On Wednesday, March 19, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was passed by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives this week. Among other measures, the Act requires employers to provide paid leave for certain employees related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill is set to take effect on April 2, 2020. We have provided an overview of the provisions here.
We sourced the following overview of this act from My HR Concierge:
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
The Act requires two weeks of paid sick leave for government workers and employees of companies with fewer than 500 employees. Leave must be made available immediately to workers who are symptomatic or are under an order or advice to quarantine or self-isolate, who have to care for a family member under such an order or advice, or who have a child whose school or child care facility has closed (or whose child care provider is unavailable) due to the coronavirus. The Emergency Paid Leave Act expires December 31, 2020.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
The Act provides FMLA rights for employees of companies with fewer than 500 employees that have been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer, requiring partially paid leave by the employer after 10 days when an employee is unable to work or telework due to school or child care closures related to the COVID-19. The paid leave is to be paid by the employer and equal not less than 2/3 of their normal payrate not to exceed $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.
The Act provides funding for economic assistance and requires health plans to cover COVID-19 testing at no charge. A refundable tax credit for employers that provide paid leave benefits as required by the Act is also included. The U.S. Treasury is expected to use its regulatory authority to advance funds to some small businesses to cover the cost of providing paid sick leave.