Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Expanded Family and Medical Leave Rights

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with expanded family and medical leave for specific reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from the effective date, April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements and has posted Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers as a resource.

Below are definitions provided by the DOL outlining covered employers, eligible employees and what employees can receive:

General Information Regarding Leave and Amount

Covered Employers: The expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19. Special rules apply for healthcare providers and emergency responders.

Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of expanded family and medical leave time 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 expanded family and medical leave time 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 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.

Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide notice of leave to the employer as is practicable. After the first workday of expanded family and medical leave, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue receiving expanded family and medical leave .

Specific Information Regarding Leave

Qualifying Reasons for Leave:

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family and medical leave if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. 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
  6. 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 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.

Duration of Leave:

  • For reasons (1)-(4) and (6):A full-time employee is eligible for 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.
  • For reason (5):A full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave (two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family & medical leave) at 40 hours a week, and a part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

Calculation of Pay:

  • For leave reasons (1), (2), or (3):employees taking leave are entitled to pay at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period).
  • For leave reasons (4) or (6):employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period).
  • For leave reason (5):employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period). An employee may elect to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for the first two weeks of partial paid leave under this section.

Paid sick time provided under this Act does not carryover from one year to the next. Employees are not entitled to reimbursement for unused leave upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment.

Our teams at BerganKDV are rallying together and working around the clock to ensure we’re up and running so you can be up and running. Whatever situation you’re faced with, at any time – you can call our task force and we’ll get you the answers, the listening ear and/or the quick support you need: 888-356-2295 or info@bergankdv.com.

 

CATEGORIES: COVID-19 | Workforce Management

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