Hourly employees and PPP

We have 2 hourly employees who are now working about 1/3 of their pre-covid hours which were ~32 hr/wk. Both applied for and are now receiving partial UE benefits. We just received our PPP funds yesterday. (Yay!) So for our next payroll do I give them each 32 hrs/wk even though they are only working 12 hr/wk? What if they don’t want me to do that? (which I think understandably might happen because, with the additional $600 in UE benefits, they are making more money now)


We got a little creative with our scheduling related to the PPP. Since we have to maintain 75% salaries, we are asking them to either work or use PTO to get to 50% of their regular hours and then we are paying everyone 25% of their regular hours to get them all to 75%. If we have additional hours that need staffed, they are allowed to work up to their full schedule, and could get paid up to 125% of regular hours. Our thought was that we wanted to make it fair both for those working and those willing/wanting to stay home.

We have committed to doing the 25% for the first 4 weeks and are revisiting it as we get closer to the second half. Fingers crossed our visit volume will be back up and we can justify having them work regular hours for the second half of the 8 weeks, if not we will likely continue under a similar model.


As mentioned in another post, the SBA considers 30 hours to be the number of hours needed for full time. Each person working 30+ hours is considered to equal 1 FTE. Unless that changes, you should be ok. Keep in mind that the IRS considers 40 hours to equal 1 FTE…I’m assuming the long standing rule from SBA will prevail.

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But I don’t think I’ll be able to give them 32 hr/wk again since our volume is so low. I don’t see them getting back to their full hours for at least a few weeks, maybe more.
As long as I get them up to 32 hr/wk by June 30 should we be ok as far as fulfilling PPP requiements? And meanwhile I can pay them for the hours they DO work plus whatever more needed to get to 75% of prior?

I have the same question regarding paying employees. As long as EACH employee’s salary is at least 75% of the previous quarter’s weekly average, and our percentage of FTEs doesn’t change (ratio is >1), then we are good, correct?
We don’t really need to justify the number of hours (except for counting FTEs) or particular salaries (which would allow us to catch them up from previous weeks of low salary due to low patient volume).
Is this correct?

If the staff is working 75% of their previous hours (to meet requirement for full PPP forgiveness) then do they/can they qualify for partial unemployment for the other 25% that they are not working and collect the $600/week federal supplement? Can you do this and then increase them to their original hours to meet the FTE requirement by June 30th?

Another separate scenario? Can you pay staff a “bonus” from the PPP loan amount to supplement the $600 they would not be getting from the federal supplement if you fully pay/employe them during the 8 weeks of the PPP program?

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I have the same question on bonuses. We asked our staff not to take PTO when we didn’t have the PPP funds (b/c we wanted to be able to make payroll for everyone that worked). Now, we are asking staff to take PTO to make up for their regular hours (we are not getting to the regular hours b/c of lower volumes). So, staff say it’s not fair that they have to use PTO… I’m wondering - can we pay out a “bonus” for the next few paychecks - and will that still count towards forgiveness.

I think that we are all in the same quandary. I have an employee that needs to stay home 1/2 the day in order for her mom to have a break from taking care of her daughter, while my employee is at work. We are < 50 employees and she is the only person in that post (she’s our referral coordinator). My thinking is that she will honor working just 20 of the 40 hours that we would be paying her to make her whole, with the PPP funds that we received. It is unfair to those that are honoring their hours (whatever it is that we’ve stated we need them for) in order for them to receive 8 to 16 hours of non-worked pay; to this other employee’s 20 hours of non-worked pay. Should she receive it? My feelings, though it is unfair to other, is yes - as that’s the intended purpose of those funds but only to the 75% mark. I don’t think that she should be made 100% whole nor that she should get UC funds as we would love to have her here, it’s just that she cannot be here due to childcare.

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This is pretty much my same question But I worry about so quickly utilizing all the PPP funds given that Paulie and Chip have really stressed the importance of cash flow and cash on hand rather that strictly worrying about the loan forgiveness factor.
That said, I suspect that the reason behind the PPP is to have businesses pay their employess so that they DON’T have to collect UE benefits. But I could be wrong.


So I am rural solo and have total 13 employees…finally got PPP on Tuesday. I had cut down hours as we were down to 20%…now getting people in slowly…but one of my RN’s decided she is too worried about covid to come back and she did did not want to set a date…so she has voluntarily resigned…of course this will affect my PPP…can I give the ones that are working hazard pay and will that go towards PPP?

You can increase what you pay staff, up to 100k year, and it will be a forgiveable expense. But whether it will all be forgiven depends on what your total FTE and wage base is at the end of June, compared to your previous baseline period.

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We are bringing in employees to work on special topics- asthma education, breast feeding, newborn care , immunization videos. Also anything we can organize, get caught up on etc. Our hope is to give everyone their average hours by helping with special projects since our volume is still only about 40%.

If you don’t get to the 75% do you still get partial forgiveness?

Do PTO hours count towards my total hours for my FTE baseline? It makes sense that the answer is no, it’s a calculation of hours actually worked.
Secondly, do PTO earnings count in the salary/wages baseline number? (We’re going with average earnings/week for the prior quarter as outlined in the new recs from 4/28/2020). I think this may count under “bonuses, salary, tips and boo-yah” but I wanted to confirm.
Lastly, can we use $8333/month as our max number or do we have to use $15,834 in 8 weeks for our total?
Thanks for your time!

Yes, partial forgiveness, but I’d need more details on how you didn’t “get to the 75%.”

Well, we have 4 employees electing to stay home without pay rather than work. Also, the calculation was monthly x2.5 but then we only get 8 weeks (less than 2 mos), and we were told to put in 401k/safe harbor/profit sharing contributions (which we will contribute to during the two months so that will equal out).

OK, I’m glad you clarified, because I was thinking “the 75%” you were referring to was the proportion of wages to non-wages (rent & utilities), not “75% of the wage base during the PPP period compared to the prior quarter.”

Your 4 employees who are basically self-furloughing (I’m assuming you approve this?) aren’t getting paid, so unless you pay them, you don’t get to keep the money i.e. it’s not forgiven.

I don’t understand your second sentence. Yes, your approved loan amount was 2.5x average monthly wages (about 10.5-11 weeks of wages.) But you don’t have to spend all your PPP money on wages (only 75% of it). Spend your 10.5 weeks of PPP on 8 weeks of wages and the rest on rent and utilities.

Thanks Suzanne, We definitely won’t go above 25% for non payroll. I just wanted to clarify that if our 8 weeks of payroll/wages doesn’t quite reach 75% of our Total loan (not 75% of what we “use”) do we get partial forgiveness?

I’m in the same quandary. I had an employee A as Covid was emerging reduce hours voluntarily due to not wanting her young school age children in daycare (early March, a couple of weeks prior to the PPP dates). She lives in NY but our practice is in VT (our state issued stay at home orders a little later than NY. She is working 25% of her average hours. I got our PPP, would like to supplement her income. The other 3 employees have continued to work their usual hours (in fact our case manager a few extra hours /week because of loss of hours with A). The case manager is filling the gap of loss of employee A’s hours to make phone calls to get patients in for telemed, etc. So it doesn’t seem fair that employee A’s hours would say get supplemented an additional 15 - 25% (I can’t justify 75%) when the other employees have maintained their hours. Any ideas what would be fair but also within the rules of PPP.

Yes, although “how much partial” is difficult to compute without concrete guidance. Sometimes failure to comply means that forgiveness is reduced by a total dollar amount; other forgiveness is reduced by a percent. Do you apply the percent first, then the dollar amount, or vice versa? SBA is supposed to publish guidance on this soon.