Understanding COVID-19 Legislation: For Organizations With Less Than 500 Employees

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Emergency Needs & Disaster Relief, Leadership, Professional Advisors, Legal,

The United States Congress passed the Families First Response Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to respond to the economic ramifications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the situation in our community undoubtedly will continue to evolve, these legislative acts are crucial resources in helping nonprofit organizations nationwide receive much needed aid and relief.

To understand what these acts mean for you as a nonprofit organization, please reference the helpful links below.

Families First Response Coronavirus Response Act

Organizations with less than 500 employees must provide sick leave and family leave for employees who are unable to work remotely – employer will receive relief

  • Up to 80 hours paid sick leave for you or a family member
  • Up to 10 weeks paid family leave to take care of children or family member

U.S. Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights

Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act

Organizations with less than 500 employees have several options for federal financial assistance including (cannot take both):

  • Paycheck Protection Program Loans (SBA Loans) – may apply for an SBA loan commencing April 3 thru June 15, 2020 for up to 2 month of payroll expenses for necessary business expenses.

Employees must remain on payroll until eligibility period ends to qualify for forgiveness of loan


  • Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit for up to 50% of payroll costs ($5,000 per employee) as long as organization keeps 90% of employees on payroll and may be able to stretch out payroll tax payments over two years

Council of Nonprofits: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act CARES Act

U.S. Small Business Administration: Coronavirus Relief Options

In times of crisis, communities come together in many ways, and our government agencies are one piece of this strong, interconnected network of support, continuing their critical role as important resources in offering relief and emergency support for those organizations in need.

Take care, be safe, and stay healthy.

About Author

Betsy Pennewill, JD

General Counsel