What Businesses Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, providing a host of benefits, including paid leave for employees so they can deal with the effects of COVID-19, which benefits are available commencing on April 1, 2020.

Under the FFCRA, employers with fewer than 500 employees are obligated to provide eligible employees with (1) up to 12 weeks of emergency paid family and medical leave (the first 10 days of which can be unpaid); and (2) up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave. Taking effect on April 1, 2020, these paid leave requirements automatically expire on December 31, 2020.

Employers are eligible for payroll tax credits to offset the costs of providing leave that is taken during this period, and employers should ask employees taking leave to provide appropriate documentation substantiating the reason why the leave is needed so that the employers can claim these tax credits.

Covered employers must post or provide employees with a notice of their rights under the FFCRA by April 1, 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a model notice that is available here. The notice must be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises, such as a break room or bulletin board where required employment posters are typically posted. If employees are remote, the employer may satisfy the notice requirement by emailing employees a copy of the notice or posting it on a website that employees are able to access. Employers must also provide the notice to all new employees at their time of hire.