COVID19 FEDERAL BENEFIT INFORMATION
Published on Friday, March 27, 2020
The upcoming benefits put in place to provide relief for workers affected by Coronavirus related issues are described below. Please proceed to the links listed below for further information.
1. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was enacted on March 18, 2020 and will go
into effect fifteen (15) days from enactment. Among others, it contains two provisions amending
the FMLA and creating the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
2. FMLA: Temporarily amends the FMLA by removing the 50 employee minimum (applies to
employers with less than 500 employees) and expands grounds for leave to include "qualifying
need related to a public health emergency," which means that "the employee is unable to work
(or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such
employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or
daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency (defined as an emergency with respect
to COVID-19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authority."
3. Under the FFCRA, employees who met one or more of the above qualifying grounds can receive:
a. An initial ten (10) working days of unpaid leave during which the employee may elect to
use PTO or sick pay provided under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (discussed
b. After the initial ten (10) working days, ten (10) weeks and four (4) days of paid leave at
2/3 of the employee's regular rate of pay at the number of hours the employee is regularly
scheduled to work, but this paid leave will be no more than $200 per day and $10,000 in
c. At the end of the 12-week FMLA emergency leave, with a limited exception for economic
hardship applicable to employers with less than twenty-five (25) employees, the
employee has the right to be restored to the employee's same position as currently
required under existing FMLA rules.
4. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: Provides for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) for up to 80
hours (which basically covers the initial ten (10) working day waiting period) for COVID-19
covered absences that is in addition to any PTO that the employer already provides.
5. Covered absences are if an employee is unable to work or telework because the employee:
a. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
b. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to
c. is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
d. is caring for an individual who is subject to a governmental quarantine order or who has
been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
e. is caring for a son or daughter of the employee if the school or place of care of the son or
daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable,
due to COVID-19 precautions; OR
f. is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of
Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the
Secretary of Labor.
6. EPSL will be paid based on 2/3 of the employee's regular rate of pay at the number of hours the
employee is regularly scheduled to work, but this paid leave will be no more than $511 per day
and $5,110 in the aggregate; however, if the COVID-19 related purpose does not involve actual
sickness of the employee (i.e., caring for an individual under quarantine or a for son or daughter
at home due to closing of school or child care facility) but instead falls under subsections d-f
above, the amount cannot exceed $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for an employee
7. An employee may elect to use this sick time before other PTO and sick leave provided by the
employer. Also, the employer may not require the employee to use other PTO and sick leave
before the emergency sick leave.
8. There are certain exceptions under the FFCRA for Employers that have multi-employer
collective bargaining agreements are addressed specially in Section 3103 of FFCRA; and
employees of a "health care provider," where the employer has elected to exclude an employee
from application of the new emergency FMLA leave provisions.
FMG Law: Coronavirus Paid Leave Laws Pass, Set To Become Effective Within 15 Days
Congress. Gov: H.R.6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act