Summary of FFCR Act’s Benefits to Employees

Originally published by: Clark Schaefer HackettMarch 25, 2020

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Emergency Family Medical Leave (EFML)

Private-sector (and tax-exempt) employers with fewer than 500 workers (but greater than 50) and all government entities would be required to provide as many as 12 weeks of job-protected leave to employees ONLY in the situation in which they are unable to work or telework due to caring for a child (under the age of 18) whose school or place of care is closed. The first 10 days may be unpaid, although a worker could choose to use other accrued leave (including EPSL). Employers would be required to pay employees two-thirds of their wages, not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate. Only employees that have been employed for at least 30 days by the employer will qualify.

As with traditional FMLA leave, EFMLA leave is job-protected, and an employer must return the employee to the same or equivalent position upon their return to work. The bill outlines an exception for employers with fewer than 25 employees stating that, if the employee’s job no longer exists due to the coronavirus pandemic, employers would be required to make reasonable efforts to restore the employee to an equivalent position over a one-year period.

The bill grants the Secretary of Labor the authority to issue regulations exempting: (1) certain healthcare providers and emergency responders from taking leave under the bill; and (2) small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of the bill if it would jeopardize the viability of the business.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

Private-sector (and tax-exempt) employers with fewer than 500 workers and all public-sector employers would have to provide paid sick leave of two weeks (80 hours) for full-time employees. The same employers would have to provide average hours for a two-week period for part-time employees. These benefits are capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for those on leave because of their own health issue, and $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for those needing to care for others.

Qualifying sick leave under this bill includes ANY of the following situations:

  • Employee is under federal, state or locally mandated quarantine or isolation (employees taking leave are entitled to pay at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period);
  • Employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine (employees taking leave are entitled to pay at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period));
  • Employee is experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis employees taking leave are entitled to pay at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period));
  • Employee is caring for an individual under (1) or (2) above (employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period));
  • Employee is caring for a family member under quarantine or isolation, or caring for a child whose school has closed, or care provider is unavailable, due to the coronavirus (employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period);
  • Employee is experiencing substantially similar condition specified by Health and Human Services Secretary (employees taking leave are entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate (over a 2-week period)).

 

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