Update to Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 24, 2020, the Department of Labor issued an Employer Fact Sheet and Questions and Answers related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  Most of this guidance is consistent with the information we previously shared with you.  However, there are a few important clarifications provided in this guidance that we want you to be aware of:

  1. April 1 Effective Date! The effective date of the FFCRA is April 1, 2020, not April 2, 2020, as was widely believed prior to the issuance of this guidance.
  2. Emergency Paid Sick Leave Available Starting April 1! The emergency paid sick time is available for employees starting on April 1 through December 31, 2020, assuming a qualifying reason exists.
  3. Paid Sick Leave Provided for a Qualifying Reason Before April 1 Does Not Count! The emergency paid sick time under the FFCRA is available to employees beginning on April 1, 2020.  A covered employer who allows employees to take paid sick time for a reason that would qualify under the FFCRA before April 1 runs the risk of having to provide an additional 10 days of paid emergency sick time from April 1 through December 31, 2020.  See DOL’s Questions and Answers #11 and 13, which read:

“Can my employer deny me paid sick leave if my employer gave me paid leave for a reason identified in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act prior to the Act going into effect?

No. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act imposes a new leave requirement on employers that is effective beginning on April 1, 2020.

Are the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements retroactive?


  1. The Payroll Tax Credit Is Immediately Available And Includes Health Insurance Costs. An immediate dollar-for-dollar payroll tax offset is available to employers for paid leave provided to employees under the FFCRA.  The cost of health insurance is included as part of the payroll tax credit.

Below are links to this important information:

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Rebecca L. Kent

Employment & Labor Law and Commercial Litigation Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Becky assists businesses as they confront the legal questions and challenges that arise each day in the area of human resources. She provides legal services in the areas of employment and labor law and represents clients in employment and business-related litigation.