By: Chris M. Mason and Daniel Peabody, Jennings Strouss
“On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (“FFCRA”) which, among other things, significantly expands the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) through December 31, 2020, as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and creates a paid sick leave entitlement. These provisions will take effect 15 days after the date of enactment.
The FFCRA includes the aptly-titled “Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act” which will require employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to twelve weeks of job-protected leave to qualifying employees. The first ten days of the leave are unpaid, although employees may choose to use accrued paid time off during that period. During the remainder of the leave, an employee must be paid two-thirds of his or her regular rate of pay for the number of hours that he or she usually would be scheduled to work, up to $200 per day and $10,000 for the entire period of the leave. After the conclusion of the emergency family leave of absence, employers are generally obligated to restore an employee to his or her prior position or an equivalent position. ”
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