On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) into law. The law, which is part of a series of anticipated bills to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, includes two (2) employment-related provisions that companies and employees should be aware of: (1) an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”); (2) emergency paid sick leave; and (3) additional unemployment funding.
Who is Covered?
All companies with fewer than 500 employees will be covered under the Emergency FMLA and Paid Sick Leave portions of the FFCRA. While the law does not have a hard and fast exemption for small businesses, it grants the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) the authority to issue regulations exempting certain health care providers and emergency responders, and to exempt small businesses with fifty (50) or fewer employees “when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” These regulations have not been promulgated yet, but should be forthcoming.
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