Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The FFRCA applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees and requires covered businesses to provide their employees with paid sick or family leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Even if an employee isn’t eligible for or exhausts leave under the FFCRA or the California Family Rights Act, California employees are also protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which may require additional leave as an accommodation.
The FFCRA provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of paybecause the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19; and
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leaveat two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Covered Employers: The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19. Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide notice of leave to the employer as is practicable. After the first workday of paid sick time, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue receiving paid sick time.
Unemployment Insurance Compensation
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the following temporary exceptions apply in California for all Unemployment Insurance claims until further notice:
Waiting Period: The 7-day waiting period is waived for claims beginning on or after January 19, 2020. After you submit your first two-week continued certification, you will be paid for the first week of your claim.
Work Search: You are not required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Employment Development Department (“EDD”) is not requiring workers who are working reduced hours or are completely laid off to seek work. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act or the CARES Act, states are permitted to extend unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks under the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. If you have exhausted the 13 weeks of additional benefits available under the PEUC program, you may be eligible to continue receiving benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA benefits are available for a period of unemployment of up to 39 weeks, meaning that if you have exhausted regular UC and PEUC benefits in fewer than 39 weeks, you may be eligible to receive assistance under PUA for the remaining weeks within PUA’s 39 week period. The CARES Act also creates the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC), which provides an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular unemployment benefits and other similar assistance programs.
If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness related to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional)
Short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.
Approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income); ranges from $50-$1,300 a week for up to 52 weeks.
Paid Family Leave
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional)
Up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member.
Approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income); ranges from $50-$1,300 a week for up to 6 weeks.
If you have lost your job or have had your hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19
Partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.
Range from $40-$450 per week for up to 26 weeks.
Paid Sick Leave
If you or a family member are sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine
The leave you have accumulated or your employer has provided to you under the Paid Sick Leave law.
Paid to you at your regular rate of pay or an average based on the past 90 days.
If you are unable to do your usual job because you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Benefits include temporary disability (TD) payments, which begin when your doctor says you can’t do your usual work for more than three days or you are hospitalized overnight. You may be entitled to TD for up to 104 weeks. TD stops when either you return to work, your doctor releases you for work, or your doctor says your illness has improved as much as it’s going to.
TD generally pays two-thirds of the gross wages you lose while you are recovering from a work-related illness or injury, up to maximum weekly amount set by law. In addition, eligible employees are entitled to medical treatment and additional payments if a doctor determines you suffered a permanent disability because of the illness.
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