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FFCRA Mandatory Leave Expires, But Tax Credits Remain
By Lauren Daming on January 7, 2021 at 2:15 PM

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, represents a second-round stimulus related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the CAA includes certain virus-related provisions, including stimulus checks issued to some individuals, the act allowed the mandatory leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to expire on December 31, 2020. As a result, employees are no longer guaranteed paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA unless their employers voluntarily agree to provide it. As an incentive for employers to voluntarily offer FFCRA leave, the act extends the availability of tax credits to employers related to employees who take qualifying leave under the FFCRA through March 31, 2021.   

The act does not enlarge the original leave entitlement that employees were guaranteed under the FFCRA. Thus, employees may only use FFCRA leave in 2021 if they did not already exhaust it in 2020. The CAA does not affect the substantive aspects of the FFCRA’s leave provisions such as qualifying reasons for leave or employer documentation requirements. The Department of Labor issued new FAQs related to the CAA’s impact on the FFCRA.

Employers should be aware that they may voluntarily extend other leave options to employees affected by the pandemic who do not otherwise qualify for FFCRA. Additionally, some states and municipalities have passed their own paid leave sick requirements related to the pandemic that may entitle employees to additional leave.  

Link to COVID-19 Resources page

Tags: COVID-19
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