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Friday, March 20, 2020


 
Federal “Families First Coronavirus
Response Act” Signed Into Law
On March 18, the U.S. Senate passed and President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR. 6201), which will become binding on April 2, 2020 and is set to expire on December 31, 2020.

The Act does the following that impacts the employer/employee community:

  • Emergency Unemployment Stabilization: Provides $1 billion for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave: The Act expands the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include leave needed to care for an employee’s child whose school or care provider is closed due to COVID-19. This leave can be used by employees who have been employed by their current employer for at least 30 days and applies to any private sector employers with under 500 employees.
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA) for Childcare: The Act expands FMLA to include leave needed to care for an employee’s child whose school or care provider is closed due to COVID-19.
  • Tax Credits for Employers: The Act has a refundable tax credit equal to 100 percent of paid family or medical leave wages paid by the small business each quarter. The credit can be used against the employer’s social security taxes and applies to amounts paid to employees who are sick or quarantined.
  • Possible Exemptions for Small Employers: The Act contains a provision that allows the Secretary of Labor to exempt businesses with less than 50 employees from the obligation to pay for sick or family leave if such payment would jeopardize the viability of the business. In addition, employers with less than 25 employees will not have to guarantee an equivalent position to the employees returning from the FMLA leave provided under the Act.

To read more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Actclick here.
 
If you have any questions about the above issues, please contact Hilary Beckett, Manager of Government Affairs, at hbeckett@chambersnj.com.

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