The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect life throughout the country. To help businesses and individuals cope with the impacts of the virus, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was established. This act provides certain employees with the right to stay at home if they are sick, have to care for a sick family member, or if they have to care for children due to school, camps, and daycare closures related to COVID-19.
What is FFCRA?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and expanded paid family and medical leave for those impacted by COVID-19. Certain public employers must also comply with the Act. Employers are eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of providing the additional leave.
Under the new law, covered employers must provide workers with:
- Up to two weeks (80 hours, or a two-week equivalent for a part-time worker) of emergency paid sick leave. The amount of compensation will vary based on the employee’s circumstances.
- Up to 12 weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave, with the first two weeks unpaid. Employees may seek pay for those first two weeks if they have accrued paid sick leave, unpaid vacation pay, or other paid leave that may be available. The maximum amount an employer is required to pay under the expanded act is $200 per day or $10,000 in total.
Certain employers are also exempt under the law, including those with fewer than 50 employees if providing the paid leave would place their business in jeopardy.
The FFCRA went into effect April 1, 2020 and will cover any leave up until Dec. 31, 2020.
Who is Eligible for the FFCRA?
Employees are eligible for the unpaid leave if they have been working for their employer for at least 30 days and if they have to care for children due to closures caused by the coronavirus. The paid leave is also only available to parents that cannot work, including working remotely, while they are caring for children.
Employees are also eligible under the FFCRA if they are under local quarantine or isolation orders, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or they have to care for a family member that is subject to a quarantine or isolation order.
What To Do If Your Employer Is Not Following FFCRA Guidelines
All eligible employees have the right to the expanded heave provided under the FFCRA. If your employer is not adhering the FFRCA guidelines, you could be dealing with a violation or simply with the fact that your employer is not yet unfamiliar with the updated laws related to COVID-19. In either circumstance, an experienced lawyer from the Employment and Consumer Law Group can help enforce your rights and ensure that your employer complies with the law.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.