What Is The Families First Coronavirus Response Act And Who Qualifies

Jun 05, 2020

What Is The Families First Coronavirus Response Act And Who Qualifies

 What Is The Families First Coronavirus Response Act And Who Qualifies

What Does Families First Coronavirus Response Act Provide?

The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law. These provisions will apply through December 31, 2020.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for one of three different provisions. 

Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a healthcare provider), and/or the employee is 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 because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed due to COVID-19, or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 days, is unable to work to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. 

 

Which Employers Are Covered

The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this Act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision. 

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

 

What Employees Are Eligible 

All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19. 

Notice: Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide notice of leave to the employer as is practicable. After the first workday of paid sick time, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures to continue receiving paid sick time.

 

Qualifying Reasons for Leave 

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave based on any of six reasons.

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
  3. The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical care.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual subject due to a quarantine or isolation order or self-quarantine.
  5. The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.




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