Federal Paid Leave for COVID-19
On March 18, 2020, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act was enacted. The paid leave rules are effective 15 days after the enactment date, which is April 2, 2020 and they expire after December 31, 2020.
The law generally requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide certain paid leave for employees.
Employees who are quarantined due to the coronavirus and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis can be eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave for up to 100% of their regular pay (limited to $511 per day).
Employees who are caring for a family member who is quarantined can be eligible for up to two weeks of paid family leave for up to two-thirds of their regular pay (limited to $200 per day).
Employees who have a child who attends a school or childcare location that is closed due to the coronavirus can be eligible for up to twelve weeks of paid family leave for up to two-thirds of their regular pay (limited to $200 per day).
The law provides for a 100% federal payroll tax refundable credit for employers who pay such sick leave or family leave benefits. The IRS plans to announce procedures for expedited refunds created by this refundable credit.
Businesses with under 50 employees can request an exemption from the requirement to provide up to 10 weeks of additional paid leave for caring for a child (after the initial two weeks ends), if it would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
Guidance regarding the leave provisions and the credit are available from the IRS at this link.