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Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 20 2020

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

President Trump signed the legislation on March 18th.  Like any federal law, it becomes effective 15 days later; April 2nd.  While the IRS and Department of Labor must still issue regulations on implementation, there are 2 key provisions that may impact your employees; Emergency Leave and Sick Leave

 

Impact on Employers

Employers with less than 500 employees generally must comply with both provisions and the cost will be paid back through refundable credits on quarterly payroll reports.  To reiterate, the employer fronts the cash and gets money back from the government after the fact.  These are not permanent benefits; they expire on December 31, 2020.

 

Emergency Leave

Employees must have (a) worked at least 30 days prior to taking leave and (b) is unable to work or telework because they are caring for their minor child due to school or childcare provider being closed. Care for a minor child is the only qualifying need.

 

Employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks.  The first 10 workdays are unpaid but the employee can use any other vacation or paid time off otherwise provided by the employer for this period.  Weeks 3 through 12 are paid at 2/3rds regular pay; limited to $200 per day and $10,000 in total for the 10 weeks.

 

These benefits are pro-rated for part-time employees and the employee is generally entitled to job restoration after the leave period ends.

 

Sick Leave

An employee is entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick leave if the employee is;

  1. subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  3. experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis;
  4. caring for an individual (family or non-family member) subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  5. caring for the employee 's child if the child's school or place of care is closed or the child's care provider is unavailable due to public health emergency; or
  6. experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

 

Subject to a cap of $511 per day and $5,110 for full two weeks, an employee would be paid as follows;

  • For reasons 1, 2 or 3, the employee would be paid at their full regular rate.
  • For reasons 4, 5 or 6, the employee would be paid at 2/3rds of their regular rate.

 

An employee can qualify for both Emergency Leave and Sick Leave only if they are caring for their minor child(ren).