FFCRA Overview and Compliance Steps

25 Mar

The Families First act was signed into law on 3/18/20. Most provisions take effect within 15 days (4/2/20) and expire 12/31/20. There are three key provisions:

1. FMLA Emergency Expansion - up to 12 weeks of job protected leave

Applies to employers with less than 500 employees (including religious organizations and nonprofits)

Eligible employees need to have been employed for at least 30 calendar days

Healthcare workers and emergency responders may be exempt

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt if granting a leave “would jeopardize the viability of the business”

In addition to illness or caring for an ill family member, an employee can qualify for public health emergency leave if they are unable to work or telework because their child’s school or daycare is closed

First 10 days are unpaid (employee can substitute accrued benefit time or emergency sick leave*)

Days 11+ are paid at 2/3 pay up to $200/day and $10,000 total

2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave - up to 10 days of 2/3 or full pay

Same employer applicability as Emergency FMLA; all employees are eligible regardless of tenure

*Provides up to 10 days of leave at 100% pay if: a) quarantined or isolated subject to federal, state, or local order b) advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine  c) employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis

Provides 2/3 pay if caring for a son or daughter whose school or daycare is closed or if the employee is experiencing any “substantially similar condition”

3. Tax Credits 

Eligible employers can take a tax credit for an amount equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave and family leave wages paid that quarter


Update or write FMLA and emergency sick leave policies and publish them to all employees

Add a required poster (expected soon) where you display labor law posters currently and share with staff electronically since most people are working remotely

Coordinate any employment actions with your PEO (if applicable)

Consult legal counsel and tax/accounting professionals for your unique situations

Know your benefit plan documents and understand insurance eligibility impacts if you reduce an employee’s hours


Is your business an essential employer:


Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers:


Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-10:


Should we take employees’ temperatures and other EEOC/ Americans with Disabilities Act considerations:


Looking for additional resources, sample policies, or want to discuss your HR and talent management approaches in this dynamic environment:

Shawna Lake, Founder



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