President Trump just signed into law a second phase of coronavirus-related relief, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
It’s a $100 billion relief package designed to offer help to businesses and their employees who are impacted by the coronavirus. The first phase of relief, an $8.3 billion piece of legislation, was dedicated to coronavirus vaccine research and development.
This new legislation includes provisions for tax credits for employers who offer paid sick leave or family or medical leave for their employees who miss work for various coronavirus-related reasons.
Let’s take a closer look at the FFCRA and what it means for businesses and employees, and what business owners need to be ready to offer to employees by April 2.
Before we talk about what’s in the legislation, let’s talk about when the law goes into effect.
President Trump signed the legislation on Wednesday, March 18. The law goes into effect 15 days later, which means businesses have to be ready to comply on Thursday, April 2.
With only 15 days’ notice to comply, it’s important for business owners and employees alike to understand the law’s ramifications.
The FFCRA, which you can read in its entirety here, essentially expands the existing Family and Medical Leave Act.
According to the National Law Review, there are six qualifying reasons for coverage under the FFCRA. At least one of the following must apply to an employee in order to gain coverage:
Employees can expect several benefits from the passage of the FFCRA:
Employers cannot force employees to exhaust their vacation or other sick time before receiving this benefit. Also, there’s a 10-day waiting period before this benefit applies, but employees can use existing sick or vacation time to cover those days.
Employers can look forward to a few benefits from the FFCRA:
It’s important to note that the FFCRA does not require employers to offer paid leave to employees who are out of work simply due to an office closure.
This legislation also includes measures for free coronavirus testing, increased Medicaid funding, food assistance and benefits for unemployed workers.
Business owners should take time now to understand the FFCRA and its ramifications. The new law goes into effect April 2.
In this time of rapid change and unprecedented events, nothing is certain. However, a third phase of relief is expected to include direct monetary payments to Americans. We’re closely watching for new developments that affect our clients, and will keep you posted as we learn more.
To discuss how the FFCRA applies to your business or situation, contact us here or call 800.899.4623.
Published on March 20, 2020