By: Kathryn L. Simpson, Esquire
Mandatory paid leave for COVID-related reasons provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expires with the start of 2021.
The FFCRA provided up to 80 hours of paid sick and family leave along and up to 10 weeks of partially paid family and medical leave to eligible employees who were unable to work because of certain COVID-19-related reasons. The leave was mandatory and had to be provided to all eligible employees. The requirement to provide these paid FFCRA leaves was offset by tax credits for the wages paid to employees taking paid leave.
Under the new stimulus bill signed into law on December 27, 2020, FFCRA leave becomes optional after December 31, 2020. The bill allows private employers the opportunity to claim tax credits for wages paid to employees taking leave consistent with the existing FFCRA framework between January 1 and March 31, 2021 under the employer’s paid leave policy. Public employers may offer paid leave but are not permitted to take the tax credits.
Private employers subject to the FFCRA who wish to offer paid leave for COVID-related issues should revise and update their existing FFCRA paid leave policies.
If an employer is NOT going to offer paid leave in the new year, employees should be notified ASAP of this fact.
For any questions about the changes to the FFCRA, contact us at Mette, Evans & Woodside.