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New Federal Laws Impact Employers and Employees

Over the last week a number of important new laws have been signed into law at the Federal level. The attorneys of Cohn Lifland can assist both employers and employees in understanding their rights and responsibilities under these new statutes.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The FFCRA was signed March 18, 2020, and goes into effect April 2, 2020. The FFCRA contains two separate laws; the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) which expands the previously existing Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) called.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)

The EFMLEA requires private employers who employ fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of expanded FMLA leave to any employee who has been employed for more than 30, to care for the employee’s child, if the child’s school/child care provider is closed due to the COVID-19 emergency and the employee is unable to work or telework. After unpaid leave for the first 10 days (covered by EPSLA), the employee is paid 2/3 of the employee’s normal rate up to $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

The EPSLA requires the employer to pay an employee up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, available for immediate use regardless of length of employment, if an employee cannot work because the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis. The paid sick leave rate is 100% up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate. This also applies to an employee who is subject to a government quarantine or has been told by a health care provider that he or she should self-quarantine due to COVID-19. If the employee is caring for an individual who must quarantine/self-quarantine for those reasons, the pay is 2/3 of the employee’s normal rate, up to at $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate. An employee who is caring for a child because the school or child care provider is closed due to COVID-19 precautions, is paid at 2/3 the employee’s rate, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate.