Employers Allowed to Voluntarily Provide Leave Under the FFCRA
As we should now be aware, the FFCRA ended on December 31, 2020. To date, there have not been any laws passed to replace its provisions despite a continued spike in pandemic numbers. While it’s likely a matter of time until we see something new, the Department of Labor recently made a clarification as to FFCRA leave pay in the 2021.
As part of its ongoing Q&A guidance (see question 104), the DOL points out employers are no longer legally mandated to provide any form of FFCRA leave under the law. However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act extended the employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave until March 31, 2021. Accordingly, the DOL explains employers may voluntarily provide FFCRA leave to qualifying employees. Employers choosing to do so are eligible to receive refundable tax credits.
This is a win, win for both employers and employees. Until Congress enacts a new law, this extension of the CAA allows employers to provide their employees with the leave necessary to deal with the COVID virus and ensure the safety of their workforce while receiving tax benefits. Employers should consider continuing to provide leave under the FFCRA.
Employers with questions about FFCRA leave eligibility should contact their employment counsel.
About the Author: Alejandro Pérez is a partner at Jaburg Wilk. Fully bilingual, Alejandro assists employers of all sizes with labor and employment law issues. In addition to representing clients in litigation, Alejandro provides advice and counsel on HR decisions; conducts sensitive workplace investigations and audits; drafts and reviews employment policies, handbooks, and agreements; and trains workforces on a variety of aspects of employment law.