Ensure you are supporting your employees, following the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and getting government credits. If you are a company with 500 or fewer employees you are responsible for providing employee benefits and following updated regulations. It is important to note that the 50-employee minimum does not apply like the traditional Family Medical Leave Act, unless providing leave would jeopardize the viability of the business. It is essential you understand and follow the new regulations or contact the Secretary of Labor if you are unable to do so.
Who You Need to Cover:
Per 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 because the employee:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
- 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; or
- is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family and medical 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.
- Employees falling under guidelines 1-3 should receive their full pay for up to 10-days, with a maximum daily rate of $511 and $5,110 aggregate.
- Employees falling under guidelines 4 and 6 are eligible for paid sick leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay or applicable minimum wage for up to 10-days, with a maximum of $200 per a day and $2,000 total.
- Employees falling under guideline 5 are eligible for paid sick and extended leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay or applicable minimum wage for up to 12-weeks, at a maximum of $200 per a day and $12,000 total.
Employer Regulations and Support
- Effective April 1, 2020.
- All employees are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for all covered provisions.
- Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for paid family leave under provision 5.
- There is a 10-day waiting period before the 10-weeks of extended benefits apply, in which employees can use existing sick or vacation time to cover these days.
- Employers cannot force employees to use up vacation or other sick time before paying out these benefits.
- Employers will receive tax credits for 100 percent of coverage paid out to employees following the stated guidelines.
- Employers are prohibited from changing their existing paid leave policies.
- Benefits do not carry over from year to year and expire on December 31, 2020.
For more detailed information, please visit the Department of Labor https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave