You Might Be Eligible for Paid Sick Leave: Families First COVID-19 Response Act

On April 1, 2020, the United States government passed new legislation in response
to the novel
Coronavirus outbreak. This new law titled, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. The new federal law, which applies to New York, covers only certain employers, both in public and private sectors, that have fewer than 500 employees. Individuals that are employed by the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family Medical Leave Act, not amended by this Act, and therefore are not covered by FFCRA. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, who is responsible for regulating and enforcing the new law, has set a list of provisions that will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

How Much Time Am I Allowed to Take Off under FFCRA?

Covered employers are required to provide two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave to all employees that are unable to work because they are quarantined or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals who work part-time are also eligible for leave for the number of hours they are normally scheduled to work.

All employees are allowed to take two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay if they are unable to work due to caring for a family member or child whose school or child care provider is closed or for reasons related to COVID-19. For employees that have been working at their company for more than 30 days, employers are required to provide up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay for the same reason listed above (caring for a child whose school or child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19).

What are Qualifying Reasons for Leave?

Under the provisions for the FFCRA, there are six reasons that qualify for leave. These reasons include an employee being unable to work because he/she has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, has coved-19 symptoms, or must provide care to individuals at home who have to self-quarantine.  

How Much Will I Get Paid While on Leave?

Employees that are taking leave must be paid at either their regular rate or minimum wage (whichever is higher), two-thirds of their regular rate, or a set amount per day depending on their specific reason for taking leave. 

Seek Legal Assistance Today 

If your rights under FFCRA have been violated in the workplace, seek legal assistance from the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.