FFCRA Update: COVID-19 Paid Leave in 2021

Employment Law

FFCRA Update: COVID-19 Paid Leave in 2021

Jan 13, 2021 | Employment Law

The paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) expired on December 31, 2020, but employers who choose to continue providing such paid leave can benefit from the FFCRA tax credit through March 31, 2021.

From April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, the FFCRA required covered employers (private employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public employers) to provide the following to eligible employees, in addition to any paid leave already offered by the employer:

  • Two weeks of paid sick leave
    • At the employee’s regular rate of pay (capped at $511/day) where the employee is unable to work because the employee is:
      • Quarantined (pursuant to government order or advice of a health care provider); and/or
      • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
    • At two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay (capped at $200/day) where the employee is unable to work because the employee is:
      • Caring for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to government order or advice of a health care provider);
      • Caring for a child (under age 18) whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19; or
      • Experiencing a condition substantially similar to COVID-19, as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
  • Up to an additional ten weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay (capped at $200/day) where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

Although the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements expired on December 31, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CCA”), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, extended the FFCRA tax credit through March 31, 2021.

Thus, employers are no longer required to provide paid FFCRA leave, but employers who voluntarily provide such paid leave in the first quarter of 2021 are eligible for reimbursement of the costs of that leave (subject to the caps referenced above) through fully refundable tax credits.

If you have questions or need assistance related to the FFCRA, the CCA, or any employment law matter, please contact Maureen Carr at mcarr@beankinney.com.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not contain or convey legal advice. Consult a lawyer. Any views or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily the views of any client.

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