What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

Written by: Jennifer Neer Posted on: September 3, 2020 Blog: News

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) was established to protect workers during the pandemic and requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

The very abbreviated version looks like this:

  1. Requires certain employers to provide employee with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reason related to COVID-19.
  2. Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate or at two-thirds of the employees regular pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  3. May vary based on the number of employees.
  4. Must meet qualifying reasons for the leave under the FFCRA.
    1. Employees eligible
      1. If you have been employed for at least 30 days.
      2. Remember you must speak with your employer and follow the reasonable notice procedures that were put in place by your employer.
    2. Reason for leave
      1. Is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
      2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
      3. Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self- quarantine as described in (2);
      4. Is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
      5. Is experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

What to do next? Check with your employer, and or go to the U.S. Department of Labor website to see the complete set of guidelines.

What if I get denied FFCRA benefits? You can complete an informal complaint on the Indiana Department of Labor's website and one of their investigators will contact you.