March 26, 2020

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Goes into Effect April 1

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) was passed rapidly by the House and Senate, and signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020. The Act contains an unprecedented response by the federal government to the national health emergency by mandating paid sick time and paid family medical leave to employees impacted by COVID-19. Employers with fewer than 500 employees will have to take immediate action to prepare to comply with the new law which goes into effect on April 1, 2020.

The Act has several components, including (a) paid family and medical leave (PFML), (b) paid sick time (PST), (c) tax credits for PFML and PST, (d) unemployment insurance, (e) medical plan components and (f) several immediate public health-related matters. This article addresses the first two components.

The PFML and PST mandates apply only to private employers with fewer than 500 employees and sunset on December 31, 2020. Tax credits are immediately available to offset costs for covered employers.

Click here for a full analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.