Federal paid sick leave and how it works

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides employees with federal paid leave in the form of Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or the Emergency Expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act. Key points overall include:

  • These new leaves are in addition to any leave already provided by state and local governments and employers.
  • The new leaves apply to all employers with 500 or less employees, although employers with 50 or less employees can request an exemption if paying the leave would jeopardize the viability of the business.
  • Employers receive a dollar-for-dollar payroll tax credit for leave expenses.
  • These new leaves take effect on April 1, 2020see this guidance update PDF from Jordan Ramis PC for details.

Key points related to Emergency Paid Sick Leave and the Emergency Expansion of the FMLA include:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave:

  • Provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave in addition to Oregon Sick Leave and any other PTO.
  • Important – Emergency Sick Leave available only for circumstances related to the virus (State or Federal Order, quarantine, illness, or school closure).
  • Paid at 100% for absences due to local, state or federal order, or personal illness or quarantine.
  • Paid at two-thirds for absences to care for family members.
  • Applies to all employers with 500 or less employees, but employers with 50 or less employees may be exempted if paying the leave would jeopardize the viability of their business.

Emergency Expansion of FMLA:

  • Leave for employees unable to work or telework due to caring for a child 18 or under because of school closure or closure of childcare due to public health emergency.
  • Employee must have worked for employer for 30 days.
  • Paid for by employers with less than 500 employees. No pay for initial 10 days of leave, but employer pays remaining 10 weeks of leave at 2/3rds of regular rate, not to exceed $200/day or $10,000 in total.
  • Important – Leave only available for childcare if the employee unable to work or telework.

These newly enacted leaves are complex and work in concert with all other available leaves, provided by both state and local laws and employer specific policies. For more detail, please refer to the guidance brief PDF from Jordan Ramis PC as well as this update on the implementation PDF. If you are a member, you may reach out to Peter Hicks through your Legal Access benefit (see below) at 541-797-2079.