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Paid Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (a.k.a. Families First Act) requires that small to medium-sized businesses provide paid leave to employees affected by COVID-19 through two provisions: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. Both acts provide fully refundable tax credits to employers to cover qualified sick and family leave wages for employees unable to work due to COVID-19 related factors through the period of April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020.

Paid family medical leave

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

Under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, employers with between 50-500 employees are required to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees if they cannot work or telework because:

  1. The employee is subject to a local, State or Federal quarantine order related to COVID-19
  2. A health care provider advised the employee to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 related concerns
  3. The employee has symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  4. The employee is caring for someone who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 related concerns or is subject to a local, State or Federal quarantine order related to COVID-19
  5. The employee is caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related concerns
  6. The employee is experiencing a very similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services

If an employee is unable to work for reasons 1, 2, or 3, they are entitled to paid sick leave at their regular pay rate (or, if higher, the Federal, State or local minimum wage), up to $511 per day ($5,110 in the aggregate). If an employee is unable to work for reasons 4, 5, or 6, they are entitled to paid sick leave at two-thirds of their regular pay rate (or, if higher, the Federal, State or local minimum wage), up to $200 per day ($2,000 in the aggregate).

Important: Businesses with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from offering paid leave under EPSLA under certain conditions. If giving paid leave to employees due to school or childcare closings would jeopardize the viability of the business, these smaller organizations are not required to give employees paid leave.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 by requiring employers with less than 500 employees to provide expanded medical and paid family leave to employees unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons. If an employee is unable to work because they are caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related concerns, the employee can receive up to 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave at two-thirds of their regular pay rate, up to $200 per day ($10,000 in the aggregate). Employees may take this leave after their emergency paid sick leave is used up.

Need help?

If you need assistance in accounting for paid leave under the Families First Act or have any questions or concerns, we’re here for you. Please call us at 443-289-5129 or email us at info@hoffmancpas.com. You can also learn more about paid family and medical leave though the Families First Act by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s website here.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 at 1:54 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.