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New Law – COVID-19 FMLA

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

and

Emergency FMLA Expansion Act & Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

The federal government passed a new federal law this week which the President signed into law on Wednesday night March 18th. The law is broadly entitled the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The FFCRA is comprehensive and provides for a variety of “appropriations” in many different federal agency categories. It also provides for free COVID-19 testing; and increased funding for school lunches, unemployment compensation benefits, and other emergency relief.

Importantly from an employment standpoint the FFCRA  also creates  the “Emergency FMLA Expansion Act,” a coronavirus related amendment to the FMLA, providing some employees paid family medical leave related to the COVID-19 virus outbreak;  and the “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act”  which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ worth of paid sick leave if full time employees are unable to work because they’re subject to quarantine or isolation, are experiencing symptoms of COVID–19, are caring for someone who is in quarantine or isolation and/or have children in schools that have closed. There is also some paid sick leave relief for part time employees. Employers should know that there are tax credits available for all qualified payments made  under these laws.

The circumstances for such paid medical or sick leave are specifically defined; and include specified eligibility requirements, specified time periods, and specified payment amounts.

These new workplace laws will become effective on April 2, 2020; and remain in effect for through the year.

Please call us with your questions regarding this new federal financial benefit.

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