The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides for emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave benefits for specified reasons related to COVID-19, effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (Department) has published its first round of guidance to address critical questions such as how the 500 employee cap is calculated, how to count hours for part time employees, how to calculate an employee’s pay taking paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, and how to determine whether an employee has been employed for at least 30 calendar days for the purposes of the expanded family and medical leave.
The guidance is provided as a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document.
It’s important to note that FFCRA requires eligible employers to conspicuously post and keep posted a notice provided by the Secretary of Labor. That poster is available here.
For companies operating remotely, an employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.
You are not required to post this notice in multiple languages, but the Department of Labor is working to translate it into other languages.
Small Business Exemption
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. To elect this small business exemption, you should document why your business meets the criteria set forth by the Department, which will be addressed in more detail in forthcoming regulations.
Though the FFCRA becomes effective April 1, 2020, the Department will observe a temporary non-enforcement period of the FFCRA for the period of March 18 through April 17, 2020, provided that employers are working in good faith to implement the bill during that time. That bulletin is available here.