FAQ’s: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) enacted two laws that provide workers with paid leave for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This enables employers to keep their workers on payroll, while simultaneously ensuring that they are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to take care of themselves and loved ones.

The DOL issued temporary regulations to implement the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements. These regulations were created by a time-limited statutory authority, meaning the temporary rule is effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Below are the DOL’s most up-to-date responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the FFCRA.

Q: What is the effective date of the FFCRA, which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act?

A: The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on Apr. 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between Apr. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.

Q: As an employer, how do I know if my business is under the 500-employee threshold and therefore must provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

A: An employer has fewer than 500 employees if, at the time an employee’s leave is to be taken, the employer employs fewer than 500 full-time and part-time employees within the United States (including any state, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States).

Q: If I am a private sector employer and have 500 or more employees, do the Acts apply to me?

A: No. Private sector employers are only required to comply with the Acts if they have fewer than 500 employees.

Q: If providing childcare-related paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave at my business with fewer than 50 employees would jeopardize the viability of my business as a going concern, how do I take advantage of the small business exemption?

A: To elect this small business exemption, you should document why your business with fewer than 50 employees meets the criteria set forth by the DOL, which will be addressed in more detail in forthcoming regulations.

As the current situation evolves, the DOL will work to promulgate updated information to the public. To review all FFCRA FAQs, please click here.


Should you have any questions regarding this information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Creative Benefits Team at solutions@creativebenefitsinc.com.