The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a new program that offers COVID-19 assistance for both employees and employers. This new law provides businesses with fewer than 500 employees the funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.
The new law provides these benefits:
- Paid sick leave for workers. The new law provides employees of eligible employers two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s pay when the employee can’t work because the employee is quarantined or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Other paid leave for workers. Employees can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of leave at two-thirds the employee’s pay if they need to care for someone subject to quarantine, or if they need to care for a child whose school is closed (or whose childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
- Extended leave. In some instances, an employee may receive up to an additional ten weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s pay.
- Employer reimbursement. Businesses who pay employees the mandatory sick and childcare leave according to the new law will get completely reimbursed through a payroll tax credit.
In total, these provisions are meant to help employees who might have otherwise feared for the loss of their job or income during this pandemic, and to help employers provide some security to their employees.