Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
For a full list of qualifying reasons for leave and what had to be provided to employees, click here.
While the mandatory provisions of this act expired on December 31, 2020, the 2nd Coronavirus Stimulus Bill did extend the refundable payroll tax credits through the end of March 2021.
Therefore, beginning on January 1, 2021, employers are no longer required to provide FFCRA leave however, covered employers can still voluntarily offer such leave and still utilize the payroll tax credits to cover the cost of these benefits paid to employees through the end of March 2021.
For more information on the FFCRA, click here.
For more information on how employers can take advantage of the FFCRA payroll tax credits, click here.
New York State Paid Leave for COVID-19
In New York State, some employers are now required to provide at least five days of job protected, paid sick leave to employees who need to take leave because they are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19.
Most employers will provide financial compensation to their employees for leave taken by using a combination of benefits, which may include a new employer-provided paid sick leave (depending on the employer’s size and net annual income), Paid Family Leave, and disability benefits.
Here are some examples of wage replacement benefits based on a worker’s average weekly wage.
*Source: New York State Sick Leave (paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/if-you-are-quarantined-yourself)
Paid Family Leave may also be used by employees to care for a family member or minor dependent child who has contracted COVID-19, which may qualify as a serious health condition, or is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation.
*Please note, employers need not offer these benefits to employees who have taken a non-work-related trip to any state other than a contiguous state for more than 24 hours or those employees who are able to still work remotely or through other means.
For more information on the program, visit New York State COVID Paid Sick Leave.
Resources for Employers:
- COVID-19 Paid Leave: Guidance for Employers
- COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Factsheet for Employers
- Paid Sick Leave If Your Employee is Quarantined or Isolated
- Paid Family Leave If Your Employee’s Minor Dependent Child is Quarantined or Isolated
- Paid Family Leave If Your Employee’s Family Member Contracts COVID-19
Resources for Your Employees:
- COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Factsheet for Employees
- Guidance For Employees to Obtain An Order For Mandatory Or Precautionary Quarantine
- NYS Paid Sick and Family Leave FAQs
- Federal Employer Paid Sick Leave Act *mandatory leave provisions expired December 31, 2020
- Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
- FAQ regarding COVID-19 and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
- NYS COVID Paid Sick Leave (for companies with less than 500 employees)
- NYS COVID Paid Sick Leave (for companies with more than 500 employees)
New York Paid Sick Leave (Non-COVID Specific)
On April 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed legislation establishing the right to paid leave for New Yorkers. New York’s paid sick leave law requires employers with five or more employees or net income of more than $1 million to provide paid sick leave to employees and for employers with fewer than five employees and a net income of $1 million or less to provide unpaid sick leave to employees.
Please note: This new law is in addition to, and does not replace, the New York State provisions already in effect providing emergency paid sick time due to COVID-19 (see section above for more on COVID paid sick leave).
On September 30, 2020, covered employees in New York State began to accrue leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. On January 1, 2021, employees may start using accrued leave.
New Yorkers earn sick leave based on the hours they work, earning one hour of leave for every 30 hours they work, retroactive to September 30, 2020. New York's new guaranteed sick leave law requires businesses to provide different levels of sick leave depending on their size:
- Businesses with 100 or more employees must provide up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave per year;
- Businesses with five to 99 employees must provide up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year;
- Businesses with fewer than five employees, but a net income of more than $1 million must provide up to five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year; and;
- Smaller businesses with fewer than five employees and a net income of less than $1 million must provide up to five days (40 hours) of unpaid sick leave. However, those already providing paid sick leave can continue to do so.
New Yorkers can use guaranteed sick leave to recover from an illness themselves, care for a sick family member, or address safety needs if they or a family member are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
For more information, visit New York Paid Sick Leave.
Additional Resources & More Info:
- Recording of Sick Leave Webinar Hosted by Chamber and Presented by Jaci Kelleher, Esq. (Sept 2020)
- How Employees Accrue Time
- Who is Eligible?
- What are Permitted Uses of Sick Leave?
- Paid Sick Leave FAQs
- Paid Sick Leave General Fact Sheet
- Paid Sick Leave Fact Sheet for Employers
Claimants can apply online.
- NYS Department of Labor Website (What You Need to Know – Latest Updates)
- Information on the Extension of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Fact Sheet
- FAQ on Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Extended Benefits (EB)
- NYS DOL Unemployment Work Share Model
For more information visit the NYS Unemployment Insurance website.
For more information on Unemployment Insurance provisions in the 2nd Stimulus Bill, including the additional $300 in PEUC, extended PUA, and more - click here.
NOTE: OneWorkSource Centers in the North Country have closed, but if you need further assistance with your unemployment insurance or have any questions, staff is available by phone:
- Clinton: 518-561-0430
- Franklin: 518-481-5755
- Essex: 518-873-3207
- Hamilton: 518-648-6131
For more information on other Coronavirus related topics, visit our home page HERE.
Have questions? Let us know! Email us and we will do our best to find the answer.