The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has issued the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expands upon employee paid leave rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Private employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public employers, will be required to provide paid sick leave to employees for COVID-19 related reasons. The act will provide funding to all covered businesses, affording employees paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. This funding extends not only to employee health needs, but to their family members as well. According to the Wage and Hour Division, the FFCRA requires covered employers to provide the following to employees:
- 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 health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- 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 (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to 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, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
- 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 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Leave provisions apply to certain public and private employers with less than 500 employees. However, employers with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption if certain leave requirements jeopardize the business’s financial obligations. The FFCRA is effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Visit Wage and Hour Division’s website for more information on the FFCRA.
By Bryce Hansell, Consultant at DCI Consulting Group