The president signed the Families First Corona Virus Response Act into law. Among other things, this law mandates emergency paid sick leave and paid FMLA to cover specific circumstances related to COVID-19.

Employers have until April 2, 2020 to implement this mandate. The DOL will publish employee notice samples within one week.

How We Can Help: Creating New Benefit

First, let’s look at the new mandates.


The emergency paid sick leave provision applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. It allows a waiver for employers with fewer than 50 employees when the viability of the business would be jeopardized by paying emergency sick leave. However, the waiver process is yet to be defined.

Benefit Amount

2 weeks of employer paid emergency sick leave defined as:

  • 80 hours for full time employees
  • Average number of hours over 2 week period for part time employees
  • When part time hours vary significantly, 2 weeks of leave determined by
    • Weekly average hours over the 6 months preceding the first use of emergency sick leave
    • If employed less than 6 months, the expectation set at hire for average weekly hours

Benefit Management

The act specifies the following rules for administration of emergency paid sick leave:

  • It is available immediately to all employees, regardless of length of employment.
  • Employees cannot be required to use other forms of paid leave first.
  • Employees cannot be required to find a replacement employee.
  • Employer may require reasonable notice after the first day of paid sick leave in order to continue receiving it.
  • Employers of healthcare workers and emergency responders may opt out for these employees.
  • Valid through December 31, 2020 or earlier if need ceases.
  • No carryover.
  • No payout on separation.

This benefit is available only for purposes described below:

With illness of the employee…

or when caring for someone with an illness…


The following links provide more information about the Families First Corona Virus Response Act: