More COVID 19 Q&A for Dental Practice Owners
Dear Client, We continue to monitor feeds on the new bill and other programs that might help you. We’re also answering a lot of questions from clients. Here is another set of Q&A that might help you through this time: 1.With the new bill that just passed, it states there is an exemption for Health Care Providers. Is my practice exempt as a Health Care Provider? It’s not entirely clear, but we spoke with two attorneys and both have said that the law generally interprets a health care provider as the provider and the provider’s W2 staff members. If this is the case, you are not required to pay any sick or family leave other than any standard sick or vacation time the staff member has accrued. Your staff will want to file for unemployment insurance. 2.If there is no automatic exemption for my practice as a “Health Care Provider,” I noticed I can get an exemption from the Department of Labor if the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of my business. How do I obtain a this exemption? There is virtually no clarity that we are aware of on this. If you know, please share the love. 3.If I’m not exempt, and if I have staff members that are required to stay at home to watch their children who are out of school for COVID reasons, how much exactly do I need to pay them and for how long? You would potentially need to pay them up to 12 weeks total. The first two week as sick pay and the remaining 10 weeks as paid family leave. You would pay them 2/3rds of their standard pay, with a max pay of $200/day. At $200/day for 12 weeks, that would be a max pay of $12,000. A FICA tax credit can be received to fully offset in subsequent quarters. See below for details. 4.What’s the most I’d be required to pay my staff? Although there is significant hardship to closing your doors and not receiving patient revenue, most of our clients have overestimated the amount they will need to pay for their staff. Please keep these items in mind:
- It’s likely that you’re exempt because of the health care prover exemption.
- If you’re not exempt, remember that if none of your staff have COVID, are caring for someone with COVID, or are required to stay at home to care for children out of school for COVID reasons, then none of the new bill’s required sick and family leave pay apply to you. Your only obligation is to pay the staff any accrued sick or vacation time they request. Beyond that, it’s up to the employee to file for unemployment insurance.
- If you have an employee or two that are required to stay at home to watch children, can they work from home (such as an office manager)? If so, you’ll pay them for working at home and being productive (e.g. billing/scheduling), but are not required to pay them for being at home caretaking.
- If you do have to pay an employee or two for caretaking because they are required to be with their children AND they can’t work from home, then your max out of pocket is $200/day/employee. The bill doesn’t start until April 2nd. Any time between now and then doesn’t require that you pay them. The time kids are out of school from COVID would be about 6-8 weeks of pay you could be on the hook for. Of course if they have a day-care provider that doesn’t open doors by summer, it could be longer. However, again, signs point to you being an exempt health care provider. And if you aren’t exempt and do pay, you’ll be out of pocket until you receive a tax credit from the government. See below for more on this credit.