The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance that clarifies many of the questions surrounding employers’ and employees’ responsibilities and rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The FFCRA, which went into effect on April 1, 2020, and applies to household employers, has two major components.
Paid Sick Leave
Two weeks of paid sick leave for certain coronavirus-related reasons
Expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act allows for a protected, and partially paid, leave of absence for employees who are unable to work because of the need to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed, or whose caregiver is unable to report to work, because of COVID-19.
Of interest for household employers, the DOL says that:
- Employers intending to claim a tax credit for payment of sick leave or FMLA leave pursuant to the FFCRA must have specific documentation from employees supporting their eligibility for such benefits.
- Employees who have been furloughed because of lack of work – even if the lack of work is a direct result of COVID-19 – are not eligible for benefits under FFCRA (however, they are likely eligible for unemployment insurance benefits)
- Employers must provide this notice (PDF) to employees
- The “small employer exemption” that was referenced in the original legislation, which applies to employers with less than 50 employees including household employers, is limited only to the paid sick or family leave available to employees who are home with a child because of school or child care closures. Small employers cannot claim exemption from the FFCRA’s requirement to provide paid sick leave for other covered reasons.
We hope you, your family, and employees stay safe during this unsettling and rapidly changing environment.
GTM can help
For your employee to take paid leave and for you to use the tax credits to pay for their time off, your employee needs to be paid legally. GTM can help with back tax work to get you caught up and set up legal pay going forward. Call us at (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert to learn more or get started.
For GTM clients
GTM clients are able to specify employee time that should fall under FFCRA paid leave. Login to your client portal or call client support at (800) 929-9213 for assistance.
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