What Happens to FFCRA Emergency Leave On 12-31-2020?

December 22 2020

Categories: HR Solutions

What Happens to FFCRA Emergency Leave On 12-31-2020?

On December 21, 2020, Congress reached an agreement on an additional coronavirus relief bill that includes addressing paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which is set to expire December 31, 2020. The pending bill is intended to extend federal tax credits through March 31, 2021 to employers who voluntarily continue to provide FFCRA paid leave to their employees after December 31, 2020. It awaits President Trump’s signature.

Summary of FFCRA Provisions passed on March 18, 2020:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act – private employers with less than 500 employees and some public employers must pay sick leave of up to 80 hours to employees who need to take leave for certain coronavirus related reasons. To review qualifying leave reasons, click on poster here
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion – Employees may be eligible for an additional 10 weeks of family paid leave at 2/3 of their regular wages to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of coronavirus. To review qualifying leave reasons, click on poster here

FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions – click here

Pending Bill Provisions (based on bill summaries released by various congressional offices and summarized by Jim Paretti, shareholder at Littler Mendelson):

  • “Our best read indicates that as of January 1, 2021 employers are no longer required to provide FFCRA leave.” 
  • “Those employers who provide leave in line with FFCRA terms can continue to get a federal tax credit for leave through March 31, 2021.”

Important Points to Consider:

  • Expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA is available for employees of private sector employers with less than 500 employees
  • If not providing leave under FFCRA, after December 31, 2020 only unpaid FMLA leave is available – the federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with unpaid, job-protected leave due to certain family and medical reasons
    • Small employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to FMLA
  • Consider other local and state specific laws 
  • Contact your attorney to review all legal compliance considerations
  • Communicate with employees so they are aware of their options for continued paid or unpaid leave beginning January 1, 2021


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