What Is the Families First Coronavirus Act and When Will It Take Effect?
Freya Allen Shoffner, Esquire featured Professional Speaker, Presenter, Professor.
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Thursday, March 19, 2020
Last evening, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This is a new law that is designed provide relief to workers and families during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Act applies to employers who have up to 500 employees, and it doesn't matter how few employees the business has.
Under the new law, affected, eligible, full-time employees can receive up to two working-weeks (10 days) of paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. 100% of the employers' costs will be offset for providing this mandated paid sick leave.
According to The National Law Review, there are six qualifying reasons for coverage:
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19;
- the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to Covid-19;
- the employee is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 and seeking medical diagnosis;
- the employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order, or the individual has been advised to self-quarantine due to concerns related to Covid-19;
- the employee is caring for the employee's son or daughter, if the child's school or child-care facility has been closed or the child's care provider is unavailable due to Covid-19 precautions; or
- the employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by Health and Human Services in consultation with the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Labor.
- Normal FMLA is unpaid, but under the FFCRA, employees who are on sick leave because they are sick can receive their full pay, up to $511 per day, or $5,110 total.
- Leave taken to care for children whose schools or day care facilities have closed is paid at two-thirds the employee's regular rate of pay, with a maximum of $200 per day or $10,000 total.
- Employers cannot force you to use up your vacation or other sick time before receiving this benefit.
- There is a 10-day waiting period before this benefit applies. Employees can use existing sick or vacation time to cover these days.
- Employers receive tax credits for 100 percent of what they pay out to employees, with the above-noted limits.
- For employers with 50 or fewer employees, the Secretary of Labor can exempt the business from these requirements.
- Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to restore employees to their previous positions.