As the hospitality, restaurant, and retail industries continue to adjust to the fallout from the current global pandemic, the United States federal government has stepped in to help.
On April 1, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was established to help individuals and their families who are impacted by the virus.
You can find full details of the law here, or keep reading for a quick rundown.
Which employers are covered?
The FFCRA is designed to apply to smaller businesses, but not all small employers are covered by the entire FFCRA. Here’s the breakdown of who is covered:
- Private employers with fewer than 500 employees in the U.S.
- Federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are only covered by the paid sick leave provision.
- Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the childcare portion of the leave law.
When does the new law take effect?
The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions took effect on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
What qualifies as acceptable reasons for leave?
In this new world of limited work and remote work, new regulations have been put in place to clarify when someone is eligible for paid sick time.
Under the FFCRA, emergency paid sick time can result if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to the fact that the employee:
- Is subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
- Has been advised by a medical professional to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
- Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Is caring for a someone who is subject to quarantine or advised to quarantine
- Is caring for a minor whose school or place of care is closed due to Covid-19
- Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury
Under the FFCRA, an employee also qualifies for emergency paid family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
How much leave does the FFCRA provide?
According to the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, the FFCRA generally states that covered employers must provide to all employees either:
- Up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) of emergency paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work or telework because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a healthcare provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.
In addition, the FFCRA also requires that covered employers must also provide to employees who have been employed at least 30 days:
- Up to ten additional weeks of emergency paid family leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work or telework due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
How do I address these new paid leave requirements in Deputy?
As rules in regulations continue to change, Deputy also continues to adapt to the meet the needs of employers and their staff. When you use Deputy, you can easily track the paid leave time your employees take, including emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family leave under the new law, and pay it out properly through your payroll. Check out this help guide for more details.