Please note that the information contained in this post is for informational purposes and is not to be considered legal advice. This blog post does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship. If you would like to discuss your particular circumstances with us, please set up a consultation by contacting the Satter Ruhlen Law Firm at 315-471-0405 or through our website (https://www.satterlaw.com/contact-us/). We look forward to walking you through your workplace rights.
UPDATED 3/30/20: The U.S. Department of Labor has expanded its COVID-19 FAQs. The updated FAQs have answers to dozens of questions about how the FFCRA may affect your right to leave.
This is the first in a series on New York’s COVID-19 response in the workplace. Each day we’ll post about a different aspect of what employees can expect from new federal and state legislation passed in response to the pandemic.
Today’s topic is eligibility for paid leave under the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act [“FFFCRA”], which goes into effect on April 1, 2020.
Some general eligibility requirements: The FFFCRA applies to workplaces with fewer than 500 employees. There is a 10-day waiting period before an employee can begin to receive benefits. New York State employees are expected to exhaust leave options under the FFFCRA and use the New York legislation to fill in any gaps.
Importantly, not every employee is eligible to receive FFFCRA paid leave, and the amount of leave depends on why the employee is out of work.
If you are quarantined yourself: Employees who are quarantined, whose health care provider has recommended self-quarantine, or who are experiencing symptoms and seeking diagnosis, are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave with a maximum of $511.00 per day, if they are unable to work or telework. This means if you are home for a reason unrelated to COVID-19 and you are able to telework, you are not eligible for FFFCRA paid leave.
If someone in your home is quarantined: Employees whose children’s school or daycare is closed, or who are responsible for the care of an individual subject to quarantine or recommended self-quarantine, are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid leave at 2/3 pay, with a maximum of $200.00 per day, if they are unable to work or telework. If that employee has been employed for at least 30 days, and is unable to telework due to child care needs, that employee may be eligible for up to 10 additional weeks at 2/3 pay per day. Again, an employee who is staying home to care for a loved one but is able to telework is not eligible for FFFCRA paid leave.
If your employer employs fewer than 50 employees, the employer may apply for an exemption from the above rules if the business will be jeopardized by the requirements. Also, employers of healthcare workers and emergency responders may deem certain employees exempt from the FFFCRA requirements.
Note that FFFCRA benefits are not available just because your workplace has closed. Only if you fit the above eligibility standards can you receive paid leave under the FFFCRA.
NEXT UP: Join us tomorrow for Part II, which will discuss your workplace rights if you need to take FFFCRA.