logo
MENU

Update on Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

As previously mentioned President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18th, which will become law on April 1, 2020. Among other relief, this Act creates paid emergency leave/sick leave for employees who must self-quarantine or self-isolate due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The following provides additional helpful information regarding how your business should respond as well as a link to the Notice that was promulgated by the Department of Labor and must be posted on or before April 2, 2020.

Paid Emergency Family Medical Leave

The Act expands the coverage of FMLA leave for qualifying conditions to all employers with less than 500 employees. Employees are allowed Paid Emergency Leave under the new § 102(a)(1)(F) of the FMLA. Your business must provide leave to your employees according to the following guidelines:

  • Employees are entitled to receive 10 days unpaid leave. Your employees, however, have the option to exhaust their paid time off (PTO) first.
  • Employees may receive up to 10 additional weeks of leave paid at two-thirds their regular rate of pay.

The additional 10 weeks of paid leave cannot exceed $200.00 per day and $12,000.00 in the aggregate. Also, your business may be exempt if you have less than 50 employees and if paying for said leave would jeopardize the viability of your business.

HOW DO YOUR EMPLOYEES QUALIFY FOR ADDITIONAL MEDICAL LEAVE?

Your employees qualify for the additional 10 weeks of emergency paid medical leave compensation if they:

  • are unable to work (or telework) due to care for a child whose school or daycare has been closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

WHAT ABOUT EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE?

The law creates guidelines that require you to offer two weeks of paid sick leave to all employees (full time and part time) who cannot come to work for the reasons set forth above. You are required to pay the employee’s regular rate for the first two weeks if:

  • They are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID019.
  • They have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • They are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis.
  • To care for an individual who is subject to an order to quarantine or isolate or has been advised to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • They are caring for a son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child-care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID0-19 precautions.
  • They are experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

POSTING OF NOTICE

The Act requires all employers to Post Notice of the requirements of this Act in conspicuous places on the employer’s premises – and to the extent employees are working remotely, the poster should be sent via email. The Notice that must be posted as soon as possible. The Notice for non-Federal workers can be found here:

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf

WHAT THE EMPLOYER CANNOT DO

Under this legislation, an employer cannot:

  • Change paid leave policies to circumvent this new law or defray the costs involved
  • Require employees to use paid leave before using their emergency paid sick leave allotment
  • Require employees to find someone to cover their shift.

If we work together to protect ourselves and our employees, we can stop the spread of COVID-19. Our legal team at MacMain, Connell & Leinhauser, LLC can help your company understand the laws evolving around the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact us online or call us at 484-318-7106 for more information. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Philadelphia and Chester County, as well as in New Jersey.