FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

Families first coronavirus response act. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18th, 2020. The benefits were available on April 1, 2020 and continue thru December 31, 2020. The FFCRA provides  employees of small businesses with guaranteed sick pay and or family leave pay for medical reasons related to COVID-19. The law is enforced and administered by the Department of Labor, however, the benefits are paid by the U.S. Treasury. As businesses reopen and employees return to work, employers may see an increased use of the FFCRA as we increase our interaction with other staff members and the general public. Employers must post the Department of Labor poster, “Employee Rights, Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Rights, Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,”  which is available on the Department of Labor website.

The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to “covered employees” which is defined as certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. The Act provides that covered employers must provide sick pay to all employees, regardless of length of employment.  Two weeks of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined and or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis, or Two weeks 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 or care for a child under the age of 18, due to COVID-19.

Under the FFCRA a qualifying reason for leave is quarantine related to COVID-19, or caring for a child under the age of 18. If it has to do with COVID-19 it may qualify and you may want to call your local government agency if you are uncertain.