|Many of you have been anxiously awaiting the final version H.R.6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. On Wednesday (March 18) the U.S. Senate passed the bill and the President signed it. The legislation will extend assistance to individuals affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill will become effective April 2, 2020.
This Act includes many provisions which apply to employers, such as paid sick leave for employees impacted by COVID-19 and those serving as caregivers for individuals with COVID-19.
- Requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave related to caring for a child via an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with the first 10 days unpaid.
- Requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 80 hours (generally two weeks) of emergency paid “sick” leave to full-time employees with special rules for part-time employees.
- Provides tax credits for required paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave and certain health plan expenses.
- Requires group health plans, health insurers and government programs to provide free coronavirus testing.
The two provisions providing paid leave to employees forced to miss work because of the COVID-19 outbreak are outlined in the document linked below. They include an emergency expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and a new federal paid sick leave law.
There is no guidance yet on which businesses might qualify for an exemption.
Families First Response Act