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Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The act will go into effect on April 1, 2020 and provide for paid leave under the Emergency Paid Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. Please consult with your legal counsel to determine how these acts may impact your business and employees. The act is not yet fully defined. The information presented below is based on what is available at this time (3/25/20). Updates will be made as rules are finalized.

 
Department of Labor Q&A

Informational Poster for Employees

 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

  • Covered Employees: All employees
  • Covered Employers: Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Amount of Leave: Up to 80 hours for full time employees and variable for part-time

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act sets forth six covered reasons qualifying for paid sick leave and a corresponding rate of pay for the employee and a cap on payments to the employees depending on the reason for leave:

Covered Reason for Leave

Rate of Pay

Cap on Payments

(1) The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19

The employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207(e)).

$511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate

(2) The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19

The employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207(e)).

$511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate

(3) The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

The employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207(e)).

$511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate

(4) The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in subparagraph (1) or has been advised as described in paragraph (2).

Two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay.

$200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate

(5) The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.

Two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay.

$200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate

(6) The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay.

$200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate

 

Employers cannot require employees to use any other leave prior to using the Emergency Paid Sick Leave.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

  • Eligible employees: An employee who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days
  • Covered employers: An employer with fewer than 500 employees
  • Qualified reasons for paid FMLA leave: Provides up to 12 weeks of paid leave at a reduced rate to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Amount of paid leave:
  • First 10 days may be unpaid (but employee may use other paid leaves during this time)
  • Paid at no less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined by the FLSA) and the number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work for up to 12 weeks
  • Paid leave shall not exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate

Reinstatement rights:  Employees are entitled to reinstatement to the same position or an equivalent position, unless the employer employs fewer than 25 employees. In that case, the employer must make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with a position or an equivalent position for one year after the “public health emergency concludes” or 12 weeks after commencement of the leave, whichever is earlier.

Exclusions: The Secretary of Labor has authority to issue regulations for good cause to exclude certain health care providers and emergency responders, and to exempt small businesses with few than 50 employees if requirements would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” Details are still to be finalized.

The Act provides payroll tax credits granted to employers to offset the costs associated with these employer-provided mandates.