FFRCA Q&A

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was recently passed by congress and signed into law. StaffScapes has chosen to create a Q&A based on commonly asked questions and details about the law. As more questions are asked, we will gradually add to this document.

Due to a higher than usual call volume at StaffScapes, we are asking that you read this Q&A entirely prior to calling in with additional questions. 

For other detailed information on this new law, please visit the following website:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave 

For an in-depth Q&A directly from the Department of Labor, please visit the following website:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

For the required poster to notify employees of this law, please use the following link:

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf 

Question

Paid Sick Leave

Expanded FMLA

When is the effective date for these new laws? April 1, 2020 April 1, 2020
Which employers must participate?  If you employ fewer than 500 employees If you employ fewer than 500 employees
I hear there are exemptions for employers with fewer than 50 employees. Is this true?  Potentially. You must be able to show that providing this leave will jeopardize the viability of your company. At this time, clarification on what steps will be required to prove this has not been provided. More information to come. Potentially. You must be able to show that providing this leave will jeopardize the viability of your company. At this time, clarification on what steps will be required to prove this has not been provided. More information to come.
If my business has been mandated to close, does this law still apply to me?  No. If you were forced to close your business until further notice, you do not have to pay your employees for this benefit. No. If you were forced to close your business until further notice, you do not have to pay your employees for this benefit.
Which of my employees does this apply to?  All employees upon hire. All employees who have been employed for at least 30 days (since March 2, 2020)
Are part-time employees included?  Yes, both part-time and full-time employees are able to participate Yes, both part-time and full-time employees are able to participate
What if I have employees on furlough? No. If you were forced to close your business until further notice, you do not have to pay your employees for this benefit. No. If you were forced to close your business until further notice, you do not have to pay your employees for this benefit.
What reasons would qualify eligible employees to take leave?  If your employee is subjected to a quarantine by the government or medical providers, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally if the employee is caring for a person for the same reasons or if they must care for a son/daughter due to daycare/school closures. If your employee needs to care for a son/daughter due to daycare/school closures and is unable to telework ONLY. All other COVID-19 related matters do not apply to this leave.
How much time am I required to provide to employees who qualify?  Full-time employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave. Part-time employees are eligible for the average number of hours they work during a two-week period. Full-time employees are eligible for a total of 12 weeks of leave. Part-time employees are eligible for the number of hours they are normally scheduled to work over a 12-week period. The first two weeks of EFMLA can be considered  paid sick leave.
How do I calculate hours for part-time employees? Calculate the average number of hours an employee usually works during a two-week period. If your company has reduced hours, you must use an average number of hour prior to reductions. If part-time hours vary greatly, you may use a six-month average to calculate daily hours. Calculate the average number of hours an employee usually works during a two-week period. If your company has reduced hours, you must use an average number of hour prior to reductions. If part-time hours vary greatly, you may use a six-month average to calculate daily hours.
What if my employee gets better sooner than two weeks or finds alternate childcare?  You may allow your employee to come back to work before they exhaust the entire two weeks of leave. After the first day, you are able to ask for a doctor’s note and request daily check-ins if it is your usual policy to do so. You will want to consider asking for a doctor’s note before allowing them to return to work if they are not already working remotely. You may allow your employee to come back to work before they exhaust the entire twelve weeks of leave if their childcare situation changes.
How much do I have to pay my employees who qualify?  If the employee is caring for themselves, you must pay minimum wage or their regular rate of pay, whichever is greater. If the employee is caring for someone else or caring for their child due to school/daycare closures, you can pay them 2/3 their regular rate of pay. 2/3 the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Are there caps on how much I’m required to pay?  If the employee is caring for themselves, the cap is at $511 per day ($5,110 total). If the employee is caring for someone else or for their child due to school/daycare closures, the cap is at $200 per day ($2,000 total). $200 per day ($12,000 total – including paid sick leave payments)
Will the government reimburse me?  Yes, the government is issuing reimbursements in the form of tax credits up to the capped amount of payment (see above). If you pay above the capped amount, you will not receive reimbursement for the overage. Please note that the IRS has not issued clear guidelines on how this will work. More information to come. Yes, the government is issuing reimbursements in the form of tax credits up to the capped amount of payment (see above). If you pay above the capped amount, you will not receive reimbursement for the overage. Please note that the IRS has not issued clear guidelines on how this will work. More information to come.
How many times can an employee use the new paid sick leave and EFMLA?  Once Once, unless you already provided other FMLA to your employee within the year. Please note, that regular FMLA is only applicable to employers greater than 50 employees. If you provided other leave but it wasn’t FMLA because you do not qualify, that would not count.
What if I already paid employees for sick leave prior to April 1, do I have to do it again if they become eligible?  Yes, past payments do not apply toward paid sick leave Yes, past payments do not apply toward EFMLA.
Are these leaves retroactive?  No No
Is all leave under the FMLA paid now?  N/A No, only if the employee satisfies the requirements above. All other leave is not applicable.
Do I have to notify my employees of these new laws?  Yes, please use the link at the top of this page for a copy of the required posting. Please hang in a break room or other conspicuous place. DON’T FORGET TO SEND TO YOUR EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME Yes, please use the link at the top of this page for a copy of the required posting. Please hang in a break room or other conspicuous place. DON’T FORGET TO SEND TO YOUR EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME