March 18, 2020
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law alongside Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The bill is a relief package that contains several provisions affecting employers. The bill only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, requiring that 10 of the 12 weeks of paid job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act be paid at a rate of no less than two-thirds of the employee’s usual rate of pay. The bill also requires that employers grant two weeks of paid sick leave for isolation in regards to COVID-19, or to comply with a recommendation to quarantine due to exposure or exhibition of symptoms of the virus. Employers must also compensate employees who utilize paid sick leave at their regular rates of pay. If the leave is being used to care for a family member or child, the employee is subsequently entitled to just two-thirds of their regular rate of pay. Finally, the bill provides for a series of refundable tax credits for employers providing paid emergency leave to ensure efficacy.
(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)