On March 18, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act which goes into effect as of April 2, 2020. The new law modifies the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) temporarily through the end of this year and includes a requirement that employers provide paid sick leave to employees impacted by COVID-19.
The Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act includes the following provisions:
- Employers with 500 or less employees are to provide leave to workers who need to care for a child under 18 because of a school closure related to COVID-19;
- The first 10 days of leave related to school closures can be unpaid leave;
- An employee may elect to substitute any accrued paid time off during the first 10 days of leave;
- Following 10 days of unpaid leave related to COVID-19 school closures, employers are to provide paid leave which is to be two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay up to a maximum of $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate;
- Employers with 50 employees or less may be exempted from this law if the law would jeopardize their business as a going concern.
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act includes the following provisions:
- All employers, with limited exceptions, are to provide paid sick leave to employees unable to work or telework if the employee:
- Is under quarantine related to COVID-19;
- Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
- Is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- Is caring for an individual who is quarantined, has been advised to self-quarantine, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Employees are entitled to the following durations of paid sick time:
- Full-time employees are entitled to receive 80 hours of paid sick time;
- Part-time employees are entitled to receive a number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a 2-week period;
- An employer cannot require an employee to use other paid sick leave time provided by the employer before the employee uses the paid sick time provided for by this new law.
The Secretary of Labor will be providing a notice employers are required to post regarding the changes above to the law.
Kunzler Bean & Adamson is ready and available to answer any questions you may have about this new legislation or other employment law questions you may have during this challenging time.