“It’s all about putting the best team together – not just in the front office but the players on the field.” – John Elway
We do not know how long this Coronavirus business disruption will last. We do know to stay alert for new laws affecting our workforce, like the Families’ First Coronavirus Response Act. Here are some of the basic points of the FFCRA.
The FFCRA provides employees with paid sick leave through two brand new laws.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”) and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”)
may have different impacts on your bottom line and your employees. Both laws are in place until December 31, 2020.
Key Points of the EFMLEA
- Applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees
- Provides up to 10 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees if unable to work/telework because:
- need to care for minor children because school or childcare has been closed;
- his or her childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency like COVID-19;
- The employee can elect to substitute any accrued Paid Time Off in lieu of the 10 unpaid days or utilize the paid sick time
- provided by the EPLSA. After the initial 10 day period, the employee will receive partial pay for each additional day of leave taken.
- The caps for paid EFMELA may not exceed $200.00 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate.
The EFMLEA applies to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, but it has a provision to give the Department of Labor explicit authority to create regulations that would: “exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
Key Points of the EPSLA
- Small businesses are not exempt like with the EFMLEA;
- Can provide full-time employees up to 80 hours (two weeks) of paid sick leave;
- Part-time employees can also receive paid sick leave, limited to the average number of hours that the employee works over a two week period.
- The amount of leave pay is equal to the employee’s regular rate of compensation, unless the employee is caring for a child or family member affected by the coronavirus. In that case, it will be two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay.
The EFMLEA and EPSLA bars employers from:
- discriminating in any way against an employee who takes advantage of benefits provided by these Acts;
- retaliating against an employee who files a complaint or initiates a proceeding under these Acts.