On March 18, the Senate passed, and the President signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The two provisions that are of key importance to employers are the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act Expansion (EFMLA).
Emergency paid sick leave – this is for Coronavirus (cv) related absences only, not for general sick time. Full time employees get 80 hours, and it is prorated for part time employees. This applies to all employers under 500 employees, but gives the Sec. of Labor the authority to exempt employers with 50 or fewer employees.
Expanded FMLA – this leave is limited to employees who have to stay home to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed due to cv. It provides for 10 weeks pay at 2/3 regular pay. This applies to all employers under 500 employees, but employers with 50 or fewer employees may apply for an exemption with the Sec. of Labor.
This law will go into effect in 15 days. At this time, there are a lot of questions, especially as to the small business exemptions. We hope to see some guidance issued on these in the days to come, and I will keep you all updated.