The Act seeks to address the impact of coronavirus in a number of areas, but how will it affect employees, employers and their businesses in PA?
On the night of Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It was passed by Congress in hopes that it will assist Americans, especially in the areas of child nutrition and health. It will go into effect no later than April 2, 2020, and below is a brief summary of what it hopes to do for businesses.
What does the Act do for businesses and its employees?
The FFCR Act applies to employers with under 500 employees. Employers with under 50 employees are entitled to seek an exemption from the Department of Labor, if providing the benefits described herein would put the employer out of business.
The Act provides two new paid benefits which expire on December 31, 2020:
- A two-week paid sick leave for coronavirus related illness; and
- Up to 12 weeks of paid Family and Medical Leave for caring for a child whose school or child care provider has closed.
Who is eligible for paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
This benefit is for employees who are unable to work (or telework) because the employee:
- is subject to a governmentally-mandated quarantine or isolation order
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- has symptoms of being infected with coronavirus and is seeking a medical diagnosis
- is caring for an individual who is quarantined or self-quarantining
- is caring for a son or daughter if the school or place of care has been closed
If any of the circumstances above apply, the employee is eligible for two (2) weeks of full pay, based on his/her typical schedule. There is a maximum benefit of $511 per day.
What if the employee still has unused sick time or paid-time-off (PTO)?
If the employee has employer-based sick time/PTO, the employer is required to apply the government emergency leave, before applying the employer based benefit.
Who is eligible for paid family and medical leave?
This benefit is available for employees who are unable to work (or telework) because the employee must care for children (up to 18 years old) whose schools or child care facilities have closed because of the coronavirus.
The employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of two-thirds pay, with health insurance. The maximum benefit is $200 per day and $10,000 total. The first two weeks of this leave may be unpaid (that gap is filled by the Paid Sick Leave benefit).
How Does an Employer get reimbursed under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act?
Both paid leaves are reimbursable to the employer via a payroll tax credit, which will be provided by the Federal government within 3 months. If the employer pays more in paid benefits and health insurance premiums than the payroll tax, the government will send the employer an “overpayment” check for the difference.
The coronavirus pandemic means news and information is constantly-changing and evolving every minute. The business lawyers at High Swartz know how important it is to keep everyone informed with current and valid information during these trying times. If you have questions about the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, or any pandemic-related query relating to your job or business, please contact our employment law attorneys at 610-275-0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know how hard hit our areas have been hit during this pandemic. Our local law offices in Montgomery County and Bucks County Pennsylvania can help guide those most affected by offering guidance at any time.