On March 11th, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, the latest coronavirus relief bill. The Act reportedly authorized $1.9 trillion in new spending, but, unlike previous relief bills, this one passed completely along party lines.
Some of the best-known provisions of the Act are not directly employment related, like the $1,400 checks that will go out to many Americans, but there are a number of provisions that directly affect employers or their employees.
To name just several, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, the Act will subsidize 100% of the premiums for recipients of COBRA continuation through September 30th, increased funding for and expanded the Paycheck Protection Program, and provided tax credits for employers who provide pandemic-related sick and family leave.
For many Americans, some of the most important provisions of the Act were the ones that extended Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (especially for the self-employed and gig workers) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation through September 6, 2021. Both were about to expire.
P..S. You can always use those $1,400 checks to pay your legal fees! : ) Let’s see if I get any comments on this one….