As time goes on, I will do my best to update you all with questions I am asked frequently about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First Act or FFCRA) which includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (SPSLA).  This post will be updated continuously with my read of the Families First Act as much as I am able (you’d be surprised how many employers think they are the first to ask a question – I assure you, you are not alone!).

  1. Is the 80 hours of paid sick leave in addition to PTO/vacation/sick time already offered? YES.  The EPSLA specifically states that an employee “may first use” the paid sick time (for COVID-19 reasons) and an employer “may not” require them to use other leave first.  Sec. 5102(e).
  2. When counting 500 employees for EFMLA, does the 75 mile rule apply as with FMLA? NO. For purposes of EFMLA, the term “eligible employee” is all employees who have been employed for 30 days – the exclusion for employees who work at a worksite of less than 50 employees within 75 miles of another worksite was stricken.
  3. Does the revision to the 500 employee threshold (versus 50) change the FMLA?  NO. The EFMLA only changes the FMLA definitions “with respect to leave under section 102(a)(2)(F)”.
  4. Does it apply to non-profit corporations?  YES.  Section 7001 and 7003 allow for the “refundability of excess credit”.  Though, you should contact your CPA if you have questions – I am not a tax attorney!
  5. What is the Effective Date?  April 2, 2020 – December 31, 2020.
  6. Do employers of 500+ employees have to provide EFMLA, even though they do not get a tax credit?  NO.  Employers with 500+ employees do not need to provide EFMLA and are ineligible for the tax credit.
  7. When will the DOL regulations be published regarding whether employers of less than 50 employees are exempt?  According to the DOL website, this is anticipated in “April 2020”.  Given it goes into effect April 2, hopefully by April 1.
  8. Is the 12 weeks EFMLA in addition to FMLA, for a total of 24 weeks?  NO.  It just adds another reason for FMLA for a broader group of employees.