On March 18, 2020, the 116th Congress passed H.R. 6201, amending the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (the “Act”) in response to the Coronavirus. The Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA”) consists of eight divisions, three of which deal with payroll requirements. The three divisions are known as: 1) The Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), 2) The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (the “EPSLA”), and 3) Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave. The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) provides economic stimulus and amends the EFMLEA, the EPSLA and the FMLA.
The first thing California auto dealers need to know is that when California law is more restrictive, California law must be followed. Employers are not required to pay all employees who were furloughed or laid off prior to April 1, 2020 paid leave. Termination of employment and leave are distinctly different. Furlough or layoff is effectively termination of employment with a right to be called back first, if and when the position opens up again.
EMERGENCY AND FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT (“EFMLEA”) AND CARES ACT AMENDMENT (PER ITALICS)
Days of Employment to Qualify: Any employee who has been employed by the employer for 30 calendar days is eligible for the benefits provided by the EFMLEA.
Number of Employees to Qualify: Any employer who employs fewer than 500 employees (and under certain conditions, excluding employers with fewer than 25 employees) within a 75 mile radius of the worksite for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year is subject to the provisions of the Act. Include furloughed employees when counting employees. There are some exceptions for smaller employers with 50 or fewer employees.
Number of Weeks of Leave: Under the Act as amended March 18, 2020, and effective until December 31, 2020, a new provision was added requiring employers to allow employees to take a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks of leave in any 12-month period if:
Qualifications for Leave: The employee is unable to work or telework, because either:
1) the employee needs to care for their child under the age of 18 if the school or place of care has been closed, or
2) the child care provider is unavailable due to Federal, State or local declaration of a public health emergency regarding COVID-19.