We have contacted our Congressional delegation to seek, for public employers, the same consideration that has been extended to private employers, concerning paid family and sick leave requirements.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) creates substantial new sick leave and family medical leave requirements on government employers of all sizes. NJLM supports the creation of this new requirement. We want to be clear about this point.
However, we have concerns with Sections 7001 (Payroll Credit for Required Paid Sick Leave) and 7003 (Payroll Credit for Required Paid Family Leave), which provide credits against payroll taxes to offset the cost of these mandates for only private employers.
Notably, HR 6201 requires local governments to provide paid family and sick leave, but expressly prohibits local governments from receiving the tax credits.
Local governments pay payroll taxes and therefore should not have been excluded from this provision with an express carve-out. Furthermore, the carve-out will create a new unfunded mandate on local governments at a time when they will experience economic stress.
In the next funding bill, which we understand the Senate is currently drafting, we urge the New Jersey delegation to advocate for a provision that strikes Secs. 7001(e)(4) and 7003(e)(4) from HR 6201. We need Congress to clarify that state and local government employers, including those exempt from 26 USC 3111, fully qualify for both the section 7001 and 7003 credits.
We thank the staff at the National League of Cities for bringing this to our attention.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.