[co-author: Crystal Miller-O'Brien]
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed on March 18, 2020, temporarily mandated paid sick time and paid family leave for COVID-19-related issues, including for school and place of care closures, for certain employees and employers through December 31, 2020.
On December 21, 2020, Congress decided not to extend FFCRA paid time off obligations beyond 2020, and the latest COVID-19 stimulus bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) became effective on December 27, 2020. Even though FFCRA paid leave benefits are no longer mandatory, employers can voluntarily continue providing paid leave benefits with the option of claiming the payroll tax credit, which has been extended through March 31, 2021. (See our prior advisories on U.S. Department of Labor guidance on the FFCRA here.)
However, if employers opt to continue to provide FFCRA paid sick time, employees can use available sick time. Employers will not receive tax credits for benefits provided in excess of statutory limits.
However, if employers opt to continue to provide FFCRA paid family leave time, employees can use available family leave. Employers will not receive tax credits for benefits provided in excess of statutory limits.