Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part 1
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA includes two paid leave provisions. One being the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. This blog will highlight the important aspects of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees and all government employers. Under this act, employers must provide sick leave if the employee is unable to work or telework because of the following:
· under federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
· has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19 concerns;
· experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
· is caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order or advised to self-quarantine because of COVID-19 concerns;
· is caring for a son or daughter (as defined under the FMLA) where, due to COVID-19 precautions, the child’s:
o school or place of care has been closed; or
o child care provider is unavailable.
· is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
Furthermore, full-time employees are entitled to eighty (80) hours of paid leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the average number of hours the employee works during a two-week period.
Sick leave is available to any covered employee, regardless of how long they have been employed. In addition, employers cannot require an employee to use other available paid or unpaid leave prior to leave under this emergency provision or find a replacement to cover the employee’s hours or shift before allowing paid leave.
Under this act, leave is paid at 100% of the employee’s regular rate and capped at $511.00 per day or $5,110.00 in total for an employee who is quarantined under a government order and/or advice of health care provider or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. However, an employee’s leave is paid at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay or capped at $200 per day and $2,000 in total if an employee cares for another individual under quarantine or a child under 18 whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19, or if the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition.
If you live in Rhode Island and have been impacted by COVID-19, please refer to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s Workplace Fact Sheet at http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/pdfs/COVID-19%20Workplace%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf.