at (866) 959-7812 and mention "Free 2019."