The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law on March 18, 2020, focuses on three areas of interest to employers:
The law requires employers with 50 to 500 employees to provide a certain amount of paid sick and paid leave to employees affected by COVID-19, and it provides affected employers with a corresponding employment tax credit. The law also temporarily expands Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requirements to offer protected leave related to the coronavirus.
While the legislation affects private-sector employers with 50 to 500 employees, the Department of Labor (DOL) will issue regulations to exempt certain health-care providers and emergency responders from requirements that they offer paid family leave and paid sick leave. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees could also be exempted, if such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the small business.
FFCRA will take effect within 15 days of enactment, i.e., no later than April 2, 2020. The provisions for paid sick and paid family leave, and tax credits created by the legislation, will sunset effective December 31, 2020.
The DOL is in the process of developing implementing regulations for the FFRCA, and we expect them to be released before April 2.
The National Council is monitoring developments and working with our contacts to provide a simple summary of the bill and critical components of the implementation regulations as soon as they are available.
Until that time, please reach out to your state DOL resource or contact for any pressing related matters. State Labor Office contacts are identified on the DOL Wage and Hour Division website: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/state/contacts#MD