Families First Coronavirus Response Act “Phase II”

Taken from Hoge Fenton Legal Alert on 12/28/2020

On April 1, 2020, the United States Department of Labor announced the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA requires employers with 500 or fewer employees to provide their eligible employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These paid leave provisions became operational on April 1, 2020, and expired on December 31, 2020.

On December 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed a new Bill that provides answers to the fate of paid leave provisions under the FFCRA. This Bill resulted in the following:

  • Required paid leave under FFCRA ended on December 31, 2020.
  • As of January 1, 2020, covered employers may voluntarily provide emergency paid sick leave or emergency paid leave under FFCRA to continue receiving the tax credit benefits associated with this leave. The tax credit may only be taken for leave through March 31, 2021.

Therefore, effective January 1, 2021, paid leave under the FFCRA will no longer be required. Covered employers who voluntarily provide paid leave under the FFCRA through March 31, 2021, will remain eligible to receive tax credits for the paid leave. The Bill does not seem to provide a new set of tax credits or leave. In other words, if an employee has already taken 80-hours of emergency paid sick leave in 2020, then the employee would not be entitled to new emergency paid leave in 2021.

Below are links to FFCRA Summaries, Frequently Asked Questions and Model Notices. We suggest reviewing the “Department of Labor FFCRA FAQ’s” link to answer most of your questions regarding the FFCRA.

Further, NorCal NECA has signed the following MOU’s explaining which fringe benefits are due when employees are on emergency paid sick leave or emergency family medical leave.