Updates in the Law
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package which impacts the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”). As a quick reminder, the FFCRA applies to employers with less than 500 employees and provides for 80 hours of COVID-19 related paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of COVID-19 related extended family and medical leave. Those benefits are presently set to expire on December 31, 2020.
Under the new bill, mandatory payments under the FFCRA still end on December 31, 2020. However, per the new bill, employers may voluntarily elect to provide FFCRA benefits to their eligible employees (i.e., those employees that have not used up such benefits) through March 31, 2021. If employers make that election, they are entitled to collect tax credits for those FFCRA benefit payments made during the first quarter of 2021.
Although President Trump has threatened to veto the bill in its current form, our firm still expects that whatever bill eventually becomes law will include this FFCRA language. Employers should begin preparing for the new law now. If the law is implemented and your company opts to extend these benefits into 2021, that election should be communicated in writing to your employees as soon as possible. If you have any questions about this or any other employment law related matter, please contact our office.