March 20, 2020
Authored by: Lily Kurland and Christy Phanthavong
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA or Act”). The FFCRA provides for two types of leave for employees: Paid Sick Leave (up to 80 hours) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (up to 12 weeks with a combination of paid and unpaid leave). This post is part 1 of 2 summarizing the requirements of the FFCRA and focuses on Paid Sick Leave.
- Effective Dates: The Act will become effective no later than April 2, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020.
- Department of Labor (“DOL”) Obligations: Must issue a “Model Notice” for employers to post within 7 days of enactment and guidance within 15 days of enactment.
- Covered Employer – Anyone engaged in commerce with fewer than 500 employees, as defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
- EXCEPTION – The DOL may issue guidance excluding employers with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave requirements of the Act if the paid sick leave would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
- Eligible Employees – All employees (as defined under the FLSA), regardless of length of employment, and regardless of whether full-time or part-time.
- EXCEPTION: If an employee is a healthcare provider or an emergency responder, the employer may choose not to provide paid sick leave to those employees. (The DOL may issue guidance on this point.)
- Affirmative Requirements for Employers under the Act: