Q: Will a borrower be subject to a reduction to its forgiveness amount due to a reduction in FTE employees during the Covered Period if the borrower offered to rehire one or more laid off employees but the employees declined?
A: In calculating its loan forgiveness amount, a borrower may exclude any reduction in FTE employees if the borrower is able to document in good faith the following: (1) an inability to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on February 15, 2020 and (2) an inability to hire similarly qualified individuals for unfilled positions on or before December 31, 2020. Borrowers are required to inform the applicable state unemployment insurance office of any employee’s rejected rehire offer within 30 days of the employee’s rejection of the offer. The documents that borrowers should maintain to show compliance with this exemption include the written offer to rehire an individual, a written record of the offer’s rejection, and a written record of efforts to hire a similarly qualified individual.
This Q&A was based on information contained in the Treasury Department’s October 13, 2020, version of “Paycheck Protection Program Loans, Frequently Asked Questions on PPP Loan Forgiveness,” which may be updated from time to time. This CARES Act / SBA / PPP Loan Forgiveness-related issuance may be found here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--Loan-Forgiveness-FAQs.pdf