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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Tips to Manage Employee Leave Scenarios

UPDATE September 2: The scenarios in this article are affected by the Department of Labor’s latest guidance on FFCRA leave and remote learning. For scenarios below referencing school closures, the same rules apply for caring for children whose schools are operating remotely—but parents may only take leave for this purpose if schools offer no in-person alternative.

Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18 the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was enacted to help individuals, families and businesses. The legislation requires employers with under 500 employees to give sick leave and paid family medical leave to eligible employees.

Eligible businesses are now able to take advantage of new tax credits to offset the costs associated with paid emergency leave and sick leave benefits implemented under the bill, including credit for health plan expenses affiliated with the new leaves.

Below is a list of scenarios your employees may experience during this time.

Scenario 1

A full time employee is sick and believes they might have COVID-19. The employee is visiting a doctor to seek a medical diagnosis and will be absent from work duties.

  • An employee can use two weeks (up to 80 hours) of emergency paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee is awaiting test results and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • To ensure the employee is paid, use the Earning Code ESL when entering the time into payroll.

Scenario 2

An employee’s spouse is ordered into quarantine and needs immediate care.

  • An employee can use two weeks (up to 80 hours) of emergency paid sick leave at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • Use the earning code EFSL when entering the time into payroll.

Scenario 3

An employee who has been employed for more than 30 days has a child and the child’s school has been cancelled because of COVID-19.

  • The employee is entitled to receive 12 weeks FMLA leave. The first two weeks of leave are unpaid, or the employee may use existing PTO/sick leave. The remaining 10 weeks are paid at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • If the employee elects to be paid for the first 2 weeks, be sure to pay the employee using the appropriate leave type. The employee may elect to use the emergency sick leave at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay for the first two weeks. If so, pay the employee using the Earning Code EFSL.
  • Employers should pay the remaining 10 weeks using the Earning Code EFMLA.

Scenario 4

An employee who’s been employed for more than 30 day’s entire household is ordered into quarantine because of suspected COVID-19. The employee’s children are in daycare and the daycare has also closed.

  • The employee can use two weeks (up to 80 hours) of emergency paid sick leave. The employer should use the Earning Code ESL to pay the employee.
  • The employee may also be entitled to 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for the remaining 10 weeks of FMLA or until school opens.
  • Employers should use the code EFMLA to pay the employee 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for FMLA leave.

Scenario 5

An employee who’s been employed less than 30 days has a child and the child’s school is closed due to COVID-19.

  • The employee can use two weeks (up to 80 hours) of emergency sick pay at 2/3 of their regular rate of pay.
  • Employers should use the code EFSL to pay the employee.
  • The employee will be entitled to additional leave once they have worked for 30 days. At that time, the employee will have all 12 weeks of FMLA leave available to use.
    • Employers can allow the employee 2 weeks unpaid or choose to pay the employee with other company-offered PTO.
    • Employers should pay the remaining 10 weeks at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay using the code EFMLA.

What is Paycor doing to help?

Paycor’s Payroll solution now includes three new earnings codes and three new accrual codes to provide tax credits under the Coronavirus Response Act.

Paycor clients will need to add the new earning codes to affected employees and assign accrual codes to applicable employees.

If you are a Payor client, you can find directions on how to take these actions by visiting the knowledge base in Perform.