Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

December 14, 2020
 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

For specified reasons relevant to COVID-19, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) allows some employers to offer paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to employees. The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor administers and implements the paid leave requirements for new laws. These rules shall apply from the date of entry into force to 31 December 2020.


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


  • 2 weeks (up to 80 hrs) of paid sick leave at the normal pay rate of the employee when the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;


  • 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3th of the employee's regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a real need to take care of a person subject to quarantine or to take care of kids whose school or child care provider is closed due to Covid-19.  


  • Up to an extra 10 weeks of paid extended family and medical leave at 2/3th of the normal rate of pay of the employee if an employee who has been working for at least 30 calendar days is unable to work because of a legitimate need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or inaccessible for COVID-19-related reasons.


Covered Employers


Certain public employers and private employees with less than 500 employees are entitled to the paid medical leave and extended family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. The majority of federal government employees are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has not been modified by this Act and hence are not covered by the extended family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. Nevertheless, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the sick leave provision.


Small companies with fewer than 50 staff may be eligible for exemption from the requirement to offer leave due to school closures or unavailability of child care if the conditions for leave may jeopardize the sustainability of the business as a matter of concern.


Eligible Employees:


All employees of covered employers are entitled to 2 weeks of paid sick leave for defined reasons related to COVID-19. In some conditions relating to COVID-19, employees working for at least 30 days are entitled for up to an extra 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child.


Qualifying Reasons for Leave:


Under the FFCRA, an employee is entitled to paid sick if he/she is unable to work due to a need for leave because of the employee:


  1. is subject to a state, federal or local quarantine or isolation order relating to COVID-19;


  1. A health care professional has been advised to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;


  1. Experiencing signs of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis; 


  1. care of a person subject to the order referred to in (1) or self-quarantine as defined in (2);


  1. is taking care of a kid whose school or place of care is shut for COVID-19-related reasons;   


  1. is witnessing any other substantially similar condition defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.


If you want to know more about the FFRCA, contact the Best Attorney in New Haven, CT


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