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Breaking down the Families First Coronavirus Response Act



We live in an unprecedented time where we are charting new and unknown waters. As new legislation is introduced and passed, it’s important (albeit, difficult since it’s all so fast) to keep up how these changes affect your families and businesses. Today, we present a summary of important points from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how it can directly impact your family as an employee.


Note: It is important to understand the distinction between isolation and quarantine in order to fully understand what you may qualify for.


According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

Isolation “is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases.”


Quarantine “is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.”



Employer Coverage Basics


Employer coverage accounts for many larger companies, but if you work for a company with under 50 employees, the company may qualify for exemption from providing leave. However, the company would only likely get exemption if employee time off due to childcare needs affects the vitality of the business. For example, if you work for a local grocery store with under 50 employees and your child’s school or childcare facility has closed due to reasons related to COVID-19, your leave may affect the business’s ability to operate, so you may not be granted leave if the business files for this exemption.


Employee Sick Time that Applies to All Employees


You may qualify for up to 80 hours paid sick time at either your regular rate or ⅔ of your regular rate of pay depending on the situation. You may qualify at the regular rate if you are quarantined as formally advised by Federal, State, local government or healthcare providers, seeking medical help, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You may qualify at the ⅔ of your regular rate if you are unable to work because you are caring for an individual in quarantine, providing childcare because their school or childcare facility is closed, or if you are experiencing symptoms that are similar to COVID-19 but you are not sure you have COVID-19.


Employee Paid Family Leave for Employees Employed for at Least 30 Days


If you have been employed with an organization for more than 30 days, you may qualify for an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave at ⅔ of your regular rate. This is typically for those who need to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed due to COVID-19.


Reasons For Leave and Leave Duration


The U.S. government has created 6 reasons why an employee may qualify for leave and length of leave. Some of the durations of leave and payment qualifications repeat for different reasons. Let’s break them down!


1. There is a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.


As a full-time employee, you may qualify for up to 80 hours or leave either at your regular rate or applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $511 per day or $5,110 over a two week period.


As a part-time employee, you may qualify for the number of hours of leave you work in an average two-week period at your regular rate or applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $511 per day or $5,110 over a two week period.


2. You have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of reasons related to COVID-19.


There is no duration of leave specified, but you may qualify for leave either at your regular rate or applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $511 per day or $5,110 over a two week period.


3. You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and need to seek diagnosis.


There is no duration of leave specified, but you may qualify for leave either at your regular rate or applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $511 per day or $5,110 over a two week period.


4. You are caring for an individual who is under Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 OR you were advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to reasons related to COVID-19.


As a full-time employee, you may qualify for up to 80 hours or leave either at ⅔ of your regular rate or ⅔ of the applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $200 per day or $2,000 over a two week period.


As a part-time employee, you may qualify for the number of hours of leave you work in an average two-week period either at ⅔ of your regular rate or ⅔ of the applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $200 per day or $2,000 over a two week period.


5. You are caring for a child whose school or child care facility is closed due to COVID-19.


As a full-time employee, you may qualify for up to 12 weeks leave at 40 hours per week either at ⅔ of your regular rate or ⅔ of the applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $200 per day or $2,000 over a two week period.


6. You are experiencing a similar condition to COVID-19 specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.


As a full-time employee, you may qualify for up to 80 hours or leave either at ⅔ of your regular rate or ⅔ of the applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $200 per day or $2,000 over a two week period.


As a part-time employee, you may qualify for the number of hours of leave you work in an average two-week period either at ⅔ of your regular rate or ⅔ of the applicable minimum wage (whichever is higher). You can earn up to $200 per day or $2,000 over a two week period.



Conclusion


Right now, information is power! Look over what you may qualify for and stay informed of changing conditions. We urge you to stay healthy and safe while practicing social distancing, and please reach out if you have any questions!





References

FFCRA Employer Paid Leave

Definitions from HHS



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Disclaimer: The views presented in this post are meant as educational resources and should not be taken as direct advice for your personal finances or small business. Should you have questions regarding a post relating to your specific finances, please contact us at info@practicalaccountingva.com.