New federal COVID-19 employee leave legislation announced
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law March 18 and potentially provides two additional types of leave to individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. Each paid leave has specific eligibility requirements and overall restrictions on the total amount of pay an employee may receive when taking leave.
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA)
The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) expands the federal Family and Medical Leave Act to provide leave for eligible employees who are unable to work or telecommute as a result of having to care for a minor child due to a COVID-19 related closure of a school or childcare center.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to eligible employees under any of six qualifying reasons related to COVID-19:
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 OR is caring for an individual who has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19.
- The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons.
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Both paid leave provisions take effect April 1, 2020, and both expire Dec. 31, 2020.
The leave provisions of the FFCRA as described above, are only for those eligible employees who cannot work, including working from home, as a result of COVID-19. As directed by Governor Henry McMaster in his executive orders, state agencies should first offer work-from-home opportunities to employees to the maximum extent possible and offer paid leave available to employees under the FFCRA only if work-from-home opportunities have been exhausted.
For more information on the FFCRA and new leave provisions, including frequently asked questions and the US Department of Labor’s informational poster, access the Office of Human Resources’ FFCRA website at bit.ly/FFCRAClemson.
Contact ASK-HR with additional questions.