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How the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Impacts Employer Leave Policies

The federal government recently has taken several steps to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Of special relevance to HR professionals is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which was signed into law on March 18. In general, the legislation focuses on private-sector organizations employing fewer than 500 people.

Read about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, another recent response to the effects of COVID-19, in this blog post

What employers need to do

Health care calendar

If the FFCRA applies to your organization (employers with fewer than 500 employees, as well as government entities), your awareness of the following basic provisions may be crucial.

  • Full-time employees affected by the coronavirus may qualify to receive up to two weeks of emergency paid sick leave.
  • Part-time affected employees may qualify for emergency paid sick leave up to the average number of hours worked over a two-week period.
  • Per Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) expansion, following 10 days of unpaid leave, applicable employees may qualify for up to 10 additional weeks of job-protected leave at two-thirds of normal pay.
  • Paid sick leave and paid family leave wages will not be subject to the employer portion of the Social Security payroll tax.
  • Employers will be eligible for a credit against the employer portion of the Social Security payroll tax for the provided sick leave and paid family leave, subject to certain caps and modifiers.

Male working from home

According to the Department of Labor, the paid leave provisions go into effect April 1 and remain applicable through Dec. 31, 2020. Employers must post a notice of the FFCRA by April 1, and may do so by emailing or directly mailing employees, or by posting the notice in a conspicuous place on its physical premises, or in an internal or external website.

For more details – including additional provisions, exemptions and caps that may apply to your organization or its employees – you can read the full text of the FFCRA at the U.S. Congress website. Additionally, you can review the Department of Labor’s fact sheet and Q&A document.HR pro checking leave

In the meantime, rest assured Paycom is committed to providing you timely information on topics that matter to you and your team. Keeping track of leave balances, taking advantage of tax credits and communicating with employees can help your business remain compliant and streamlined in an uncertain time.