USDOL Provides Guidance On Expanded Coronavirus Paid Family Leave
The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division published guidance to provide information on the family leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The family leave benefits take effect April 1, 2020, and goes through December 31, 2020.
FFCRA was passed by Congress to assist the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to paid family leave benefits, the law also provides free coronavirus testing, enhances Unemployment Insurance, strengthens food security, and increases federal Medicaid funding to states.
FFCRA will provide employers with 500 employees or less with funding to allow for paid employee leave, either to care for the employee’s own health needs or to care for a family member. The purpose is to ensure employees do not have to choose between working when they are sick, which further spreads the coronavirus and lost wages.
The new law generally provides 80 hours of family and medical leave either at 1) at the employee’s regular rate of pay, because the employee is quarantined or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical care or 2) at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, because the employee is subject to government or health care provider quarantine, or to care for a child because of school or child care provider closure. Employers are entitled to dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through a tax credit for all qualifying wages paid as a result of FFCRA.
The information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor is provided in fact sheets for employees and employers, and FAQs. Links to the family leave information can be found at https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200324