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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The law firm of Royal, P.C. has moved to Springfield. Founded by attorney Amy Royal in 2008, Royal, P.C. is now located in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, at 819 Worcester St., Suite 2.

“Springfield is where I grew up, so it felt natural to relocate my law firm here,” Royal said. “Indian Orchard, with its unique history, has always felt like a special place within the city to me, and its geography otherwise places us in a more centralized location with respect to our Central and Eastern Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut clients.”

The telephone and fax numbers of (413) 586-2288 and (413) 586-2281 remain the same. For more information about the firm, visit www.theroyallawfirm.com.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Now that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020 has been signed into law by President Trump, companies may have questions about how to modify their approaches while staying in compliance. Royal, P.C. is offering guidance to help with that.

This new act amends the original PPP by providing additional flexibility in how and when loan funds are spent while retaining the potential of full forgiveness. Changes under the new act include new extension periods, loan-use requirements, payroll-tax deferrals, loan forgiveness, and extension of repayment.

Under the new amendments, borrowers of the PPP loan now have 24 weeks to spend the funds provided to them by the loan, up from eight weeks under the original act. To be eligible for full loan forgiveness for such funds, borrowers must spend at least 60% of the funds toward payroll cost, down from 75%. For borrowers who use less than the required 60%, partial loan forgiveness will remain as long as the loan is spent toward payroll costs. Furthermore, borrowers of these loans are able to defer payroll taxes as provided under the CARES Act with potential deferral dates extended to 2022.

Additional extensions included under the act include the time period in which employers who have obtained a PPP loan must either rehire or eliminate positions to reduce their workforce. The new extension period grants an additional six months to employers with an end date of Dec. 31.

Moreover, extensions of repayment have been extended to five years, up from two years, from the minimum maturity date for the loan balance for loans made after June 5. Borrowers may also be able to defer loan payments until their debt-forgiveness date has been determined. For borrowers who do not meet the requisites for loan forgiveness, the first loan payment will become due 10 months after the last day of the covered period.

The deadline to submit PPP loan applications is June 30.

If you have any questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, or any other labor and employment-law matters, feel free to contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C. at (413) 586-2288.

COVID-19 Daily News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) took effect Wednesday, and the Department of Labor has released a temporary rule intended to shed some light on the trickier pieces of the law, such as calculating the total number of employees at a company, calculating ‘partial pay,’ and the application of the small-employer exemption. The temporary rule will remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2020.

According to the attorneys at Royal, P.C., the FFCRA created two new emergency paid-leave requirements: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires covered employers to provide up to 80 hours of sick leave to employees at full pay for qualifying reasons. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of expanded FMLA, 10 of which are paid at partial pay. A covered employer is an employer that employs fewer than 500 employees. Employers may avail themselves of certain tax reimbursements under the law through refundable tax credits.

Small employers (under 50 employees) may be eligible for an exemption from having to provide an employee with paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave when the leave would be to care for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed. This limited exemption is applicable only if the employer can demonstrate that such leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

While the new regulations are intended to provide guidance on the law, many of the components of its application (calculations of pay, tax credits, the counting of employees, and the possible exemptions) are quite complex, and there still are many gray areas.

If you have any questions about navigating the requirements of the FFCRA and its regulations, contact attorney Amy Royal at [email protected], (413) 586-2288, or (413) 695-1075. Attorney Fred Royal is also available to answer any questions, including tax questions related to these issues; he can be reached at (413) 586-2288 or (413) 552-7029.