Just after midnight on March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” as a broad response to many of the challenges caused by the current and impending spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 (“coronavirus”). H.R. 6201 has eight provisions intended to assist people, and free up the federal government resources to do so, during the public health emergency caused by coronavirus. This GT Alert addresses two of the eight provisions of H.R. 6201 that would require certain private employers to provide paid leave to employees who cannot work because of coronavirus and/or the public health emergency surrounding it. Specifically, this Alert addresses Division C – the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and Division E – the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Please note the House and Senate are still working out details of this package, and H.R. 6201 is not yet law. There may be further changes before anything is final, and we will continue to keep you apprised as the situation develops.

In combination, the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act may require private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide up to 14 total weeks of leave, 12 weeks of which must be paid leave. Such paid leave would be required for employees whose absences from work become necessary due to the coronavirus and its consequences. There are key differences between the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and how they may, if they become law, apply to the implementation of emergency paid leave policies and practices. As presently written, all new requirements on private employers will take effect 15 days after final passage and continue through Dec. 31, 2020.

Click here to read the full GT Alert, “Employment Law Provisions of H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”