Curtis | Castillo PC Statement regarding Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, and related COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency matters for businesses and individuals.

In our current, constantly-changing environment surrounding the public health crisis created by COVID-19, we at Curtis | Castillo PC are taking every effort to keep our clients updated and assist them in mitigating the potential financial fall-out to their businesses and families. See the following CDC link and other pertinent information below. Please call us if we can help, 214.752.2222.

While the legal industry has not seen a material uptick in bankruptcy cases as of yet, we anticipate bankruptcy filings, Chapter 11, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 going up dramatically in the next several months. In large part due to the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, company closures, payroll reductions, layoffs, dramatic drops in the market, and self Quarantine measures. Practitioners with bankruptcy expertise will need to be poised to handle difficult small business cases and individual reorganization cases, as well as large restructuring matters. Within this practice area, especially for smaller businesses, attorneys may need to be creative on client payments (within ethical bounds) to provide relief for those in need.

Attorneys will also need to familiarize themselves with HR 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act which includes at least two critical sections for employers with fewer than 500 employees (formerly applied to employers with 50 or more employees). Division C of the Act, referred to as the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act applies to employees who have been employed with the employer for at least 30 calendar days and provides for up to 12 weeks paid leave for employees who cannot work due to a need to card for a child under 18 whose elementary school, secondary school or eligible child care provider has been closed due to a public health emergency. The first 10 days of leave may be unpaid, and accrued vacation leave, personal leave or medical sick leave days may be used instead. Thereafter, the employee is entitled to 10 weeks of paid leave at $200 a day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Under Division E, referred to as the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, an employee who is suffering from CoronaVirus, CoronaVirus symptoms or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or ordered to be quarantined is entitled to receive 80 hours of paid leave at a maximum of $511 a day or $5,111 in the aggregate; while employees unable to work (or telework) due to a need to care for their son or daughter because the school or place of care or child care provider of the employee’s son or daughter has closed due to COVID-19, or the employee must care for an individual who is suffering from CoronaVirus, CoronaVirus symptoms or has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine or ordered to be quarantined due to COVID-19 are entitled to $200 a day or $2,000 in the aggregate. The small business employer is entitled to receive tax credits equal to the amount of Family Leave or Sick Leave paid. This will be a radical change for business with fewer than 500 employees especially in Texas where at this point schools have been closed state-wide through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
*The above excerpts and summaries should not be relied upon as legal advice without a formal representation agreement signed by Firm.

Curtis Castillo is set up to take clients in through virtual interviews and counseling, including Skype, FaceTime and conference calls. Our Firm also provides offsite login capabilities for all of our attorneys so that we can always provide assistance and be available to our clients 24/7 and can handle any potential quarantine or closure issues.

Even if companies or people have not yet felt the full impact of the current market drops and pandemic affects, it is important that they retain knowledgeable counsel right now that can guide them on asset protection, restructuring opportunities, labor and employment matters, and potential bankruptcy alternatives so that relief can be obtained quickly and it can go smoother and cheaper than waiting to the very last minute. That is exactly what our firm provides. We are extremely well-positioned to assist by putting business and individual “financial survival strategies” in place, now.

Helpful Links

World Health Organization
Federal Housing Financial Administration
Government Response to Coronavirus
United States District & Bankruptcy Court