Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) expanded to provide relief to those affected by COVID-19 (FFCRA)

April 4, 2020

NOTE:  The information presented here is subject to change.  The specific details of these acts continue to be worked out and have changed several times already.  Please do not rely solely on this information when taking action on them.

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 2, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020, responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing additional assistance in the areas of COVID-19 testing, sick leave, food assistance, and more.

In summary, the Act: 

  • Requires private insurance plans to provide free COVID-19 testing
  • Requires employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to workers affected by
    COVID-19 and expands family and medical leave.  Including up to 12 weeks of full or reduced pay for qualifying extended leaves.
  • Offers increased funding for state unemployment insurance, food stamp and nutritional programs.

The FFCRA has complicated rules for how to apply paid sick and medical leave.  It generally applies to businesses with less than 500 employees.  Exemptions may be available to most businesses with 50 or less employees – exemption procedures forthcoming.

If you think you need additional guidance in this area, please contact us now.