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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

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Sherwood Law Group and its attorneys are constantly updating its clients about their rights as employer and employee during these uncertain times and in response to COVID-19. A summary of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA is outlined below. The Act in greater detail is also noted at the end of the article for reference. For questions or inquiries do not hesitate to contact Sherwood Law Group at 312.627.1650 or info@sherwoodlawgroup.com.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA requires that certain public employers and all private employers with fewer than 500 employers provide their employees with medical leave for reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak. These provisions will apply from the date the employee can no-longer work until as late as December 31, 2020.
  • Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision. 
  • 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.
The FFCRA provides employees of covered employers with the following:
  • Two weeks (or up to 80 hours) of paid medical leave at the employee’s standard rate of pay if the employee is unable to work due to the employee seeking a medical diagnosis as a result of experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; or
  • Two weeks (or up to 80 hours) of medical leave at two-thirds of employee’s standard rate of pay due to the employee being unable to work in order to care for someone who is quarantined or to care for a child under the age of 18 whose school or child care provider is closed due to reasons related to COVID-19 or if the employee is experiencing a similar condition and up to an additional 10 weeks of medical leave at the same rate of pay when the employee has been employed for at least 30 calendar days and is unable to work in order to care for a child under the age of 18 whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19.
    • Employees taking leave due to a federal, state or local quarantine or are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 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 over a 2-week period.
    • Employees taking leave in order to care for someone who is quarantined 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 over a 2-week period.
    • Employees taking leave in order to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to reasons related to COVID-19 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 over a 12-week period.
      • Full-time employees are eligible for 80 hours of leave, and part-time employees are eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.
      • If caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to reasons related to COVID-19, a full-time employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of 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.
For questions or inquiries do not hesitate to contact Sherwood Law Group at 312.627.1650 or info@sherwoodlawgroup.com.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of expanded family and medical leave 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 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.
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.[1] Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this Act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision.

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 expanded family and medical leave 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.[2]

Notice: 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.

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 and medical 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:[3]

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).

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