Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: March 31, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released more information on how employers and employees can take advantage of the protection and rights offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). These provisions will take effect from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Who are eligible?

  • Employees of private companies with fewer than 500 employees and certain public sector employers are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons
  • Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical reason if they are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19
  • Part-time employees are eligible for leave for the number of hours they are scheduled to work over that period

Employers covered under the Act must provide all employees:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate where the employee is unable to work due to quarantine (per Federal, State, or local government order or advice of health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s regular rate where the employee is unable to work because he/she is caring for an individual subject to quarantine (per Federal, State, or local government order or advice of health care provider), or caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons; and/or employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Qualifying reasons for leave related to COVID-19

An employee qualifies for paid sick leave if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) because the employee is:

  • Subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  • Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  • Is caring for an individual subject to an order stated above;
  • Is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons;
  • Is experiencing any substantially similar condition specified by the U/S Department of Health and Human Services

Employers in violation of the first two weeks’ paid sick time or unlawful termination provisions of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and fines enforced by the WHD.

For more information: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave