Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Emergency Sick Leave and Emergency Family Leave
The following post explains state and federal responses to COVID-19 with regard to enhanced employee benefits and employer tax credits employees and employers may be eligible to receive.
On March 18, 2020, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act became law.
There are two main provisions.
EMERGENCY SICK LEAVE
All employees will be eligible for up to 80 hours of emergency sick leave if:
- They are subject to a coronavirus quarantine order;
- Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
- Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical diagnosis;
- Caring for an individual who has been quarantined or ordered to isolate;
- Caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions;
Details about emergency sick leave:
- Immediate use regardless of employee’s tenure;
- Pro-rated based on hours worked;
- Employees granted emergency sick leave for themselves will be paid their hourly rate for up to 80 hours, not to exceed $511 per day;
- Employees granted emergency sick leave to care for family members will be paid 2/3 of their hourly rate per hour, not to exceed $200 per day;
- Employees are not required to use other accrued leave categories prior to receiving emergency sick leave.
- Employees can use their own sick leave to make their pay whole.
EMERGENCY FAMILY LEAVE
Employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of leave if they are unable to work because they have to care for a minor child due to school or child care closure due to a coronavirus emergency. To be eligible for this leave, employees have to be employed for at least 30 days.
The first 10 days of leave will be Emergency Sick Leave (as identified above). Beginning the 11th day, compensation will 2/3 of the hourly rate, not to exceed $200.00 per day, capped at $10,000 for the extended absence.
TAX CREDITS FOR PAID SICK AND PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
Payroll tax credits for qualified sick leave wages and family leave paid by an employer shall be allowed in the amount of benefits paid (not to exceed the limits identified above for pay) over the permitted duration.
An individual tax credit for qualified sick leave and family leave for self-employed individuals in the amount of $200 a day (or $511 for emergency paid sick leave for own quarantine or seeking own medical diagnosis) or 67% (or 100% for emergency paid sick leave for own quarantine or seeking own medical diagnosis) of average daily pay for self-employed individuals over the permitted duration, whichever is less.
Any wages required to be paid by reason of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (see above) shall not be considered wages for certain purposes.
To file a claim, click here.