Coronavirus Bill Requiring Paid Employee Leave Signed Into Law

Coronavirus Bill Requiring Paid Employee Leave Signed Into Law

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus
Response Act (the Act) into law. The Act requires employers to provide paid
leave for some employees related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,
among other measures. The leave provisions of the Act take effect no later
than 15 days after it is signed by the president.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

The Act requires two weeks of paid sick leave for government workers and
employees of companies with fewer than 500 employees. Leave must be
made available to workers who are symptomatic or are under an order or
advice to quarantine or self-isolate, who have to care for a family member
under such an order or advice, or who have a child whose school or child care
provider or facility has closed or is unavailable due to the coronavirus.
Future regulations may exempt small businesses with fewer than 50
employees from the paid sick leave requirement. Health care providers and
emergency responders may be excluded from both types of leave benefits.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act

The Act provides FMLA rights for some employees of companies with fewer
than 500 employees, requiring partially paid leave after 10 days when an
employee is unable to work or telework due to school or child care closures
related to the coronavirus.

Other Provisions

The Act provides funding for economic assistance and requires health plans
to cover COVID-19 testing at no charge. A refundable tax credit for employers
that provide paid leave benefits as required by the Act is also included. The
U.S. Treasury is expected to use its regulatory authority to advance funds to
some small businesses to cover the cost of providing paid sick leave.

This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or
opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal
advice. ©2020 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.