The newly-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act seeks to address growing needs due to Covid-19 pandemic closures and mass layoffs. 

FFCRA was signed by President Trump Wednesday March 18 and provides paid leave benefits and additional unemployment benefits for U.S. workers. The bill covers all companies with up to 500 employees, and individuals who are self-employed may see some benefits. 

The following are six qualifications for coverage under the new bill:

  1. The employee is subject to federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order due to Covid-19.

  2. The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to Covid-19.

  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 and seeking medical diagnosis.

  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state or local order, or the individual has been advised to self-quarantine due to concerns related to Covid-19.

  5. The employee is caring for the employee’s son or daughter, if the child’s school or childcare facility has been closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to Covid-19 precautions.

  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Health and Human Services in consultation with the Department of the Treasury or the Department of Labor.

Employees can expect the following benefits:

  • Normal FMLA is unpaid, but under the FFCRA, employees who are on sick leave because they are sick can receive their full pay, up to $511 per day.

  • Leave taken to care for children whose schools or daycare facilities have closed is paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay, with a maximum of $200 per day.

  • Employers cannot force you to use vacation or sick time before receiving this benefit.

  • There is a 10-day waiting period before this benefit applies. Employees can use existing sick or vacation time to cover these days.

Employers can expect the following benefits:

  • Employers will receive tax credits for 100% of what they pay out to employees, within noted limitations.

  • For healthcare providers such as hospitals and nursing homes, and for employers with 50 or fewer employees, the Secretary of Labor can exempt the business from these requirements.

  • Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to restore employees to their previous positions.

The bill will go into effect in 15 days. For more information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please visit:

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 4:35 PM, 04.01.2020