By: Marc Furman, Jonathan Landesman, and Marc B. Cytryn
Following last week’s Coronavirus Employment Law Update, our Labor & Employment attorneys addressed additional FAQs to help employers navigate the maze of employment laws that are implicated by coronavirus.
Employment Law FAQs
Q: Is eligibility for paid family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) the same as ordinary Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?
A: No. To be eligible for “ordinary” FMLA leave, an individual must be employed for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours. The FCCRA requires that an individual be employed for at least 30 calendar days to take paid family leave needed to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed. The 30-day requirement does not apply to paid sick leave under the FCCRA.
Q: Does the FFCRA apply to union employees who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement?
A: Yes. Union employees are entitled to FFCRA benefits in addition to any other benefits provided under an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Q: Can an employee receive both paid sick time and paid family leave under the FFCRA?
A: Yes, it is possible. If an employee needs time off from work because he or she is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed, then he or she could be entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick time and then an additional ten weeks of paid family leave benefits under the FFCRA.
Q: Does existing PTO count towards paid sick time under the FFCRA?
A: No. Paid sick time required for a “qualifying reason” under the FFCRA must be in addition to any existing PTO or sick time policy. In other words, if an employee needs to take time off from work for a reason identified by the FFCRA, then he or she cannot be required to use existing PTO instead.
Q: Are there any changes to the unemployment compensation (UC) law that I need to know about?
A: Yes, there have been two notable changes. First, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor eliminated the seven-day waiting period for employees who apply for benefits. Second, the UC tax rate will not increase for employers who are temporarily closed because of the coronavirus or for coronavirus-related claims.
If you have any concerns about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on your business or compliance with FFCRA, please contact the Labor & Employment Group or the Cohen Seglias attorney with whom you work.