FFCRA Paid Sick & Family Leave Not Required After December 31, 2020

(December 28, 2020)

On the evening of December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the so-called “Stimulus Bill.” One of the questions many employers posed is whether the paid sick and family leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which were to expire on December 31, are being extended into 2021.

The bill, which is now law, does not extend this mandatory benefit into 2021. Covered employers (with less than 500 employees) will not need to provide COVID-19 related paid sick or family leave to employees past the end of the 2020 year.

However, the law does extend the federal tax credit for both forms of paid leave through March 31, 2021, for employers that voluntarily wish to keep providing paid leave. Given that the pandemic is infecting large numbers of people at this time, and given that employers will receive a tax credit if they provide paid leave to those qualify, it may make good sense to do so, both to help employees who are sick or potentially sick, and their family members and co-workers.

It is also possible that after January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden and the new Congress will agree to new legislation extending mandatory or voluntary paid sick and family leave. We will provide further alerts on these issues in the coming months if there are substantive changes.