The last few weeks have been very challenging for employers trying to manage the COVID-19 crisis. For employers who are concerned about the economic impact of the epidemic, or who are simply looking for ways to support their employees during this time, the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed by Congress and signed into law on March 18, 2020, provides some answers and relief.
The new law applies to small and midsize employers
Covered employers include all organizations with fewer than 500 employees, although employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt if compliance would jeopardize the business’s viability.
All covered employers must post a notice of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirements (link to notice here) in a conspicuous place on its premises. Employers can also email or mail this notice to employees, or post it on an employee information internal or external website.
How it helps employers and employees
Under the law, all employees of covered employers are entitled to take two weeks paid time off from work as Emergency Paid Sick Leave, if they are ill or quarantined due to COVID-19, or if they are caring for someone who is. The Paid Sick Leave amount for employees who are ill or quarantined is 100% of their regular wages, capped at $511 per day or a max total of $5,110. Employees taking care-related leaves will be entitled to two-thirds of regular wages, capped at $200 per day or a max total of $2,000.
Separately, employees who have worked at least 30 calendar days for covered employers are also entitled to take up to twelve weeks off as Emergency Family Leave if they are unable to work because they are caring for their child whose school or daycare has closed due to COVID-19. The first 10 days are unpaid but employees can use their accrued sick or vacation time. After the unpaid period, employees are eligible to receive two-thirds of the employee’s regular wages, capped at $200 per day or a max total of $10,000.
Employers can recoup 100% of the costs of these leave payments by deducting the dollar amount from their withheld employment and payroll taxes on a quarterly basis. In some circumstances, they can even recoup costs for their contribution to the employee’s health insurance during the employee’s leave.
How Sparrow can help
Sparrow is an end-to-end leave management company that manages all types of leaves nationwide, including family leave and medical leave. We are here to support you during this time. Employers can engage Sparrow to:
- Help companies draft or revise leave policies and work from home policies;
- Work with employees affected by COVID-19 to identify their eligibility for company policies, regulations, federal & state benefits, third party insurance benefits, and other resources;
- File paperwork on the employee’s behalf so that they can focus on their health and family.
- Save 20-40 hours of Human Resources Team’s time per leave.
- Coordinate with the Payroll team to ensure accurate wage integration is provided to the employees.
To learn more, please join Sparrow’s free webinar on Friday March 27, 2020 that will discuss more details about various state and federal programs and support services for individuals affected by COVID-19. For more updates like these, follow us on social media.