Families First Coronavirus Response Act
March 20, 2020
On March 18, 2020 the United State Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). On March 19, 2020 the President signed the bill which will become law within 15 days.
Below is a brief summary of the act:
The bill covers all companies with fewer than 500 employees. The bill does not apply to organizations with more than 500 employees. The bill also provides the Secretary of Labor with the ability to exempt a business with 50 or fewer employees if the law would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern”. At this time, there is no detail regarding this provision.
Qualifying Reasons for Coverage
- The employee is subject to federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19.
- The employee has been told by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to Covid-19.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to federal, state, or local quarantine order, or the individual has been advised to self-quarantine.
- The employee is caring for the employee’s son or daughter if the child’s school or child care facility has been closed.
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by Health and Human Services in consultation with the Department of the Treasury and Department of Labor.
Benefits for Employees
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave: All current employees who may take 2 weeks of paid leave (80 hours) for one of the above qualifying reasons and can receive their full pay up to $511 per day for 10 days.
- Emergency Family Medical Leave- Any employee who has worked at least 30 days for a covered employer is eligible for EFL to care for children whose school or daycare has closed. Employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of Emergency Family Medical Leave. Employee to be paid at 2/3 the employee’s regular rate up to a maximum of $200 per day or $10,000 total. The first 10 days of the leave are unpaid however an employee may use any accrued PTO or sick time during this 10-day unpaid portion of the leave. Employers cannot force an employee to use up PTO/Sick time before using this benefit.
Benefits for Employers
- Employers to receive tax credits for 100% of what they pay out to employees. This credit will be taken against the employer social security contribution. The Treasury may also issues advances to employers. Details to be determined.
- Employers with 50 or fewer employees may be exempted by the Secretary of Labor from these requirements if the act would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern”. Details to be determined.
- Employers with fewer than 25 employees will not have to restore employees to their previous position.
BizChecks will continue to keep you informed about the details of this new law as they become available.