New Guidance Released Regarding FFCRA/Federal Coronavirus Related Leaves

The U.S. Department of Labor has released new guidance relating to the recently enacted FFCRA Coronavirus-related emergency leave.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) is effective as of April 1, 2020. Leave available under the FFCRA is NOT available retroactively.

  • This means FFCRA-provided sick and FMLA leaves are only available between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
  • Employees who have been employed for 30 calendar days (i.e., since March 2, 2020) are eligible for leave under the FFCRA. This includes temporary employees.


Pay Calculations

  • Pay calculations should be the average of an employee’s regular earnings over a period of up to six months prior to the beginning date of any leave.
  • For employees who have been employed for fewer than six months, payment for leave should be calculated based on the average rate of pay for every week the employee has worked.
  • When calculating any pay owed to employees who normally work overtime, overtime hours should be included for FMLA leave calculations.
  • While overtime hours can be included in calculations for FFCRA sick leave, the available sick leave is capped at 80 hours, so overtime considered in one week will reduce the amount of sick leave available during the second week.


Leave Hours

  • The number of leave hours available to part-time employees should be based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work.
  • If the employee’s schedule varies, an average of the last six months can be used.


Notice of Employee Rights

Click Here for the Notice of Employee Rights required by the FFCRA

  • This notice should be placed in a conspicuous location in your workplace.
  • While many employees are working remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an employer can satisfy the posting requirement by emailing or mailing the notice to all of its employees.
  • This notice does not need to be provided to employees who are not currently employed or who have been recently laid off.
  • The notice should be provided to new hires.

This guidance leaves some questions unanswered, including questions about employers of fewer than 50 employees seeking an exemption from the paid leave requirements for childcare-related leave, if providing leave would jeopardize the future of the business.

Below are links to our most recent Employment Law Alerts with more detailed information on the FFCRA Coronavirus-related emergency leave and other current workplace issues:

Attention New York Employers: Coronavirus Related Sick Leave

New NJ COVID-19 Related Job Protection Legislation

Families First Coronavirus Response Act – What Do Employers Need to Know

6 Steps Employers Should Take to Prepare for Coronavirus in the Workplace

We will continue to provide updates as additional guidance and information become available. We are available to answer any specific questions about all of the new employment-related laws and guidance, and any other issues your business is facing.