Navigating FFCRA - SmartTalks Monthly Meeting Part One of Two

April 23, 2020


First aspect of the FFCRA is the first Federal requirement for paying employees for NOT working.  The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires employers support COVID-19 affected employees for a two week period.


The second aspect is the requirement for paying employees certain periods of not working over an extended 12 week time-frame, when requiring family care due to COVID-19.


Depending on the circumstances, Employers are required to pay full or partial compensation based on the employees normal rate of pay as defined in the DOL Fact Sheet #56A.  The higher of applicable minimum wage standards or the normal compensation, including salary or hourly rates, plus commissions, tips, etc.


An employee is defined by the FLSA standards.  A full-time employee normally works 40 hours per week and a part-time employee normally works less than 40 hours per week.


Sick Leave for EE and Family Care High Level: requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires employers support COVID-19 affected employees for a two week period.

What Employees Qualify: An employee is eligible Regardless of the Length of Employment (1 day, 1 hour?) The employee must be directly affected by COVID-19 and cannot work or tele-work due to the event.

What are covered/eligible events? There are six events in basically two types of events. The events are divided into two groups, Personal Care and Family Care:

Group 1

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

The first three then appear to be related to an employee being quarantined based on their own COVID-19 condition or circumstances caused by the virus.

Group 2

The DOL may make an exception for #5 for employers with less than 50 employees if paying benefits may threaten the viability of the employer.  No regulations have been released to date.

The second three appear to relate to the employee caring for someone else who is affected by COVID-19 or related circumstances.

What are the benefits to be provided?

For reasons 1-3 previously explained:

For reasons 4-6 previously explained:

What's the time frame? - Benefits are to be provided for missed work between 4/1/2020 and 12/31/2020.  There is no retroactive pay provided prior to 4/1.

What else should I know?  - The law applies to employers with 500 or fewer employees and all government employers.

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