​​​​FFCRA Human Resources Toolkit

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: The newest bill extends paid sick and family leave credits from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021, for eligible employers providing sick or family leave that would be required if the FFCRA applied after March 31, 2021. It also introduces several new provisions that take effect after March 31, 2021, including:

  • Allows paid sick or family leave credits for leave taken to obtain COVID-19 vaccine
  • Restarts 10-day limit for qualified sick leave wages after March 31, 2021
  • Applies paid leave credits against employer’s share of Medicare tax
  • Increases the qualified family leave wages limit from $10,000 to $12,000 in total
  • Allows §501(c)(1) governmental organizations to claim the paid leave credits
  • Increases the number of days a self-employed individual can use to claim the family leave credit from 50 to 60

Families First Coronavirus Response Act : FFCRA was effective April 1 through the end of 2020. FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 full-time or part-time employees, to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members.

In response, the federal government has provided various payroll tax credits and loan options​  to off-set these costs. This toolkit focuses on the practice management and human resources requirements of FFCRA.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the FFCRA. Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to this Act. Employers in violation of the provisions of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and enforcement by WHD.

Here are the final regulations  and below is a summary is your requirements as an employer.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act Eligibility

All employees are eligible for up to 80 hours of leave. The employee must be unable to work (or telework) due to:

  • Federal, state, or local quarantine order;
  • Health care provider has advised employee to self-quarantine because of COVID-19;
  • Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • Employee is a caregiver for an individual (not limited to a family member) subject to a quarantine order or who has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider;
  • Employee must care for the employees’ child whose school or day care has been closed or if the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19; or
  • Employee has any other substantially similar condition as specified by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act Eligibility

Employee must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days. They can receive up to 10 weeks paid leave with the first 10 days (80 hours) as unpaid (intermittent leave is allowed). The employee must be unable to work (or telework) because employee’s minor child’s school or day care is unavailable due to COVID-19.

Comparison of programs

Reason for Leave

Emergency Paid Sick Leave

FMLA Expansion

Employee seeking medical diagnosis or ordered to isolate or quarantine
  • 10 days paid leave at 100% of regular rate
  • Up to $511/day or aggregate $5,110
Employee caring for someone seeking diagnosis, or ordered to isolate or quarantine
  • 10 days paid leave at 2/3 of regular rate
  • Up to $200/day or aggregate $2,000
Child care due to closures
  • 10 days paid leave at 2/3 of regular rate
  • Up to $200/day or aggregate $2,000
  • 10 weeks at 2/3 of regular rate
  • Up to $200/day or aggregate $10,000

To be compliant, you should provide employees (even if you only have one), with your company policies.

Download: (Sample) Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Policy

Download: (Sample) Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy

Download: Client Newsletter Covering Filing Extension & Payroll Credits

Small Business Exemption

The Department of Labor updated the FFCRA FAQs providing guidance on the small employer exemption to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, as well as the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act. Both leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020 and expire on Dec. 31, 2020. 

Read: DOL provides clarification on small business exemption

Required employer poster

Employers are required to post this model notice regarding employees’ rights under the Paid Sick Leave Act​.

Download: Paid Sick Leave Act Notice

Additional required documentation

The FFCRA also requires the employee provide the employer with documentation of the reasons they will be taking leave. Keeping this complete documentation on file is required if the employer will be taking advantage of one of the FFCREA tax credits or loan options. Employers should develop a process for collecting this information from employees:

  • Employee’s name
  • Date(s) for which leave is requested
  • Qualifying reason for the leave and appropriate documentation – doctor letter/stay-at-home order/school closing
  • Oral or written statement that the employee is unable to work, including by means of telework

Download: (Sample) Leave Request Form

The U.S. Department of Labor has been issuing and implementing the regulations and has a detailed FAQ .

eweb keepalive image