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Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ Part 2

04-03-2020

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to assist Americans as well as businesses and their employees. Last week, we published a blog article called Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ and hosted a webinar with our in-house compliance team that discussed:

  • The difference between the two types of paid sick leave
  • The amount of paid sick and paid FMLA leave an employer is required to provide
  • In addition to pay, other ways the emergency FMLA differs from standard FMLA
  • How the IRS will refund employers the paid leave they provide to employees
  • Which tax credits are available to employers under this law
  • Who is exempt from this law

…and more

We received so many questions regarding the new law that we decided to follow up with Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ Part II. See below for answers to more questions that were asked by business owners across the country.

Q. If an employee has decided on their own to take themselves out of work for two weeks because they don’t want to be exposed, is the employer required to pay sick leave?

A. No, the requirement applies to employees who are subject to a quarantine order, are self-quarantining pursuant to the recommendation of a health care provider, or are experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis. However, if the employee is not experiencing symptoms and just decides on their own to stay home, they are not covered under FFCRA.

Q. If an employee is out on paid sick leave, what proof do they have to show their employer after one day out on leave?

A. Employees must provide documentation supporting the absence. For example, a copy of the quarantine or isolation order or written documentation from a health care provider advising self-quarantine. For employees using leave to care for a child, examples of supporting documentation include a notice posted on a government, school, or day care website, or published in a newspaper, or an email from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider.

Q. If someone exhausted regular FMLA already, are they eligible for the expanded FMLA leave?

A. The FFCRA emergency extended leave is in addition to regular FMLA, so even if they already exhausted it, they still get the new 12 weeks (the first two unpaid).

Q. If an employee’s child day care closes voluntarily, does that qualify under this law?

A. Yes, the reason the day care is not available is irrelevant.

Q. If employees need to stay home due to government stay in place requirements and as a result, they can’t do their job, do they fall under the 80-hour sick leave category?

A. Yes, they would meet criteria #1 specified by the IRS for sick leave: employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.

Q. Can a husband and wife both take child care leave?

A. No, because the child care leave is only if you must stay home to take care of a child. However, if one spouse is staying home, then the other spouse’s presence is not essential.

Q. Is there a deadline for when the paid leave poster must be communicated to employees?

A. Yes. April 1, 2020.

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