COVID-19 Paid Leave

Contents

What does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act say about paid leave?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is a new federal law that requires some employers to give their employees paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19. 

Back to top

Is my employer required to give me paid leave under the FFCRA?

Only certain employers have to give paid leave under the new law. Your employer must provide paid leave if you work for:

  • A private company with fewer than 500 employees. 

    • However, some small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may ask to be exempted from the expanded family and medical leave part of the law (the 10 week leave). 

  • A government agency. 

Back to top

How much leave can I get under the FFCRA?

If the FFCRA applies to your employer, they must give you:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at your regular salary or minimum wage (whichever is higher), up to $511/day if you cannot work because:

    • You have been officially quarantined by:

      • the Federal, state, or local government or 

      • by a healthcare provider, or

    • You have COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting on a medical diagnosis.

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at ⅔ of your regular salary or ⅔ of minimum wage (whichever is higher), up to $200/day if you cannot work because:

    • You are caring for someone who is officially quarantined by

      • the Federal, state, or local government or 

      • by a healthcare provider

    • You are caring for a child under 18 who is out of school or child care because of COVID-19, or

    • You are experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at ⅔ of your regular salary up to $200/day if:

    • You have worked for the employer for at least 30 days AND

    • You cannot work because your child’s school or child care is closed because of COVID-19.

    • Be aware that if you work for an employer that has fewer than 50 employees, you may not be able to take this expanded leave. Ask your employer if they have opted out of the expanded family and medical leave part of the FFCRA.

 

If you have health insurance through your employer, the employer must maintain your health coverage through the paid 2 week leave and extended 10 week leave.

Back to top

When can I take this leave?

The law goes into effect starting April 1, 2020. If the law applies to you, you can begin taking your paid sick leave on that day. You can take this leave until December 31, 2020.

 

You do not have to use any other sick leave or vacation time that you have accrued before you can take the leave under the FFCRA.

Back to top

Can I take leave if I am not a full-time employee?

If your employer is covered under the FFCRA, they must give leave to all employees. This includes:

  • Full-time employees,

  • Part-time employees,

  • Temporary employees,

  • Day laborers from a temp agency.

 

Part time employees will get leave that is equal to their average work week. If you usually work 2 days a week, you will get 2 days of paid leave for each week you are eligible for leave.

 

Even if your employer is covered under the law, the law does not apply to:

  • Independent contractors, 

  • Employees who have been laid-off permanently or temporarily. 

    • If you have been laid-off, you should file for unemployment.

  • Certain essential employees, including:

    • Some health care workers, and 

    • Emergency responders

Back to top

What if my employer refuses to give me leave?

It is illegal for employers to take any negative action against you for trying to take leave under the FFCRA. If your employer will not give you leave or discriminates against you for taking leave, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

File a complaint:

  • Online, or

  • By phone at 1-866-487-9243 

Back to top

Where can I learn more?