After the House of Representatives voted on and passed the initial version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 14, the House issued a revised bill on March 16 to make “technical corrections” and address concerns relating to the Bill’s impact on small businesses. With respect to employer requirements under the revised legislation, the revisions are fairly substantial:
- The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, providing twelve weeks of paid job-protected leave and ten weeks of paid leave, has been limited to employees who are unable to perform any work due to a need to care for a minor child if the child’s school or place of child care has been closed or is unavailable due to a public health emergency. Under the prior version of the bill these benefits were to also go to employees who had been instructed to self-quarantine or who had to care for family members instructed to self-quarantine. Further, paid leave benefits under this section, which are 2/3 of the employee’s ordinary rate of pay, are now capped at $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate, bringing the benefit in line with the amount the government will be reimbursing to employers.
- The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act has also been narrowed. While employers must provide up to two (2) weeks of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s regular rate of pay, the revised bill caps the benefit for employees who take sick leave as a result of illness and/or quarantine at $511 per day. Similarly, employees who take leave to care for others or for their children due to school closures will receive no more than $200 per day. The amount of reimbursement from the government does not appear to have changed from $200 per day.
Ultimately, these modifications to the bill passed by a unanimous vote and the bill is proceeding to the Senate, where a vote has not yet been scheduled. Although it’s uncertain whether the Senate will make substantial revisions to the bill, or none at all, the bill will take center stage of the Senate floor this week.
For more legal information in regard to the Novel COVID-19 outbreak, please check out our COVID-19 resource page here »
ABOUT RUSSELL BERGER
As an accomplished labor and employment attorney and Practice Group Director, Mr. Berger provides business counsel to employers on employee matters and is well-versed in litigating in both state and federal courts. Russell Berger is the trusted legal counsel every business owner needs to feel confident in their decision-making and secure with their assets. As a Practice Group Director at Offit Kurman, Mr. Berger has direct experience with managing other managers, which he draws from in advising his clients. He is a pragmatic problem-solver that works efficiently and tirelessly to present his clients the best possible solutions to their most complicated issues. He represents employers, businesses, and professionals in employment disputes across the nation.
ABOUT KATHARINE BATISTA
Ms. Batista is a Labor & Employment attorney that assists her clients when deciding issues like If my employee has exhausted her FMLA leave and remains out, am I required to hold her position open? Can I terminate my employee for testing positive for marijuana? Will this non-compete agreement be enforced? She helps her clients answer these and similar questions, and vigorously defends their decisions. She represents businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, banks, retailers and health care providers, in the spectrum of employment and labor claims. Specifically, Ms. Batista successfully defends employers against claims of discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wrongful terminations, and wage and hour violations. An employee’s post-separation conduct often requires legal advice and action too. Ms. Batista commonly represents her clients in bringing actions for breach of restrictive covenants and contractual interference, as well as defends them against such claims. Employment and labor law is ever-changing. Employers need to feel secure in how they manage their employees so they can focus on their business. Ms. Batista affords her clients that security.
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