Susan Gross Sholinsky, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Inc., in “Counting on Loan Forgiveness? What You Need to Know,” by Kimberly Weisul.

Following is an excerpt:

Back in mid-April, the most confusing part of the Paycheck Protection Program was navigating the process of getting a loan. Now business owners are faced with a potentially more complicated head-scratcher: getting the loan forgiven, which was a core selling-point of the program. …

If I fire someone, and they get severance, does that payment count as payroll for purposes of calculating my loan forgiveness?

The PPP language in the Cares Act doesn’t specifically mention severance, says Susan Gross Sholinsky, a member of the law firm Epstein Becker Green. But the definition of “payroll costs” includes “allowance for separation or dismissal,” which would mean the severance could be forgiven. McDevitt agrees. Erik Asgeirsson, the CEO of, isn’t so sure, because the intent of the law is to keep people employed. …

If all of my people are working like crazy now--say 80 hours a week--can I count each of them as two employees for the purposes of maintaining my head count?

No. Says Sholinsky, “That’s a little too creative. I wouldn’t go there.”

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