At a time of extreme economic uncertainty among so many small business employers already exposed to cash-flow difficulties, Congress is considering an employer-fronted paid leave mandate that could lead to mass layoffs, employer bankruptcies, and supply chain issues that could delay delivery of medical and emergency response facility projects.
AGC appreciates the efforts of Congress and the Administration to take swift action to act on public health and economic needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the provisions within the recently House-passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, take level-headed action to mitigate risks to our communities. However, the institution of a regime whereby small business employers of fewer than 500 employees must front up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at two-thirds pay in addition to two weeks of paid sick leave at full or two-thirds pay is at best problematic, and at worst unworkable. That remains the case even with the proposed 100 percent tax credit coverage capped at $511 per employee per day and $200 per day, respectively.
AGC recommends that the federal government—not construction employers—is best equipped to administer and front compensation for COVID-19-related illness leave.
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