Effective 4/1/2020 through 12/31/2020 the FFCRA has been put into place for employers with less than 500 employees to be able to provide emergency leave for COVID-19 related reasons. To assist you in understanding this new law, here are a few resources and FAQs for you. We have outlined the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family Medical Leave (EFMLA) below:
Generally, the FFCRA provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a healthcare provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick time at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a healthcare provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Department of Health and Human Services; and
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
If an employee is furloughed or in temporary layoff status are they eligible for EPSL or EFMLA?Employees subject to Furlough or temporary layoffs are not eligible for EPSL or EFMLA.
If an employer reduces scheduled work hours, can an employee use FFCRA leave benefits to supplement reduced hours?
No. An employee would be eligible to apply for unemployment under this option.
In what increments may the leave be used?
The guidance requires the leave to be taken in full-day increments for EPSL. EPSL and EFMLA can only be used intermittently for child care with the employer’s consent. The DOL encourages but does not require employers to collaborate with employees to come up with voluntary arrangements. * Oregon did expand OFLA sick child leave, which can be taken intermittently as needed by the employee. Keep in mind OFLA is unpaid leave unless the employee has Oregon Sick Time or PTO.
Can employees use existing leave (e.g., PTO) concurrently with EPSLA and EFMLA?
Employers may allow employees to use existing leave to supplement paid leave under EFMLA and EPSLA up to their regular rate. Employers may not require that employees use existing leave in this manner.
Is documentation required from employees to support their requests for EPSL and/or EFMLA?
Yes. Employers must require employees to provide them with documentation in support of the reason for the leave. However, it is recommended to not require a physicians note due to the overburdened healthcare system.
Link to the poster for all employers. Click here
- Employers do not have to provide the notice to laid-off employees, only current employees.
- Even if employees speak languages other than English, employers are not required to post the notice in multiple languages (but the DOL is working to translate it).
- Each covered employer (any business with fewer than 500 employees) must post the notice in a conspicuous place on its premises. An employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an intranet or other employee informational website. An employer cannot place it in a binder, book, or folder; it must be conspicuous.
If your organization would like further guidance on FFCRA, please let us know how we can assist.