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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020. 

In the coming days and weeks, federal regulatory agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS), will provide guidance on how to execute or implement the new requirements. In the meantime, employers and advisors must rely on a good faith interpretation of the act’s text. 

We are sharing everything we know below and will be able to answer follow up questions about the act as agency guidance is released, which will take some time. Here's what we know so far:


For certain circumstances related to COVID-19, employees will be eligible for

  • Up to two weeks of sick leave (full pay for self, 2/3 pay for family care) for illness, quarantine, or school closures 

  • Up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for school closures (10 days unpaid and then up to 10 weeks at 2/3 pay) 

Effective Date of Law

  • The FMLA and Paid Sick Leave changes will go into effect on April 1, 2020 and expire December 31, 2020.

  • It appears there is no retroactive application.

Key Takeaways for Employers

  • FMLA expansion & paid sick leave - On-Time Payroll has put together a quick reference guide for you as to who qualifies for the FFRCA paid sick leave and emergency family leave below.

  • Payroll tax credit - the payroll tax credit is a dollar for dollar credit against the employer portion of Social Security taxes which applies to wages paid through both the emergency FMLA expansion and the emergency sick leave. A refund is possible for amounts that exceed what is available as a credit.

  • Group health plan benefit mandate - The act requires all insured and self-funded medical plans, including grandfathered plans, to cover diagnostic testing-related services for COVID-19 at 100 percent without any deductibles or co-pays.

For more specifics on the items above, please visit the Department of Labor website at

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at or call us at 781-209-1188.


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