The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) expired December 31, 2020. As a reminder, the FFCRA applied to employers with 500 or fewer employees. To fill the gap left by the FFCRA, California enacted its own California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, enacted as Labor Code section 248.1. The California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave also set to expire December 31, 2020, and was to automatically extend if the FFCRA was extended. Although the laws are slightly different, both were enacted to provide workers emergency paid sick leave because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Labor recently confirmed that employers are not required to provide employees with FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020, but may “voluntarily decide to provide you such leave.” Updated FAQs are available here.
Although it has yet to extend the FFCRA, Congress did extend employer tax credits for paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave for voluntary use through March 31, 2021. Information on the tax credits is available here.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
Although these two types of leave have expired (for now), employers should remember Congress may revisit the issue and California may decide to act on its own. Regardless, the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards require paid leave for employees in certain circumstances. Information on the temporary standards is available here.
Remember that employees also have standard Paid Sick Leave in California, and other categories of leave may apply when an employee is unable to report to work. If you have questions about navigating this process, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.