To address the widespread effects of COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus, Congress made emergency laws expanding both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and paid sick leave to include employers with fewer than 500 employees.
These are significant changes to the laws. For example, an employer with fewer than 50 employees may apply for an exemption if they can prove they need it for the viability of their businesses, but otherwise, FMLA applies to every employee who has worked for 30 days or more.
These new laws have an anticipated effective date of April 2, 2020, and will be in place until at least the end of the year 2020.
FMLA Expansion Act
Employers with fewer than 500 employees are now subject to FMLA. This is a new change for many small businesses.
There is a new type of approved leave: Public health emergency leave related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave
Under this new Act, full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time for specific coronavirus-related reasons. Part-time employees are entitled to a number of hours equal to the average number of hours they would normally work in a two-week period – available to the employee, no matter how long they have been employed.
Employees who are sick with Coronavirus can also receive full pay, capped at $511 a day.
There’s much to these new laws, including what qualifies for time off when taking care of people with COVID-19, and employers need to consult with legal counsel to understand the impact these changes will have on their businesses.
Terrazas Henkel, P.C. is here for you, and our experienced attorneys are ready to discuss how these recent changes may impact your business. Give us a call at 406-541-2500.