What’s in the Federal and State Covid-19 Legislation
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has been declared a pandemic, and the disease is spreading rapidly across the United States. Tens of thousands of Minnesota’s workers are on the frontlines of this crisis. Minnesota’s labor movement is working nonstop to protect the health and safety of all workers.
The following federal policies have been enacted to alleviate financial burdens on working families during the Covid-19 crisis.
· Checks: $1,200 per individual adult + $500 per child for individuals with annual income up to $75,000 or $150,000 for families, determined by adjusted gross income on 2019 or 2018 federal tax returns. Individuals with annual income $75,001-$99,000 or families with annual income $150,001-$198,000 will receive a pro-rated amount proportionate to the $1,200 maximum
· Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits expanded to $600/week for 39 weeks for anyone who is unable to work due to Covid-19, including part-time workers, contracted 1099 workers, and gig workers. The $600 rate is in addition to any UI benefits offered by individual states.
· Paid Sick Leave: 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) paid sick leave at full wage rate to any worker subject to quarantine or isolation or is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone who is unable to work because they are caring for someone in quarantine or isolation or with Covid-19 symptoms, or anyone who has children in a school that has close will receive 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) at 2/3 regular wage rate.
· Paid Family Medical Leave: 10 weeks at 2/3 the employee’s regular wage rate for anyone unable to work and needs to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed. An employee must have worked for their employer for 30 days to receive this benefit.
· Free Testing: Healthcare providers cannot charge an individual to be tested for Covid-19.
· Other: Employers cannot require employees to use Personal Time Off (PTO) if they cannot work due to Covid-19, nor can employers require employees to find someone to replace or cover for them.
The following state policies have been enacted in Minnesota to alleviate financial burdens on working families during the Covid-19 crisis.
· Unemployment Insurance (UI): Anyone who experience loss of employment due to Covid-19, including anyone who must take time off to care for children or someone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 may be eligible for UI. The one-week waiting period has been waived for all applicants.
· MNsure: Governor Walz and MNsure announced a 30-day special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance as a result of the growth of COVID-19 cases. The SEP opened on March 23 and runs through April 21.
· Free Testing: Healthcare providers cannot charge an individual for screening, testing, treatment of Covid-19.
· Taxes: Minnesotans filing their annual Minnesota Individual Income Tax return for tax year 2019 now have until Wednesday, July 15, 2020 to file and make their payments without any penalties or interest.
Note: This is a select list of the key policies that directly affect working families. Thank you to the South East MN Area Labor Council for this overview. The SEMNALC will continue to provide legislative and other updates as they happen and when relevant to working families. www.facebook.com/semnalc/
UNITE HERE Local 17
312 Central Ave Suite 444
Minneapolis, MN 55414
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