Over the last week, while many of us were trying to catch up on our stay-cations,  Congress passed and the President signed The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Applications Act.

It’s a 5,593-page appropriations bill so I’m going to guess that you haven’t read it.

Spoiler Alert: Neither have I.

But thankfully, my colleagues Jarad Lucan and Sarah Westby have looked into the impact of this new legislation on the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) which was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020.

You can find their full post here but here are a few sneak peeks:

  • The emergency paid sick leave and expanded FMLA leave provisions as a mandatory requirement for employers still expired on December 31, 2020.
  • But from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021 (Q1 2021), those same paid sick and FMLA leave provisions are now voluntary for employers. Employers can still get the payroll tax credit associated with this leave through March 31, 2021.
  • After March 31, 2021, employers can choose to provide paid COVID-19-related leave at their own expense, but cannot claim a payroll tax credit for this leave.

The full text of the appropriations bill is available here. 

For employers, this is just another complication to start the new year.  Employers should continue to review their leave policies and consider whether providing paid leave to employees who have COVID-19 (or must quarantine) is the best practice for them.