In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, the United States Congress passed a law earlier this year requiring employers to provide at least two weeks of paid leave to employees if they cannot come to work for one of these reasons:
- The employee has been quarantined by a health care provider or by government order.
- The employee has COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a diagnosis.
- The employee must stay home to care for someone who has been quarantined by a health care provider or by government order.
- The employee must stay home to care for a child under 18 whose school or childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19. These employees are also eligible for an additional 10 weeks of paid leave, for a total of 12 weeks’ total paid leave.
This law, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), expires at the end of this year. Starting January 1, 2021, employers will no longer be required to provide paid COVID-related leave under the FFCRA to their employees.
Please note: This does not affect any other paid leave (like vacation or PTO) you provide to your employees – this is only for the 2 weeks of paid leave for COVID-related issues.
While it is possible that the government could pass a law to re-authorize paid COVID leave for 2021, that has not happened yet.