Family First Coronavirus Response Act

Signed into law on March 18th, 2020, and effective April 1st, 2020 until December 31, 2020, the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA, H.R. 6201)[1] provides paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will enforce the new law’s requirements[2]. This act included the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act[3], which constitute Division C and Division E of the act[4]. This law applies to employers with 500 employees or less that are unable to telework. Certain private businesses with less than 50 employees may be able to qualify for exemption from this law[5].

Eligible employees of covered employers have access to:

  • Two Weeks of paid sick leave (up to 80 hours) at the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work due to begin quarantined as per “Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider”[6]; and/or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is currently seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Two Weeks of paid sick leave (up to 80 hours) at two-thirds the regular rate of pay because the employees is unable to work as they are genuinely needed to care for an individual in quarantine (as per the afore mentioned orders/advice), or to care for a child under 18 whose school/child care is unavailable due to the COVID-19 outbreak, or if the employee is facing similar situations.
  • Up to 10 additional weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the regular rate of pay for any employee who has worked more than 30 days, but is unable to work due to the reasons listed above.

What Constitutes a Covered Employer?

  • Certain public employers
  • Private employers with fewer than 500 employees
  • Small Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption

What Constitutes an Eligible Employee? ALL Employees unable to work or telework due to the following:

  • Federal, State, or local quarantine/isolation order due to COVID-19
  • Advisement by medical professionals to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Experiencing symptoms of the virus, and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Employee is caring for someone under quarantine due to either of the first two point
  • Employee is caring for child whose school place of care is closed/unavailable child care provider for COVID-19 related reasons (expanded family leave may be applicable)
  • Any “substantially similar conditions”[7]

For more information regarding duration of leave, calculation of pay and tax credits, please click here.

You may have many questions regarding this new law. Curious if this law applies to your subdivision of a corporation? Questions regarding part-time employees? What about rates of pay? For answers to these questions and more, please visit the Department of FFCRA Q&A page. The DOL also provides factsheets for employees and employers here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, as this information is subject to updates!


[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201

[2] https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/field-assistance-bulletins/2020-1

[3] https://appropriations.house.gov/sites/democrats.appropriations.house.gov/files/Families%20First%20summary.pdf

[4] https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr6201/BILLS-116hr6201enr.pdf

[5] https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave

[6] https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

[7] https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2020/mar/irs-tax-credits-paid-sick-leave-child-care-leave-coronavirus-pandemic.html