Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

    • Effective 4/2/20 employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a qualifying need related to COVID-19 and to return the employee to work at the end of the leave.
      • Employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to return an employee to work at the end of the leave under the following conditions:
        • The employee’s position no longer exists because of economic or operating conditions caused by the public health emergency; and
        • The employer makes reasonable efforts to restore the employee to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and terms and conditions of employment for a one year period.
    • Employers must notify employees of the new family leave option and their rights to take leave under the Act.
    • Employers with less than 50 employees can apply for an exemption if providing leave under this act would jeopardize the viability of the business.
    • Employees are eligible for the emergency leave if:
      • The employee was working for the employer for a minimum of 30 days, but there is no required number of hours that must be worked for the employee to be eligible for the benefits.
      • The employee must be unable to work or telework because the employee needs leave to care for a child under the age of 18 whose school or place of care has closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable because of COVID-19.
    • The first 10 days of leave may consist of unpaid leave, but the employee may use vacation, personal, medical or sick leave or the employee may use the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (discussed above) for the first 10 days that would ordinarily be unpaid under this Act.
    • The rate of pay for the paid leave is based on a rate of not less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay and the number of hours normally scheduled to work, subject to a cap of two-thirds of regular pay up to $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.
    • Employers are entitled to a credit against the employer’s payroll tax limited to two-thirds of regular pay up to $200 per day up to a total of $10,000 per employee plus a pro rata protion of the employer’s qualified health plan expenses.
    • Self-employed individuals are eligible for this leave as well.