COVID 19: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

By Paul Cheng Law Office

los Angeles — Our law office continues to review implementation guidance from federal agencies related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Here’s what we know as of Tuesday, March 31, 2020:

  • The effective date for the FFCRA is Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
  • The leave provisions of the FFCRA generally apply to all private employers with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Eligible employees with a qualifying need related to the COVID-19 pandemic as specified in the legislation will be entitled to paid leave as of April 1, 2020.
  • Each covered employer must post a notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises.
  • Covered employers will be entitled to tax credits in the specified amount under the law for the benefits paid to eligible employees for qualified leave taken under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
    Paul P. Cheng (image credit: official website of Cheng Law Offices)

    I need to pay an employee for a pay period that crosses over April 1, 2020. How do I handle that?

    For any wages for March 31, 2020, and before, employees should be paid for worked time as usual. If they were unable to work for any reason, including reasons attributed to COVID-19 (personal health, to care for a child impacted by school and daycare closures, or under quarantine), employees are to be paid using available sick and paid time off (PTO) time.

    For example: Weekly pay period that starts on Sunday, March 29, 2020, and ends on Saturday, April 4, 2020, with a check dated Wednesday, April 8:

    • The pay for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (March 31) should be paid as sick, PTO, or earned work hours.
    • Pay for Wednesday (April 1) through Saturday (April 4) should be paid under the new earnings.

    This is applicable only if eligible employees are unable to work (or telework) for one of the specific reasons identified in the FFCRA.

    In an effort to help businesses in this situation, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services have also issued a “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

    We are hopeful that soon this will pass and things will return to normal. We wish you and your loved ones good health and patience as we all work together in our effort to win this fight. (Paul Cheng Law Office )