The President signed the Families First CoronaVirus Response Act last night after the Senate approved the measure earlier in the day.  Though the scope of the legislation is much broader our focus is sick pay and expanded FMLA leave.  What it means for employers:

The When and Who

  1. Goes into effect on April 2, 2020 and sunsets on December 31, 2020
  2. Only impacts employers with 500 employees or less
  3. Companies with 50 or fewer employees can be exempted if they can show requirements would jeopardize the business (whatever that means)
  4. Health care providers/emergency responders not covered

Two Weeks of Sick Leave (But this covers childcare as well)

  1. 80 hours of paid leave for full time employees/part-time employees get what they would be entitled to based on hours normally worked during two week period
  2. Covers everybody regardless of whether they were just hired
  3. Covers those: (1) that can’t work/telework because: (a) they are subject to government quarantine, health care provider quarantine; or isolation order; (b) experiencing Covid-19 symptoms and waiting for diagnosis; (c) employee is caring for someone in quarantine; or (d) employee has to care for employee’s child if school closed or child care unavailable
  4. Limited to $511 per day and $5,110 aggregate for employee’s illness/quarantine, and $200 per day/$2,000 aggregate for any other qualifying reason

Expanded FMLA Leave

  1. First ten days is unpaid
  2. After ten days, employer must pay TWO-THIRDS their regular rate of pay – pay is limited to $200 per day or $10,000 in aggregate
  3. Employee has to have worked for 30 days to be eligible
  4. Covers employees who have to work or telework because they have to care for a child whose school is closed or childcare unavailable


There are a lot more details in terms of definition and benefits but this is the meat of the new legislation.   If your company already offers FMLA leave, the expanded leave is part of the 12 weeks of traditional leave.  Also, the sick pay provision is in addition to whatever a company currently provides.  Here is a link to the complete bill.