New regulations regarding the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) significantly limit when a small business must pay sick and family leave as a result of COVID-19, according to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).
According to the WFCA, The Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations provide that the leave must be given only if the employer has work for the employee. If the store is closed because of a shelter in place order, then the employer does not have work for the employee and the employer does not have to pay the two weeks of sick leave or the 10 weeks of family leave. Similarly, if there is no work because there is a lack of business, then the paid leave is not required. Paid sick and family leave are required only if the employees cannot come to work because of one of the reasons in the law and the retailer is open with work for the employee.
If an employer is open for business, the FFCRA requires an employer to pay employees two weeks of sick leave if they cannot work because they are: (1) subject to a quarantine order; (2) advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine; (3) experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis; (4) caring for a family member who is quarantined; or (5) caring for their children whose school and day care are closed because of COVID-19. In addition, FFCRA requires the employer to provide 10 weeks of paid family leave if the employee is unable to work because he or she is caring for their children whose school and day care are closed because of COVID-19. FFCRA applies to employees who were laid off after March 31, 2020.