A new law creates a federal paid sick leave policy designed to provide help to employees affected by the pandemic. Qualified employees include those who:

  • have COVID-19;
  • are in quarantine;
  • are caring for a family member affected by the virus — that is, a relative who has COVID-19;
  • are subject to a government quarantine;
  • have been advised by a doctor to self-quarantine or;
  • who are caring for children whose schools or day care centers have closed.

The law reimburses businesses via tax credits, provides workers with up to two weeks of paid leave, and caps payments at $511 a day for those who are sick with the virus or seeking care, and $200 a day for those caring for a sick family member or children.

State governments have issued a wide variety of Shelter-in-Place orders, and there can be severe civil and criminal penalties for violating such orders. This leaves “non-essential” businesses in a quandary: do they protect their business’ viability and employees’ economic welfare, or do they submit to the orders to prevent the spread of the virus?  This chart indicates the orders by state: