This page provides updates on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump requires certain employers to provide their employees with emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Under FFCRA, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide employees with up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of EPSL based on the higher of their regular rate of pay or the applicable state or federal minimum wage, paid at:
100% of regular pay up to $511 daily and $5,110 total because the employee:
is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
2/3 of regular pay up to $200 daily and $2,000 total because the employee:
is caring for an individual subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
is caring for an individual who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Employees are not required to use their accrued paid leave offered by their employer prior to using EPSL, if the employee meets one of the qualifying conditions bulleted above. If an employee is taking EPSL for any of the five qualifying reasons that are medical in nature (excluding caring for a child who’s school or child care facility is closed or child care provider is unavailable), then documentation should come from a health care provider and include the specific qualifying reason for which the employee is taking EPSL.
In addition to the benefits above, a full-time employee may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 of regular pay for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total, if the employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is caring for his or her biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, legal ward, or a child for whom he or she is standing in loco parentis and whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons¹.
A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
Finally, an employee may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of 12 weeks of paid leave. An employee may take a total of 12 weeks of FMLA or expanded FMLA during a 12-month period. If an employee has already taken 12 weeks of FMLA during the 12-month period, the employee may not take additional FMLA. Employees are not required to use EPSL and expanded FMLA concurrently.
The chart below shows a side by side comparison of existing benefits prior to the enactment of FFCRA and benefits in place through the end of 2020 under expanded FMLA and EPSL.
Employers shall post and keep posted a notice of these requirements. It is unlawful for any employer to discharge, discipline, or, in any other manner, discriminate against any employee who takes such leave and has filed any complaint or instituted any proceeding under or related to this Act or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding. The Act includes an enforcement mechanism for violations.
The FFCRA authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Labor to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirement to provide emergency paid sick leave to an employee who is caring for their child if the child’s school or day care is closed or child care provider is unavailable due to coronavirus precautions if compliance with the requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business.
IMPORTANT: This summary is intended for guidance only and limited to the information available as of April 1, 2020. This does not constitute legal advice. For additional guidance, go to Please consult your human resource professional before implementation.
¹ The expanded FMLA may only be taken to care for a child under age 18 if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to a public health emergency. Accordingly, documentation should include notice of closure or unavailability from the child’s school, place of care, or child care provider. Such documentation may be a notice posted on a government, school, or day care website, published in a newspaper, or emailed to the employee from the school, place of care, or child care provider.
(*This page was last updated on April 2, 2020)