The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. It is the second major legislative initiative passed in the United States in response to COVID-19.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) took effect on April 1, 2020, and provides eligible workers with paid leave for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Covered employers should post notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. A copy of the notification is linked below, along with a link to the U.S. Department of Labor website, which provides additional guidance on paid leave requirements related to COVID-19.
We have also provided an FFCRA Compliance Bulletin, which includes frequently asked questions issued by the DOL to assist employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA, as well as a resource on the U.S. Chamber website that outlines what businesses need to know.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes two new significant paid leave laws: (1) the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, and (2) the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Both statutes address absences from work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both provisions are effective April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)
This act creates a new form of FMLA leave covering up to 12 weeks of an eligible employee’s inability to work or telework “due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.”
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
Employees covered under the EPSLA are entitled to paid leave for several different types of absences related to the COVID-19 pandemic:
– Employees subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
– Employees who have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
– Employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis
– Employees caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2)
– An Employee caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons
– Employees experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Due to the speed at which these laws took effect, the U.S Department of Labor has created a Q&A page to address questions and provide additional guidance: U.S. Department of Labor – Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A
Please visit the Crane Agency Coronavirus Preparedness Resource page for further information. As with any rapidly changing situation, please check local, state, and federal websites for the most recent updates and guidance on this quickly evolving topic.