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<< Older News  |  January 16, 2021

News

All News > FFCRA

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Now That FFCRA Leave Is Purely Voluntary, Here Are Answers to Common Employer Questions
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 13, 2021

"When tackling FFCRA in 2021, keep in mind two critical principles: FFCRA has always provided for a maximum of 2 weeks/80 hours of emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and a maximum of 12 weeks of emergency paid FMLA (EFML) between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. No more. As of January 1, 2021, FFCRA effectively has become a tax credit statute. Its substantive provisions no longer are enforceable."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Employer Considerations for Determining Whether to Continue Providing FFCRA Leave After Law’s Expiration
Fisher Phillips Link to more items from this source
Jan. 7, 2021

"Ultimately it is up to the IRS whether your FFCRA wage payments qualify for the tax credit. This was true in 2020, and not just unique to employers who extend the leave into 2021.... Time spent administering the leave balanced against employee usage  ... Potential for discrimination claims ... Employees using any form of paid leave for an extended period of time have the potential to cause a business disruption to your operations."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Back to School: Tips for Avoiding FFCRA Liability Traps
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 6, 2021

"[1] When determining employees' eligibility for FFCRA leaves, consider employees' total use of FFCRA leaves, including leave taken last school year.... [2] Consider intermittent leave options to maximize employee productivity and leave options.... [3] Request documentation to support the qualifying reason for an employee's FFCRA leave, including the employee's statement that his/her child's school was closed for in-person attendance."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Congress Declines to Extend Required FFCRA Leave Past December 31, 2020
Miles & Stockbridge Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 6, 2021

"[An] employer will likely be unable to claim a tax credit for paid EPSL provided to an employee in 2021 if that same employee already took 80 hours of EPSL in 2020. Similarly, an employer cannot claim a tax credit for the full 80 hours of EPSL voluntarily provided to an employee in 2021 if the same employee took less than 80 hours of EPSL in 2020 ... The available tax credit for paid EFMLA in 2021 is more complicated ... [and] will likely depend on how the employer calculates the 12-month period under its FMLA policies, and how much FMLA/EFMLA an employee has taken during the 12-month period."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

New Year, New Rules: Status of COVID-19 Leave Laws for New York Employers in 2021
Duane Morris LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 5, 2021

"Covered employers who voluntarily continue to offer FFCRA leave through the first quarter of 2021 will be eligible for the FFCRA tax credit, which reimburses employers for the cost of providing FFCRA leave. For New York employers, though, their responsibilities under Senate Bill 8091, which guarantees certain leave, benefits and job protections to employees affected by COVID-19, remain in full force."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

With Federal COVID-19 Leave Ending, Leave Laws in D.C. and Elsewhere Take Center Stage
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Jan. 5, 2021

"D.C.'s COVID-19-leave laws took effect on March 11, 2020, and are set to expire on March 31, 2021. In 2020, employers subject to both the FFCRA and these D.C. laws generally fulfilled their D.C. COVID-19 leave obligations when they provided FFCRA leave to covered employees. Now, employers with workers in D.C. should ensure they provide D.C. COVID-19 leave to covered employees who need it."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Text of Updated DOL Q&As: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Dec. 31, 2020

Updated on Dec. 31, 2020, to add Q&As 104 and 105:

  1. I was eligible for leave under the FFCRA in 2020 but I did not use any leave. Am I still entitled to take paid sick or expanded family and medical leave after December 31, 2020?
  2. I used 6 weeks of FFCRA leave between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, because my childcare provider was unavailable due to COVID-19. My employer allowed me to take time off, but did not pay me for my last two weeks of FFCRA leave. Is my employer required to pay me for my last two weeks if the FFCRA has expired? 

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Employer Options for Continuing FFCRA Paid Leave
Godfrey & Kahn S.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 31, 2020

"Most employers created FFCRA paid leave policies that expressly expire on December 31, 2020. If an employer decides to provide extended FFCRA paid leave to employees, it may need to update its FFCRA policy to reflect that it will be in effect through March 31, 2021.... Even if an employer chooses not to provide FFCRA leave in early 2021, some state and local laws may require an employer to provide COVID-19-related paid leave to employees. In addition, many states have general paid leave laws set to go into effect on January 1, 2021[.]"

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Year-End Stimulus Bill Permits Extension of FFCRA Leave
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 30, 2020

"Covered employers are permitted to extend partially paid FFCRA leave and to claim a payroll tax credit for qualifying leave taken through March 31, 2021. FFCRA rights expire on December 31, 2020, for employees of covered companies who do not voluntarily elect to extend the benefits. Employers must still accommodate employees with disabilities and comply with employee protections mandated by state and local laws."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Expiration of the FFCRA and California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: What Now?
Dentons Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 30, 2020

"Employers with employees who had been on FFCRA leave, which will expire on December 31, 2020, should evaluate the circumstances of continued leave ... Employers allowing employees to continue their FFCRA leave up to the original leave entitlement may claim the payroll tax credit until March 31, 2021. Employers should evaluate what leaves and benefits may be available to employees seeking time off for COVID-19 related reasons, beyond the FFCRA and California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave vs. the FFCRA
OneDigital Health and Benefits Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 30, 2020

"For employers with employees working in Massachusetts, [the optional extension of leave under the FFCRA] may introduce some confusion as to how the FFCRA leaves will interact with leaves allowed under Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MAPFML) which become available January 1, 2021.  In some cases, the FFCRA and MAPFML leaves will accrue concurrently."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Employer Considerations for January 1 FFCRA Changes
Husch Blackwell Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 29, 2020

"[1] Will your company continue to provide both paid sick leave and paid family leave to employees until March 31, 2021? ... [2] Is your company able to provide these leaves equally to all eligible employees? [3] How will your company provide notice regarding leave to employees? ... [4] Are there currently any state or local jurisdictional orders or laws that provide more generous leave for employees?"

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

FFCRA Mandatory Leave Ends, But Employer Tax Credits Continue
Jackson Walker Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 29, 2020

"Employers are no longer required to provide FFCRA leave to employees from January 1, 2021, forward.... Employers who voluntarily provide FFCRA leave can claim a tax credit to cover the cost of providing FFCRA leave to eligible employees through March 31, 2021.... specifically for COVID-19 and/or generally for all illnesses."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

DOL's FFCRA Regs: Three Takeaways for Employers
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 28, 2020

"[T]he DOL has been actively pursuing employees' individual and collective claims based on the FFCRA.... Employers may require employees to provide documentation of their FFCRA leaves at (or around) the same time they provide notice of their FFCRA leave ... Employees are not entitled to FFCRA leave during furlough or days when work is not available.... Employers may, at their option, offer intermittent FFCRA leaves to employees who are either (a) teleworking or (b) taking leave based on a school closure or childcare unavailability."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Pittsburgh Passes Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law
Seyfarth Shaw LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 24, 2020

"While the covered absences under the Ordinance are similar to absences covered under the federal [FFCRA], Pittsburgh's COVID-19 Sick Time will remain available for use after the FFCRA's current December 31, 2020 sunset date."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

COVID-19 Relief Bill Would Provide Tax Credit But No Mandate for Paid Sick/Family Care Leave
Miller Johnson Link to more items from this source
Dec. 23, 2020

"Mandated FFCRA leave ends on December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, [the relief bill provides that] covered private-sector employers may voluntarily provide paid leave that otherwise would have qualified for FFCRA if the FFCRA had not expired, and if they do, they may take the tax credit associated with this leave, The tax credit may only be taken for leave through March 31, 2021." [Editor's note: As of Dec. 23, the bill has not yet become law; it's future is uncertain.]

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

COVID-19 Deal Would Extend FFCRA Tax Credits, But Not Mandate Leave
Franczek P.C. Link to more items from this source
Dec. 23, 2020

"[T]he FFCRA emergency sick leave and expanded FMLA leave mandates will indeed expire on December 31, 2020. However, [under the legislation,] covered private sector employers that allow employees to take leave that would have been mandated by the FFCRA if the law had remained in effect through March 31, 2021 may continue to claim a tax credit to cover the cost of the leave." [Editor's note: As of Dec. 23, the bill has not yet become law; it's future is uncertain.]

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Editor's Pick Congress Approves Additional COVID Relief as Part of Government Funding Package
Ascensus Link to more items from this source
Dec. 23, 2020

"The legislation extends to money purchase pension plans the option to permit coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) ... Employers will be provided relief from partial plan terminations that could result from a reduction in workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.... Temporary special rules for health FSAs and dependent care FSAs ... Preventing surprise medical bills ... The legislation provides limited non-COVID-related disaster relief for certain federal disasters declared on or after January 1, 2020, and ending 60 days after enactment of this bill.... A CARES Act provision that permitted employers to provide student loan repayment benefits of up to $5,250 to employees on a tax-free basis has been extended to December 31, 2025." [Editor's note: As of Dec. 23, the bill has not yet become law; it's future is uncertain.]

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Congress Declines to Extend FFCRA Leave, Offers Tax Credits to Those Voluntarily Providing Paid Leave
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
Dec. 22, 2020

"[The bill passed by Congress but not yet signed into law by the President] results in the following: [1] Mandated FFCRA Leave ends on December 31, 2020; [2] As of January 1, 2021, covered employers may voluntarily provide emergency paid sick leave or emergency paid FMLA Leave under FFCRA (as adopted earlier this year) and take the tax credit associated with this leave; [3] The tax credit may only be taken for leave through March 31, 2021. In other words, FFCRA leave is no longer required, but if covered employers voluntarily provide these leave benefits through March 31, 2021, they are eligible to take the tax credit for the leave."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Pelosi, Schumer Joint Statement on Coronavirus Relief and Omnibus Agreement
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer Link to more items from this source
Dec. 21, 2020

"The package includes bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will end surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care.... The agreement provides a tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave, based on the Families First framework.... The agreement extends and improves the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help keep workers in the jobs during coronavirus closures or reduced revenue."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design

Pandemic-Related Paid Sick Days and Leave to Expire Dec. 31 — with No Extension in Sight
Kaiser Health News Link to more items from this source
Dec. 18, 2020

"Unions and workers' rights and consumer advocacy groups are this week waging a last-ditch effort to get Congress to extend the program into 2021. They argue that the program is a critical component helping to prevent the spread of the virus and providing financial assistance to struggling families. They also assert that a number of unwise exemptions -- plus a lack of enforcement and public awareness -- have limited the program's effectiveness."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Employers with Pittsburgh-Based Employees Face New Requirements to Provide COVID-19-Related Paid Sick Leave
Reed Smith Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Dec. 9, 2020

"With the federal [FFCRA] set to expire on December 31, 2020, absent an extension by the federal government, the Ordinance appears to be the City's effort to provide paid leave rights for qualifying reasons relating to COVID-19. However, the Ordinance considerably exceeds the FFCRA in the scope of covered employers."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Text of Updated IRS FAQs: Determining the Amount of the FFCRA Tax Credit for Qualified Family Leave Wages
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Nov. 25, 2020

Questions 25-30, updated Nov. 25, 2020.

  1. What is included in 'qualified family leave wages'? Do 'qualified family leave wages' include taxes imposed or withheld from the wages?
  2. How much credit may an Eligible Employer receive for qualified family leave wages
  3. How does an Eligible Employer determine the amounts of the qualified family leave wages it is required to pay?
  4. What is the rate of pay for qualified family leave wages?
  5. Are amounts other than qualified family leave wages included in the tax credit for required paid family leave?
  6. Is a similar tax credit available to self-employed individuals?

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Text of Updated IRS FAQs: Determining the Amount of Allocable Qualified Health Plan Expenses for Purposes of Coronavirus Economic Impact Payments
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Nov. 25, 2020

Questions 31-36, updated Nov. 25, 2020.

  1. Does the amount of qualified health plan expenses include both the portion of the cost paid by the Eligible Employer and the portion of the cost paid by the employee?
  2. For an Eligible Employer that sponsors more than one plan for its employees (for example, both a group health plan and a health flexible spending arrangement (health FSA)), or more than one plan covering different employees, how are the qualified health plan expenses for each employee determined?
  3. For an Eligible Employer that sponsors a fully-insured group health plan, how are the qualified health plan expenses of that plan allocated to the qualified sick or family leave wages on a pro rata basis?
  4. For an Eligible Employer who sponsors a self-insured group health plan, how are the qualified health plan expenses of that plan allocated to the qualified leave wages on a pro rata basis?
  5. For an Eligible Employer who sponsors a health savings account (HSA), or Archer Medical Saving Account (Archer MSA) and a high deductible health plan (HDHP), are contributions to the HSA or Archer MSA included in the qualified health plan expenses?
  6. For an Eligible Employer who sponsors a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), a health flexible spending arrangement (health FSA), or a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA), are contributions to the HRA, health FSA, or QSEHRA included in the qualified health plan expenses?

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Health Plan Costs

Employee Leave Can Be Complicated
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article Link to more items from this source
Nov. 24, 2020

"During 2020, much of the focus regarding leave has been on the [FFCRA]. But workers also may be eligible to take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and state and local laws."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave


<< Older News  |  January 16, 2021

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