Guide: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, the President of the United States signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The new law went into effect on April 1, 2020, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2020.

The Department of Labor issued new regulations on how it will implement the family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Below we will discuss the expansions of the bill and key information about FFRCA.

Employees Eligibility

  • All employees employed by a covered employer are eligible to take paid sick leave under the EPSLA regardless of their duration of employment.
  • All employees who have been employed by a covered employer for at least thirty calendar days are eligible to take expanded family and medical leave under the EFMLEA.

Employees Paid Sick Leave During FFCRA

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate
    • Employee is quarantined (Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider)
    • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay
    • Need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider)
    • Care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19
    • Employee is experiencing similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services similar condition
  • Up to an additional ten (10) weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay
    • Employee, employed for at least 30 calendar days, needs to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19

Company Exemptions 

  • Small private employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from having to provide an employee with paid sick leave when such leave would jeopardize the viability of the business.
  • Healthcare and emergency response organizations may exclude employees from paid FMLA expansion due to the coronavirus crisis.

Six (6) Qualifying Reasons for Leave 

  1. Subjected to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  2. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
  3. Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  4. Caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (1), or who has been advised as described in (2)
  5. Caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons
  6. 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.

Sources: Department of Labor: Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Divison

 

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