Senate approves House-passed coronavirus relief measure

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) 
Passes the House and Senate and has been signed into law by the President. It will require employers with fewer than 500 employees to 
provide paid leave.

On March 18, 2020 the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), previously passed by the House on Monday, March 16. President Trump signed the Act into law this morning. It will go into effect 15 days from today. Here are the key aspects of the law for employers to be aware of:

Employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide full-time employees up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for circumstances related to COVID-19, including but not limited to the (a) employee being subject to local quarantine, (b) the employee being advised to self-quarantine, (c) the employee or an individual who the employee is caring for having symptoms of Covid-19, and (d) the employee is caring for a child whose school or childcare center is closed due to Covid-19. Part-time employees are also eligible for paid leave benefits under this law. Small businesses may be eligible for an exemption if they have fewer than 50 employees. The law also does put some weekly limits in place for employee pay based on the reason for the employees’ leave. For example, full-time employees may only be eligible to receive up to $511 per day day, $5,110 in the aggregate, or 2/3 pay if caring for a family member or child home from school.

This law also expands FMLA coverage on a temporary basis to any workplace with fewer than 500 employees. Employees may now qualify for protection under the FMLA for Covid-19 related issues, including protection for those qualifying employees who are unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for their child under 18 years of age if a school or place of care has been closed due to Covid-19.

Contact our office today to set up an in-person meeting, telephone conference or Zoom meeting with one of our attorneys to discuss protecting your business and how this new law may affect you and your employees.