During the second half of March 2020, the US Congress passed three landmark pieces of legislation addressing the COVID-19 (a/k/a novel coronavirus) pandemic. One of these was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Under this law, employers of fewer than 500 employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave benefits as well as up to 10 weeks of partially-paid family leave, in each case, when an eligible employee is unable to work or telework due to certain COVID-19 related reasons. The FFCRA went into effect on April 1, 2020, and on that same date, the US Department of Labor issued extensive regulations providing further detail on the benefits available and employer obligations under the FFCRA. In this In-Depth Analysis, Squire Patton Boggs will be analyzing these regulations in a five-part series.
In the first part, we address employer coverage, including when employers will be considered joint employers and single integrated enterprises under the FFCRA and the application of the law’s small business (fewer than 50 employees) exemption, as well as employee eligibility under the FFCRA, including the health care provider and emergency responder exceptions.