FFCRA FAQs on Paid Sick Leave

A provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides workers with up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee's two-week equivalent) of emergency paid sick leave for absences due to COVID-19. Effective April 1 - December 31, 2020, this provision applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Emergency sick leave pay rates and caps are based on the reason for leave. Employers will be reimbursed for emergency sick leave pay through tax credits.

What are the effective dates of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act applies to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Does any employer qualify for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act? 

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act covers employers with fewer than 500 employees

What is the length of emergency paid sick leave? 

Emergency paid sick leave covers up to two weeks of absence due to COVID-19 precautions. Emergency paid sick leave is capped at 80 hours for full-time employees (for part-time employees, the number of paid sick leave hours equals the average number of hours that the they work over a typical two-week period).

Does the employee earn their full rate of pay while out on emergency paid sick leave?

Emergency sick leave pay is based on the employee’s regular compensation, but is capped at $511 per day, or $5,110 total over the entire two-week period for employees who fall into the first three categories below, and at $200 per day, or $,2000 over entire two-week period, for those in the two care-related categories.

Emergency leave pay is equal to the employee’s regular rate if (in connection with COVID-19) the employee: 
  • is subject to a quarantine or isolation order; or
  • has been advised to self-quarantine; or
  • is experiencing symptoms
Emergency leave is paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate if (in connection with COVID-19) the employee:
  • is on leave to care for an individual who is subject to an isolation order or who is a quarantined employee; or 
  • is on leave to care for a child (under the age of 18) if the school or place of care for the child has been closed or the childcare provider of the child is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions

How do I count hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of emergency paid sick leave?

Part-time employees are entitled to leave for their average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, you calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work. If the normal hours scheduled are unknown, or if the part-time employee’s schedule varies, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. Such part-time employees may take paid sick leave for this number of hours per day for up to a two-week period, and may take expanded family and medical leave for the same number of hours per day up to 10 weeks after that.

If this calculation cannot be made because the employee has not been employed for at least six months, use the number of hours that you and your employee agreed that the employee would work upon hiring. And if there is no such agreement, you may calculate the appropriate number of hours of leave based on the average hours per day the employee was scheduled to work over the entire term of his or her employment.

What if my employee has been out before April 1st due to COVID-19 related reasons?

Emergency paid sick leave is not retroactive. FFCRA applies to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Employees would need to use the Colorado Help Emergency Rule (if applicable), or employee could choose to use accrued vacation days, personal leave, or other available paid leave for unpaid time off.

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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.

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