Have you been directed to quarantine because you tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? If so, you may be nervous about how taking an extended break from work will affect your income and your budget and reasonably so. Fortunately, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was created to help employees in your situation. The Act is administered by the Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which enforces the paid leave requirements under the new law. The law is in effect through December 31, 2020.
What Covered Employees Are Eligible For
Under the Act, covered employees are covered for the following:
- Two weeks of paid sick leave (a maximum of 80 hours) at the employee’s regular pay rate if the employee cannot work because he or she has been quarantined pursuant to a local, state, or federal government order or at the direction of a healthcare provider and/or the employee has COVID-19 symptoms and they’re seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks of paid sick leave (a maximum of 80 hours) at two-thirds the employee’s regular pay because he or she cannot work because they need to care for a someone who is subject to quarantine, or they have to care for a child under the age of 18, whose childcare provider is not available due to COVID-19-related reasons; and
- Up to another 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at a rate of two-thirds the employee’s regular wage providing the employee has been employed at the company for at least 30 calendar days and cannot work because they have a bona fide need to care for their child because the child’s school or childcare provider is closed or cannot care for the child due to COVID-19-related reasons.
Do you qualify under the Act? According to the U.S. Department of Labor: “The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this Act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision.”