THE FAMILY FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (H.R.6201)

This Family First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and will be effective on April 2, 2020 throughout Dec. 31, 2020. The Act mandates employers with 500 employees or less to provide 14 weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave, as well as Emergency Paid Sick Leave to an employee qualifies for receiving the leave benefit due to COVID-19 (only 10 days can be unpaid).


I. Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

1. Period: up to 12 weeks.

2. Eligible Employee: He has been on payroll for at least 30 calendar days.

3. Reasons for leave: He is unable to work or telework in order to care for minor child(ren) due to school closure or unavailability of childcare provider resulting from COVID-19.

4. Eligible Employer: An employer with fewer than 500 employees and government employer.

5. Payment: The first 10 days can be unpaid leave and an employee can opt to substitute accrued vacation, personal or sick leave during this time. The employee may continue to take the leave up to ten (10) weeks, an employee must receive at least two-thirds (2/3) of his regular pay up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total.

6. Job Restoration: Generally, an employee who take such leave is entitled to be restored to the position he held when leave commenced. However, smaller employers with less than 25 employees may be excepted when certain conditions are met.

7. Notice requirement: In any case where the necessity for leave under this section is foreseeable, an employee shall provide the employer with such notice as is practicable.

II. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

1. Period: Up to 80 hours for full time employee and the number of hours for a part time worker will be his hours worked in a two-week period.

2. Reason for Leave: when an employee is unable to work or telework when he is:

a. Subject to a government order for quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19.

b. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19.

c. Has symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

d. is caring for someone who is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a health care provider to quarantine or self-isolation.

e. Need to care for a son or daughter whose school or childcare service is closed due to COVID-19.

f. Is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury. 

3. Eligible Employer: An employer with fewer than 500 employees and government employers.

4. Eligible Employee: Any employee who works for an employer. Health care providers or emergency responders may elect to exclude their employees from application of this leave.

5. Payment:

a. For leave taken for reasons 2.a – 2.c, the employee must be paid at his regular rate up to $511 per day and $5,110 in total.

b. For leave taken for reasons 2.d – 2.f, the employee must be compensated at two-thirds (2/3) of his regular rate up to $200 per day and $2,000 in total.

6. Employer’s other leave policies: Employers must permit employees to use the Emergency Paid Sick Time in this Act before any other paid leave provided by the employer. Therefore, an employer cannot require the employee to use company’s paid sick leave, PTO, or vacation time before the use of sick time under this Act.

7. An employer cannot:

(a) Require an employee to find a replacement to cover his or her scheduled work hours.

(b) Retaliate against any employee who takes leave in accordance with this Act.

(c) Retaliate against an employee who files a complaint or participates in a proceeding related to this Act.

8. Post requirement: Employers are required to post a notice in a conspicuous place in the workplace. Notice model will be posted by DOL by March 25, 2020.

9. Notice procedure: An employer can require workers to follow reasonable notice procedures to continue receiving the benefit after the first workday that an employee receives paid sick time.

1. Employers should track the time to take advantage of the tax credits associated with these leaves.

If you have any questions or inquires please contact Attorney Connie Dai at 617-232-7503 or staff@lionslawgroup.com.

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