One of the Federal Government’s responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is a response to the growing need to support families with wage earners who have been affected by the virus, whether directly or through their responsibility for a family member or child affected by COVID-19. The FFCRA requires certain public employers as well as private employers with fewer than 500 employees to extend paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to employees who meet these criteria. Both full-time and part-time employees should be familiar with the FFCRA and its effect on their rights if they or their dependents are impacted by COVID-19.
Paid Sick Leave
The FFCRA provides an additional two weeks of paid leave at the full regular rate to employees when a healthcare provider recommends self-quarantine, the local, state or federal government implements a quarantine order, or the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is actively seeking a diagnosis. FFCRA leave is provided to full-time and part-time employees in addition to existing sick leave.
If an employee must care for another person with COVID-19 or for a child due to a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure, the FFRCA requires employers to provide two weeks of paid leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate.
Paid Expanded Family and Medical Leave
The FFRCA also provides full-time and part-time employees with an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family medical leave at two-thirds of regular pay if the employee is caring for a child due to a COVID-19-related school or childcare closure.
Employees seeking the additional 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave provided under the FFCRA must have been employed at their job for at least 30 calendar days to qualify for paid leave.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from providing FFCRA leave due to school or childcare closure if doing so would jeopardize business viability, e.g., where the employee is absolutely irreplaceable, and business activity cannot continue without someone in the position.
If you have any questions regarding FFCRA leave, and how it might apply to your business, contact Kuiper Law Firm to discuss your situation.