In response to the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which will be in effect from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
The new law offers an expanded Family and Medical Leave Act benefit (Expanded FMLA) to allow employees up to 12 weeks of protected leave when an employee is unable to work in order to care for the employee’s child if the child’s school or childcare provider or facility is closed or unavailable due to certain reasons associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency. The 12 weeks is offset by any leave previously used in the past 12 months under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The new law also provides up to 80 hours (10 days) of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) for employees who are impacted by COVID-19 because of a mandated quarantine or isolation, or if caring for an individual impacted by COVID-19. Employees will be paid either 100% of their salary, or 2/3 of their salary for certain reasons associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency, as shown below:
(1) The employee is subject to a federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
(2) The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
(3) The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
(4) The employee is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or has been advised as described in (2);
(5) The employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions; or
(6) The employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.