Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is an economic stimulus plan that affects coverage for COVID-19 testing, provided expanded federal family and medical leave, and implemented a new federal paid sick leave law.

Signed March 2020, the law is expected to be in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.

What is Included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

The FFCRA consists of three main provisions.

Coverage for COVID-19 Testing: Private group health plans must provide coverage and not impose any cost-sharing until the end of the national emergency period. This includes:

  1. In vitro diagnostic products for the detection or diagnosis of the virus that causes COVID-19 that have been approved, cleared, or authorized by the FDCA.
  2. Items or services furnished to an individual during healthcare provider visits that result in an order for an in vitro diagnostic product.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave: The FFCRA expanded employee leave rules established in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Among those updates are that certain employers provide two weeks of emergency paid sick leave if related to COVID-19, as well as expanded family and medical leave to employees through Dec. 31, 2020.

  1. Employees must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days
  2. Employers are required to provide this if the organization employs less than 500 people.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave: The Department of Labor (DOL) determined that the following scenarios qualify a worker for paid sick leave if they’re unable to work or telework:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local COVID-19 quarantine or isolation order.
  2. The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.
  3. The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for someone subject to an order described in point 1 or a self-quarantine as described in point 2.
  5. The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of childcare if closed (or provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury).

For reasons 1–4 and 6, part-time employees are eligible for the number of hours of leave that they’d average over a two-week period; for reason 5, part-time employees are eligible for leave for the number of hours they’d normally work during that period.

Related Terms: CARES Act

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