With many schools shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many parents are having trouble finding care for their children while they continue to work. For some families the Families First Corona Response Act (FFCRA) may provide some relief. The Act requires a certain employers to provide employees paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to Covid-19.
Sick Leave Pay and Expanded Family and Medical Leave for Employees
In addition to providing up to two weeks (80 hours) of regular sick leave pay to employees who are ordered to or advised by a healthcare professional to quarantine or are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnoses, the Act provides two thirds sick leave pay for employees caring for individuals subject to quarantine or to care for children whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable. Furthermore, an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two thirds pay rate may be available for employees who cannot work because their child’s school has closed or they cannot find child care because of Covid 19.
Is My Employer Covered by the Act?
The FFCRA applies to certain public and private employers with fewer than 500 employees, with the exception of federal employees already covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Smaller businesses with fewer that 50 employees may be exempt from providing leave due to school closings or lack of child care.
At a glance, employees may qualifying for FFCRA leave if::
- An employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
- He or she has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19
- Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis
- Is caring for an individual subject to an order or in self-quarantine at the direction of their healthcare provider
- An employee caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed for reasons related to COVID-19
- Employees experiencing substantially-similar conditions specified by the ACT
- And, under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit families hard, many who are are balancing unexpected child care responsibilities while trying to hold down a job. If your employer is covered under the FFCRA, paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave can help families take care of their loved ones without fear of losing their jobs or needed funds. Talk to your employer to find out if the FFCRA can help you.