I would like to give you an update on the second phase of the Coronavirus response bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201). Congress passed this legislation on March 18 and President Trump is expected to sign this bill as soon as it is presented to him.
There has been a great amount of misinformation in the press and across the industry concerning the specifics of this bill. I want you to know our Government Affairs staff has been working around the clock to not only get us the best information, but to ensure that there would be changes made to this legislation that will provide extensive relief to our contractors around America. Please know that the legislative process remains fluid and this bill is the second in a series of at least three bills designed to address this crisis.
We are pleased that we were able to work with Members of Congress to address many of the concerns related to paid sick leave and paid family leave. NECA Government Affairs was able to secure key changes in the legislation to restrict the economic impact of the Coronavirus on many of our contractors.
The Phase II bill (H.R. 6201) that passed the Senate today states that the paid sick and family leave mandate is optional for businesses with less than 50 employees and makes no mandate or credit for businesses with more than 500 employees. The new provision ensures that no business will be saddled with a financial liability larger than the payroll tax credit it receives.
There will be many hurdles to overcome for both employers and employees as the full repercussions of COVID-19 continue to unfold. NECA recommends consulting legal counsel in order to fully comply with this new law and take advantage of the tax relief offered to employers during this crisis.
Before Phase II was finalized, lawmakers began working on Phase III of the coronavirus response package and NECA has been and continues to be at the forefront of these negotiations ensuring that the electrical contracting industry receives the economic relief it needs. Numerous NECA contractors have provided feedback on what would be helpful to their businesses and NECA is working to make sure those concerns are met in Phase III.
We will continue to keep you informed as Phase III progresses through the legislative process. Below are helpful links and a full summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.