Families First Coronavirus Response Act
As part of the March 18, 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Congress enacted the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, effective April 1, 2020. The FFCRA will remain in place through December 31, 2020.
The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act creates a new category of leave protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”). Unlike the standard FMLA, Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act provides paid leave including wage and adjunct employees. Intermittent FML will not be permitted. The criteria for expanded Family and Medical Leave (FML) eligibility applies to an employee who is unable to work or telework due to the need to care for a son or daughter under 18 years old because:
- The school or child care facility has been closed or
- The childcare provider is unavailable due to a declared COVID-19 public health emergency
- Documentation from a childcare provider will be required
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is similar to the Public Health Emergency Leave policy but with expanded reasons for usage. The leave is paid at different rates depending upon the reason for the usage. Employees are eligible for leave under this “public health emergency” provision, so long as they have been employed for 30 days. The paid FMLA leave commences after an employee has utilized 10 days of covered leave under the “Public Health Emergency” provision. During this initial 10-day period, employees may elect to substitute any accrued, unused vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave, for unpaid leave.
After the initial 10-day period, pay must be equal to not less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined under the Fair Labor Standards Act) multiplied by the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work on the day in question. The amount of benefits payable to an individual employee is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 total. The federal “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” establishes a new paid sick time benefit – as a companion to the expanded FMLA benefits discussed above – to further help employees impacted by COVID-19.
Qualifying Reasons for Leave Related to COVID-19
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in category 1 above or who has been advised as described in category 2 above;
- The employee is caring for a son or daughter, if the elementary school, secondary school, or place of care has been closed, or if the paid “child care provider” of such child is unavailable, due to COVID-19; or
- The employee is experiencing any other “substantially similar condition” specified by designated federal officials.
Full-time employees qualifying under the above circumstances will be eligible tor receive up to 80 hours of pay. Part-time employees are eligible to receive the average number of hours that they work over a two-week period. The benefits are capped for each employee
- $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for leave provided under categories 1, 2, and 3
- Employees taking paid sick leave under categories 4, 5, or 6, must only receive two-thirds (2/3rd) their regular rate up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate
- Employees may charge personal leave to supplement and be paid their full salaries.
- Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5 for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.
Employee Rights under the U.S. Department of Labor
Forms & Documents