Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA)

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A message from:
Board of Supervisors
Susan S. Muranishi, County Administrator
Joe Angelo, Human Resource Services Director

April 6, 2020

As you know, effective April 8, 2020 County employees will transition to the new federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) benefit programs as we enter the second phase of the Health Officer's Order. The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you of the new employee benefits provided in the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) approved by Congress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Embedded in the FFCRA are two (2) provisions which provide paid leave to impacted employees. Those provisions are: 1) The Emergency Paid Sick Leave ("EPSL") Act, and 2) The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act ("EFMLEA"). These Acts are effective April 1, 2020, are not retroactive, and cover the period between April 1,2020 through December 31, 2020.

EPSL applies to full-time, part-time, and temporary employees who are unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave that includes:

  1. Subject to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  3. Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. Caring for an individual subject to quarantine or isolation order or to self-quarantine.
  5. Caring for child (as defined under FMLA regulations) of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
  6. Other conditions that the Federal government may specify later

This newly enacted sick leave benefit is capped at two (2) weeks (80 hours) and is prorated for part-time employees. The actual benefit amount ranges from a minimum of 2/3 of the employee’s regular pay with a cap of $200 a day, to a maximum of $511 per day depending on the employee’s qualifying eligibility.

For example, an employee caring for a family member who is subject to a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation would be eligible to receive 2/3 of their regular pay, up to a maximum of $200 per day. However, if the employee is unable to work, or telework due to their own isolation or quarantine, or is symptomatic (has COVID-19 symptoms) and is seeking a medical diagnosis, the employee would be eligible for a maximum benefit of $511 per day.

EFMLEA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job protected time off to care for their child if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable. For example, an employee must care for their child because the child’s school/ childcare facility is closed. If that employee is unable to work or telework, the employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Though the first two (2) weeks are unpaid, if the employee has any unused EPSL balances or other appropriate accrued leave, they may use those benefits in those first two (2) weeks. After those first two (2) weeks, the employee will receive 2/3 of their regular pay up to a maximum of $200 per day for up to an additional 10 weeks.

Your Agency/Department Human Resources staff, and the HRS employee disability unit are here to provide further details about these benefits and to answer any questions you may have. We have also provided a Certification Form and a guide to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as an added resource for employees. We hope these benefits will offer employees some financial relief during these challenging times.

Please know that we value our employees and are committed to your health and safety during this unprecedented health crisis.