The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Since its passage last week, there have been many questions as to various interpretative issues related to the law. Thankfully, the Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements has issued a definitive set of guidelines on the law. These provisions will apply from the effective date of the law through December 31, 2020. A summary of the definitive clarification is below:
Generally, the FFCRA provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
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.
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. Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide as much notice as possible to the employer. After the first workday of paid sick time, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures in order 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) for reasons related to COVID-19 because the employee:
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
Duration of Leave
For reasons (1) through (4) and (6) as outlined above, a full-time employee is eligible for 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period. For reason (5) as outlined above, a full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave (two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to ten weeks of paid expanded family & medical leave) at 40 hours a week, and a part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
Calculation of Pay
Note the following scenarios:
Below are Special Links to the Exact Regulatory Guidance
As more discernable information becomes available we will circulate it immediately.