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What does FFCRA mean for Employees?

FFCRA for Employees

Just a few days ago, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

 

Qualifying for FFCRA Coverage

Small and mid-size companies are required to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for all employees regardless of when they started work and up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for employees affected by the Coronavirus who have worked at the company for at least a month.

  • Sick leave is to be paid at the usual pay rate.
  • Family leave is to be paid at two-thirds of the usual pay rate.

The House capped paid sick leave at $511 per day and paid family leave at $200 per day. In other words, paid sick leave would fully compensate employees earning up to about $130,000 a year for that two-week period, and paid family and medical leave would fully compensate employees earning up to about $75,000 a year for the three-month period.

 

All employees working for a covered Employer that have worked for the Employer for at least 30 days are eligible for Emergency Medical Family Leave if a Qualifying need related to a declared public health emergency exists regarding COVID-19 and applies to the location that includes the employee’s work (including the commuting route of the employee), residence, or community, and the employee has a need for leave for one of the following reasons for coverage under this FFRCA:

  1. To comply with a recommendation or order by a public official or health care provider that physical presence of the employee on the job would jeopardize the health of others because of exposure to the virus or symptoms, and the employee is not able to both perform the functions of the position and comply with the order.
  2. To care for a family member who has been exposed or has symptoms, or to care for a child under 18 if the school or place of care has been closed or childcare provider is unavailable due to the public health emergency.

An employer shall provide an employee with paid sick time for any of the following reasons:

  1. To self-isolate because the employee is diagnosed with Coronavirus.
  2. To obtain a medical diagnosis upon experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus.
  3. To comply with recommendation or order by a public official or health care provider because the physical presence of the employee would jeopardize the health of others because of exposure to Coronavirus or exhibition of symptoms.
  4. To care for or assist a family member who is self-isolating because of diagnosis, experiencing symptoms, or who is subject to an order that the presence of that person in the community would jeopardize the health of others due to exposure to the Coronavirus or symptoms.
  5. To care for the child of an employee if school or place of care is closed due to Coronavirus.

Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time.

Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours that such employee works on average over a 2-week period.

 

Benefits for Employees

  • Normal FMLA is unpaid, but under the FFCRA, employees who are on sick leave because they are sick can receive their full pay, up to $511 per day, or $5,110 total.
  • Leave taken to care for children whose schools or day care facilities have closed is paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay, with a maximum of $200 per day or $10,000 total.
  • Employers cannot force you to use up your vacation or other sick time before receiving this benefit.
  • There is a two-week waiting period before this benefit applies. Employees can use existing sick or vacation time to cover these days.
  • This paid sick leave is in addition to any paid sick leave already offered by an employer.
  • An employer may not require that the employee search for or find a replacement employee to cover the hours in which the employee is using paid sick time.
  • Paid sick time is available regardless of how long the employee has been employed by an employer.
  • An employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave before using the paid sick time
  • Each employer is required to post a notice, to be provided by the Secretary of Labor
  • Employers are prohibited from discharging or disciplining an employee who takes a leave in accordance with the Act

 

Contact our Employment Law Firm

When in doubt, give our Jupiter, Florida based employment law firm a call at (561) 691-9048 for assistance. We are located at 1003 W Indiantown Road, #210, Jupiter, Florida 33458.

Again, should you have any questions regarding FFCRA do not hesitate to contact us.