In the past two weeks, Congress passed its second and third bills addressing the Coronavirus Pandemic, both of which had provisions directly relating to employment. The first bill did not! All three bills passed on a bipartisan basis, and have been signed into law by President Trump.
The second bill, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, HR 6201, mandates paid sick leave and paid medical leave for employees under certain circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic. The new law goes into effect April 2nd. More on that soon!
The third bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, increases the length unemployment benefits will be available to those laid off, and increases the amount of benefits. The bill also makes allowances for free-lancers and gig-economy workers to get relief. The bill is needed now, as this past week more than three million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, by far the largest number ever in a week. More on that soon, too.
There seems to be consensus in Washington and elsewhere that more will need to be done, but for now Congress is done. Stay tuned! More updates to come soon.