Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Emergency Family and Medical Leave Provisions (Part 2 of 2)
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 of combined paid and unpaid leave). This post is part 2 of 2 summarizing the requirements of the FFCRA and focuses on Emergency Family and Medical Leave.
- Scope: Unlike the paid sick leave provisions of the FFCRA, the emergency family and medical leave provisions are not standalone law. Rather, these provisions amend the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), thus providing for “Emergency FMLA” leave. However, the amendments (such as the changed definition of Covered Employer and Eligible Employee) apply only to Emergency FMLA provisions and do not amend the pre-existing provisions of the FMLA.
- Effective Dates: The Act will become effective no later than April 2, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020.
- Covered Employer: Anyone who has fewer than 500 employees and otherwise satisfies the elements of the definition of “Employer” under the FMLA.
- DOL may issue guidance excluding employers with fewer than 50 employees from the requirement to provide Emergency FMLA, if the Emergency FMLA would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
- Regardless of whether such guidance is issued, employers with fewer than 50 employees will not be subject to an FMLA action by employees for failing to provide