UPDATE: New Coronavirus Relief Laws Require Paid Employee Leave
As part of sweeping legislation signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020, two laws were enacted that provide workers with paid leave for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For your convenience, we have attached a legislative brief with more details. Below is an overview of the key points:
- “Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act,” allows 12 weeks of partially compensated FMLA leave to care for a child whose school or child care facility has been closed due to COVID-19. The leave applies only to workers who have been employed by their current employer for 30 days.
- “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act,” requires employers to provide 80 hours of paid sick time to employees in specified circumstances, including:
- A quarantine or isolation order for the employee or someone the employee is caring for, or medical advice to self-quarantine;
- When the employee has symptoms of COVID-19; or
- When the employee’s child’s school or child care facility is closed.
The expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
*The law indicates the use of the FMLA definition as shown in Statue Section 101(6):
The laws take effect within 15 days (April 2, 2020) of passage; the leave benefits will expire on Dec. 31, 2020. The Department of Labor is charged with making a required employer notice available within one week of the law’s passage. For your convenience, we have attached the samples released over the weekend. Employers must add their name and post the notice in conspicuous places on their premises, where notices to employees are customarily posted.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We will continue to update you as legislative updates occur.