President Signs Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18th, the Senate passed H.R 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, on a 90-8 vote. That evening the President signed the act into law. According to the provisions of H.R. 6201, the law takes effect "not later than 15 days after the date of enactment of this Act." (See Section 5108.) That would mean the law is effective no later than April 2, 2020. For paid sick leave, H.R. 6201 defines employer to generally include any public agency covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. For the paid FMLA, H.R. 6201 does not appear to apply to…

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Update: Public Agencies Excluded from Paid Sick Leave/FMLA Reimbursement

As I noted yesterday, the House version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides for paid sick leave and FMLA. Under the bill, employers will receive a 100% tax credit against the employer portion of social security taxes in order to pay for this benefit. At first, I presumed this reimbursement would apply to public employers. However, I've been told and have confirmed that the most recent version of the bill contains a "special rule" that: STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.—This credit shall not apply to the Government of the United States, the government of any State or political subdivision…

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Key Points for Public Agencies

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On March 14, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. A summary issued by the House can be found here. Here are some key elements of the bill that are relevant to public agencies:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

  • Provides 2 weeks of paid sick leave, paid at employee’s regular rate, to quarantine or seek a diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus.
  • Sick leave is paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate if taken to care for a family member for such purposes or to care for a child whose school has closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to the coronavirus.
  • Full-time employees are entitled to 2 weeks (80 hours) and part-time employees are entitled to the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period.
  • These requirements apply to all government employers.
  • These requirements expire on December 31, 2020.
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PERB Stakeholder Meeting on February 6, 2020

Just a reminder that PERB is hosting a stakeholder meeting this Thursday, February 6, 2020. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Case Processing Efficiency Initiative Recommendations related to the expedited case process and related to pro per information and training. The meeting will be held at the PERB headquarters at 1031 18th Street, First Floor, Room 103, Sacramento CA. The meeting will begin at the conclusion of the regular Board meeting which is estimated to be around 10:30 a.m. 

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How Accurate are BLS Statistics on Union Membership?

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Earlier this week I did a post on the 2019 union membership statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, in 2019, 35.37% of all state and local employees were members of a union, while 38.68% of all state and local employees were represented by a union. If you do the math, that means the union membership rate is 91.4%. That seems really high to me. I would have guessed the average union membership rate at between 60%-80%.

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