Melissa Goodman, Raquel Alvarenga in D Magazine: What the Emergency Coronavirus Law Means for Employers

03/23/2020

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Melissa Goodman and Associate Raquel Alvarenga talked with D Magazine about the recent passing of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which is intended to provide economic relief in response to the COVID-19.

Here is an excerpt of the Q&A:

What are some of the key components of the law that will have the most significant impact on employers?

Goodman and Alvarenga: Emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave are two key provisions of H.R. 6201 that substantially impact small and midsized private-sector employers and government employers, and their employees.

The law requires that private-sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government employers provide employees that have been on the payroll for at least 30 days with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Law (FMLA) if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need to care for their minor child because the child’s school or place of care is closed or if the child’s child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus crisis.

The first 10 days of emergency paid family leave are unpaid. Although an employee can decide to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave during this period, employers cannot require an employee to do so. The remaining 10 weeks of emergency paid family leave are paid, and the employer is required to pay the employee at a rate no less than two-thirds the employee’s regular rate (up to a maximum $200 a day and $10,000 in the aggregate).

The law limits paid sick leave to $511 per day (and $5,110 in the aggregate) if the leave is taken because the employee is quarantined or experiencing symptoms of the virus and seeking a medical diagnosis, and $200 per day ($2,000 in the aggregate) if leave is taken to care for a person quarantined for COVID-19-related reasons or to care for a child whose school is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable in connection with the COVID-19 crises.

To read the full article, click here.

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