FFCRA - Families First Coronavirus Response Act Overview
Effective April 1 to December 31, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required certain employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide emergency paid leave to workers impacted by COVID-19 precautions. Eligible employers may claim dollar-for-dollar tax credits for qualified "FFCRA-like" leave paid from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.
FFCRA Updates per December 2020 COVID-19 Relief Bill
Signed on December 27, 2020, the second COVID-19 relief bill extended the timeframe for eligible employers to claim FFCRA tax credits to March 31, 2021. It's important to note that this credit extension does not require employers to provide FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020. Instead, employers may opt to claim credit for "FFCRA-like" paid leave taken through the end of Q1 2021.
Specifically, FFCRA included:
- Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA): Expands the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if they need to care for their children due to school closures or if childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA): Provides up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for absences due to COVID-19 quarantine orders, or for caring for self or individuals who are ill with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms
- Reimbursement to employers for FFCRA pay via tax credits
Watch our video for an overview of FFCRA paid leave requirements when the law was enacted in April 2020:
FFCRA - Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)
EFMLA expands FMLA protections to cover more workers who need to take a leave of absence to care for their children (under the age of 18) if their school is closed or other childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. Workers are eligible for emergency FMLA benefits if they have been employed for at least 30 calendar days before taking leave.
- Allows up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to care for children if school is closed or childcare is unavailable due to a public health emergency declared by a federal, state, or local authority
- First 10 days of leave may be unpaid; employee can use accrued PTO or emergency paid sick leave
- The employee will be paid for leave at no less than 2/3 the regular rate of pay, with a cap of $200/day and $10,000 total. This amount must be at or above minimum wage requirements.
- Employers need to restore an employee to their position or its equivalent when they return from leave; there is an exception for employers with fewer than 25 employees if certain conditions are met
FFCRA - Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
EPSLA provides two weeks (up to 80 hours, or a part-time employee's two-week equivalent) of emergency paid sick leave to employees who are caring for themselves or individuals who are under quarantine orders or experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The amount paid is based on the reason for leave, and daily caps and totals are in place:
- 100% regular rate of pay (capped at $511/day and $5,110 total) for employees who take sick leave for the following reasons:
- Federal, state or local quarantine or isolation orders; or
- Advised to self-quarantine; or
- Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis; employees do not need to test positive for COVID-19 to take emergency paid sick leave
- 2/3 regular rate of pay (capped at $200/day and $2,000 total) for employees who take sick leave for the following reasons:
- Caring for an individual who is under an isolation or quarantine order; this expands the FMLA requirement that leave must be to care for childcare. Under this provision, caring for any individual, such as a friend, is covered by paid sick leave.
- Caring for children (under the age of 18) if their school or childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions
More FFCRA Resources
- Department of Labor FFCRA Q&A
- FFCRA Paid Leave Documentation Requirements
- Template: Request for Emergency Paid Leave (Word doc)
- FFCRA Notice - Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (pdf)
- FFCRA Fact Sheet for Employers
Disclaimer: This information is provided as a self-help tool and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Laws, regulations and lending products are changing daily and decisions as to whether or how to use this information and/or what actions to take in response to the COVID19 Pandemic are solely those of the employer. The providers of this information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for its accuracy, completeness or fitness for your particular business purposes.