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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed into law on March 18, 2020. The new law assists working families impacted by the Coronavirus, and includes several provisions to protect workers while helping employers provide emergency paid sick leave and paid family leave in the case of school closures.

Of particular importance to employers and their advisors are the:

The leave provisions of the law went into effect on April 1, 2020.

 

Helpful Resources

Kaiser Family Foundation
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Summary of Key Provisions

 

Claremont Insurance Services and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

What are the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

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The paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) went into effect on April 1, 2020.

Under the paid leave provisions of the law, covered employers must provide to employees who are unable to work due to qualified Covid-19 reasons:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL): up to two weeks (or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave, paid at rates of pay based on the reason for the leave (illness, quarantine or school closures).

Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA): up to twelve week of paid expanded family and medical leave to employees that are unable to work due to school closures.

The FFCRA provides employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing this leave.

Small Business Exemption. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption to provide leave for the school closure reason if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business. The rules governing this exemption are quite specific.

 

Helpful Resources

US Department of Labor (DOL)
Comprehensive Covid-19 resource page providing employers with information on –among other issues –the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA, including:

  • Fact sheets on FFCRA employee paid leave rights and FFCRA employer paid leave requirements
  • A comprehensive series of more than seventy FAQs to help businesses and their advisors. The FAQs address questions including:
    • How to determine if a business is subject to the law
    • How to calculate the number of hours of leave, and the rate of pay, when calculating the paid leave.
    • How to take advantage of the “small business” (under 50 employees) exemption.
  • Links to FFCRA posters that covered employers are required to conspicuously post in the workplace: either on the premises, on the employee website, or emailed or direct mailed to employees.

Claremont Partner Mammoth HR (with ThinkHR)
COVID-19 Crisis Response Center. Essential employer resources such as a COVID-19 HR Guidance and Best Practices recorded webinar, a summary of the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and sample HR policies that employers can adopt.

Claremont Partner HR Service, Inc.
COVID-19 Employer Toolkit. Helps employers navigate the Coronavirus challenges. Resources include a Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A, advice on remote working and telecommuting, information on all aspects of reductions in force, and more.

Helpful FFCRA flow chart
This helpful FFCRA flow chart (courtesy of Filice Insurance Agency) provides a visual step-by-step guide to assessing if an employer and employee are subject to the FFCRA provisions.

 

Claremont Insurance Services and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

What is the Small Business Exemption from the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA?

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Small employers (less than 50 employees) may be eligible for a “Small Business Exemption” from the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave provisions of the FFCRA.

The rules governing this exemption are quite specific. Here is the current US Department of Labor (DOL) definition of the “Small Business Exemption”:


A small business is exempt from certain paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements if providing an employee such leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. This means a small business is exempt from mandated paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave requirements only if the:

The Department encourages employers and employees to collaborate to reach the best solution for maintaining the business and ensuring employee safety.

 

Helpful Resources

US Department of Labor (DOL)
Comprehensive Covid-19 resource page providing employers with information on –among other issues –the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA, including:

  • Fact sheets on FFCRA employee paid leave rights and FFCRA employer paid leave requirements
  • A comprehensive series of more than seventy FAQs to help businesses and their advisors. The FAQs address questions including:
    • How to determine if a business is subject to the law
    • How to calculate the number of hours of leave, and the rate of pay, when calculating the paid leave.
    • How to take advantage of the “small business” (under 50 employees) exemption.
  • Links to FFCRA posters that covered employers are required to conspicuously post in the workplace: either on the premises, on the employee website, or emailed or direct mailed to employees.

Claremont Partner Mammoth HR (with ThinkHR)
COVID-19 Crisis Response Center. Essential employer resources such as a COVID-19 HR Guidance and Best Practices recorded webinar, a summary of the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and sample HR policies that employers can adopt.

Claremont Partner HR Service, Inc.
COVID-19 Employer Toolkit. Helps employers navigate the Coronavirus challenges. Resources include a Families First Coronavirus Response Act Q&A, advice on remote working and telecommuting, information on all aspects of reductions in force, and more.

Helpful FFCRA flow chart
This helpful FFCRA flow chart (courtesy of Filice Insurance Agency) provides a visual step-by-step guide to assessing if an employer and employee are subject to the FFCRA provisions.

 

Claremont Insurance Services and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

What is the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

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The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) is the formal name for the part of the FFCRA legislation that provides emergency paid sick leave for employees affected by the Coronavirus.

What is the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (Expanded FMLA or EFMLA)?

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The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (Expanded FMLA or EFMLA) is the formal name for the part of the FFCRA legislation that provides a temporary expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to cover a new category of leave related to the Coronavirus.

Are tax credits available to small businesses through the FFCRA?

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Yes, The FFCRA provides employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to the Coronavirus.

The IRS has published a very detailed overview of how the refundable tax credits work along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Note: these tax credits are unrelated to the employee retention tax credits available through the CARES Act.

 

Helpful Resources

US Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Coronavirus Tax Relief web page, including information of the refundable tax credits available under the FFCRA.

 

Claremont Insurance Services and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.