On March 18, 2020, two new federal laws were created to significantly expand employee rights to paid leave. Specifically, beginning April 2, 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees may need to provide leave to employees in the face of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new laws are currently set to expire on December 31, 2020. The following is a high level description of two of the primary paid leave protections. The specific details of how the laws will affect employers are still being finalized, but if you have any questions about how these laws apply to you and your employees, please contact our office.
The Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (“EFMLEA”)
As the name indicates, the EFMLEA expands upon certain rights and coverages afforded to employees under the traditional Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), both in defining who is eligible to receive benefits and what those benefits provide.
I. EFMLEA Benefits
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”)
The EPSLA mandates up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for employees dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
1) is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order;
2) has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine;
3) is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical treatment;
4) is caring for a quarantined individual;
5) is caring for their child whose childcare arrangements have been compromised as described above in the EFMLEA; or
6) is experiencing any other condition substantially related to COVID-19.
II. EPSLA Benefits
Additional Relevant Information
Over the coming days these laws will be further shaped and refined. Our office will monitor those changes and provide further updates as necessary. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.