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What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (or FFCRA) is a law passed by Congress on March 19, 2020 in response to fears about employers laying off employees on a large scale due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The law primarily impacts employers with fewer than 500 employees and its provisions are set to go in effect on April 1, 2020.

In general, the law affords employees the following rights:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay when the employee cannot work because he or she is quarantined or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate where the employee cannot work because of the need to care for an individual subject to quarantine or where the employee must care for a child whose school (or childcare provider) is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • An additional 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee cannot work due to the need to care for a child whose school (or childcare provider) is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.

An employee is considered to be quarantined when he or she is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine.

It should be noted that businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the leave requirement related to school closings if the business can show that the law would jeopardized the viability of the business.

If you think your rights under this new law may have been violated, you can contact us to find out if you have a case.