FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)
Both Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) are effective for leave taken April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL)
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick 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 paid sick 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 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.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA)
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leaveat two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee 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.
There is a limited exemption under both EPSL and EFMLA for employers with fewer than 50 employees if providing child-care related leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. For additional guidance visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd
Also, the DOL issued a notice regarding EMPLOYEE RIGHTS (click button below) that outlines employee rights under the FFCRA, along with some FAQs about how to post/distribute. The FAQs state that the requirement to provide this notice can be met for teleworking employees by emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees or posting the notice on an employee information internal or external website. The notice should also be posted in a conspicuous place on the business premises.
Paid Family Leave and Paid Sick Leave Tax Credits
Under the law, employers with fewer than 500 employees are allowed a credit against employer Social Security tax liability equal to 100 percent of the qualified sick leave wages paid by the employer, subject to the caps discussed above. The credit is increased by certain specified health expenses (such as, employer-paid health plan premiums) that are excluded from employees’ income.
The tax credit effectively reduces the amount of federal employment taxes that must be deposited with the IRS, usually within a few days of the payroll date. This is intended to provide the funds needed to pay sick and family leave benefits under the law. However, in some cases, such as complete closure of a business, the Treasury Department and IRS will process claims for advance payments of the tax credit.