Yesterday the US Senate passed, and President Trump signed the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The effective date of this act is fifteen (15) days from the Act’s enactment. The adjustments to the final bill are:
Paid FMLA Leave
- The initial ten (10) days of an FMLA leave can be unpaid, but employees can utilize time from their paid time off programs (e.g. personal, sick vacation).
- Upon completion of the first ten days, employers must pay for an eligible FMLA leave at a rate of not less than approximately 66.66% (two-thirds) of the employee’s typical scheduled number of hours. The maximum dollar amount is $200 per day and $10,000 in total for the leave. See my blog from March 16th for the eligibility requirements.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Employees can receive emergency paid sick time for:
- If an employee has been forced to quarantine themselves due to a governmental order, been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine, or is caring for someone who is subject to a governmental order or has been advised to quarantine (self-care);
- If an employee has symptoms and is in the process of receiving a coronavirus diagnosis (self-care);
- If an employee is caring for their child whose school or childcare has closed; or
- If an employee is suffering from a similar condition identified by Health and Human Services (HHS).
Full-time employees are eligible for 80 hours of paid emergency sick time, unless they are caring for an individual as outlined above, in which they will be paid 66.66 % (two-thirds) of the employee’s regular rate of pay. Part-time employees are eligible for the average number of hours they typically work during a two-week period.
The maximum amount of emergency paid sick time is $511 each day or a total of $5,110 for employee self-care, and $200 each day or $2,000 total when caring for others.
It is important to note that the DOL can exempt “small” employers (organizations and businesses with less than 50 employees) when implementing these requirements may pose a hardship on the organization.