Making Sense of the FFCRA: Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Posted on April 01 2020
Emergency Paid Sick Leave
The Act requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees (public agencies must comply no matter what size) to provide paid leave (paid sick leave) due to the employees’ inability to work (or telework) because:
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in number 1. or has been advised as described in number 2.
- The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of the son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor
Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to a number of hours equal to the number of hours that the employee works on average over a two-week period. If an employer is unable to determine the number of hours the employee would have worked, the employer would use the average number of hours (including any periods of leave) that the employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period preceding the leave. If the employee did not work during this six-month period, the employer would use the reasonable expectation of the average number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work.
Paid sick leave will stop, beginning with the employee’s next work shift immediately following the termination of the need for paid sick leave. Paid sick leave cannot carry over from one year to the next. An employer cannot require an employee to use other paid leave provided by the employer before the employee uses the paid sick leave.
Reasons 1-3 Compensation during paid sick leave shall not exceed $511 per day and $5,110
Reasons 4-6 Compensation shall not exceed $200 per day and $2,000. Compensation for caring for others be at two-thirds of the employee’s regular compensation, not to exceed the compensation cap.
Employers must post a notice provided by the DOL on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are generally posted.
An employer with employees who are health care providers or emergency responders may elect to exclude such employees from eligibility for the paid sick leave. Also, the DOL may exclude certain health care providers or emergency responders as employees from eligibility for the paid sick leave. The DOL may also exempt certain employers with fewer than 50 employees from providing the paid sick leave due to item 5 in the list above if the requirements would jeopardize the viability of the employer.
The provisions regarding paid sick leave take effect on April 1, 2020, and will be in effect until December 31, 2020.