The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

9 Cityscape

Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees.

Here what employers need to know about H.R. 6201.

On March 18, 2020, the president signed  H.R. 6201, or the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. We’re here to help you make sense of the changes. 

The bill provides paid sick leave and free COVID-19 testing, expands food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requires employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.

Here’s how the bill may impact your business:

A temporary expansion of family and medical leave requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, 10 weeks that are paid, for those employed at least 30 days if the employee cannot work and must care for a child under 18 whose school has been closed due to a public health emergency. 

The Secretary of Labor can exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees from this FMLA expansion if it would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” Employers with 25 or more employees would be required to reinstate the employees after the FMLA leave period ends while employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to reinstate employees after the leave period if the employer is experiencing “significant economic hardship.”

The emergency paid sick leave provision requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 80 hours of additional paid sick leave for full-time employees. Part-time employees must receive paid sick leave for the number of hours they work, on average, over two weeks to quarantine or seek preventive care for COVD-19. Employers cannot change their policies for leave and cannot require employees to use their other forms of leave first. 

The following are eligible for this benefit:

  • Employees diagnosed with COVID–19 or those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Employees under quarantine (including self-quarantine), at the instruction of a healthcare provider, employer, or a local, State, or Federal official
  • Employees who need to care for a quarantined family member or child whose school has been closed 

Employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against employees who take paid sick leave.

The bill also provides refundable tax credits for employers who are subject to the expanded FMLA and emergency paid sick leave requirements. These credits would be applied against the employer portion of Social Security taxes for each quarter equal to the qualifying paid leave wages paid by the employer for both the expanded FMLA and paid sick leave.

There are many specifications and guidelines that you may need to follow. Contact your HR business partner or call us at 888.811.5150 to discuss the implications for your workforce and get started on the next steps. 

Also on Nextep

Storm season is here! Businesses need plans in place, not only for taking shelter during inclement weather but also for running business as usual. We’re sharing a few procedures and precautions to consider when storm season rolls around.  Shelter Your employees should know how to respond when emergencies happen during the workday. Learn more from […]
Read more
In a crisis, life can seem a little scary. It’s easy to lose sight of the good in the midst of trying times. That’s why mental health and taking care of yourself is never more important than when you face a crisis. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. You may be experiencing increased […]
Read more
The physical and mental well-being of your employees is essential. At Nextep, we’re doing what we can to ensure our employees are healthy and stay that way. Keeping up with your employees’ well-being can be challenging, so here are a few ways employers are promoting workplace wellness today. CREATING A CULTURE OF MENTAL WELLBEING Employees […]
Read more
If your employer participates in the federal government’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, you should know more about what that means.  The WOTC is a federal tax credit available to businesses that hire people from certain groups facing challenges gaining employment. This program incentivizes employers to promote job access to a diverse range of […]
Read more
Voluntary paid leave for employees and accompanying tax credits for employers, originally made available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), have been extended through September 30, 2021, by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). If you haven’t already, you need to decide whether or not your organization will continue offering paid COVID-related leave […]
Read more
In the US, cyber-attacks happen as often as every 39 seconds. As technology becomes more integrated into our personal and professional lives, prioritizing cybersecurity measures is critical.  Unfortunately, PrismHR, one of Nextep’s technology partners, was recently targeted by one of these threat actors, leading to a disruption in service for portions of Nextep’s online account. One […]
Read more
On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed a new stimulus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan, into law. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package is geared to boost the economy and help provide wider access to COVID-19 vaccinations in an effort to curb the effects of the ongoing pandemic.  This is the third stimulus package […]
Read more
As we arrive at the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S, there are still daily challenges facing employees and employers alike. The last year has been a whirlwind of info, from new legislation and safety protocols to vaccines. Through it all, Nextep has helped businesses navigate every challenge along the way.  One […]
Read more
Working toward a more equitable workplace where your employees feel safe, heard, and represented positively impacts your people and community. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to help build a more equitable workplace.  DOWNLOAD GUIDE Recruiting A recent study found that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential for applicants when […]
Read more
We’re following updates on the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available in the U.S. to help you make sense of the news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its position relating to employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccines.  Watch our HR experts break down vaccine mandates in the workplace.  While employers can legally require the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace, this […]
Read more
After an unpredictable year like 2020, making sure your business has a stable foundation is critical to adjusting to unforeseen circumstances and keeping a solid footing through hard times.  PEO AND FINANCIAL STABILITY Take a look at these stats from the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). Businesses that work with a PEO:  Are 50% less […]
Read more
After months of stalemate, a second COVID-19 relief package has been passed. On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, the president signed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill to help Americans through the ongoing pandemic. It is part of a larger package to keep the federal government funded through the current fiscal year. Our teams are digesting the details […]
Read more

Download Our App