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G&A’s David Berndt advises employers to embrace the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Major Texas newspaper interviews G&A HR expert on new FFCRA leave policies

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which became effective on April 1 and will remain so until December 31, 2020, requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide their workers with a certain amount of paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave.

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, both full- and part-time employees are eligible for the federal benefit if they meet at least one of these conditions:

  • They are under a quarantine or isolation order because of COVID-19.
  • They were told by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19.
  • They are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • They are caring for an individual subject to a quarantine order or who is under self-quarantine because of COVID-19
  • They are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • They are experiencing any condition specified by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is in consultation with the U.S. Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
  • They were unable to work from home during COVID-19 isolation efforts.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be eligible for an exemption from the FFCRA requirement to provide leave due to school closings or unavailable childcare if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

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Dave Berndt

G&A’s Senior HR Advisor, David Berndt, was recently interviewed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for the article, “Some employees who have to take off because of the coronavirus can get sick leave pay.” The article shared the FFCRA information above, and informed employers that they have the opportunity to receive “dollar for dollar tax credit if they provide sick leave for employees under this requirement on their tax filings.”

Berndt further advised employers and independent contractors to take heed of the temporary FFCRA rule, and said they should start keeping accurate records now to ensure they receive government reimbursements come tax time.

Berndt added that “it is in an employer’s best interest to share the information [about the FFCRA and their new rights] with their employees.” To this end, the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, has recently released a poster that all employers—those in the federal government and those in the private sector—must post in their offices and send to their employees working remotely to inform employees of their rights under the new law.

“If I am the employer, I would want my employees to know about this,” Berndt said. “I have nothing to lose and a lot to gain in goodwill to share this information with employees. This is a great way to keep the country running during a very difficult situation.”

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