The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — passed by the U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President Trump on March 18 — goes into effect no later than April 2, 2020, and will expire on December 31, 2020. It is important to note that this new legislation only applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees and is not retroactive. The provisions of this emergency legislation are limited to just this pandemic.
The bill has two separate provisions that impact private entities and individuals that employ fewer than 500 employees. First, it amends the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow U.S. workers, including those employed by such entities, to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if the employee is unable to work or telework due to a need to care for others or for a child under 18 years of age because that child's school or place of care has closed or the child's child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19. The Act also provides payroll tax credits to offset all costs of providing these paid leaves.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in its initial guidance for implementation of the FFCRA has indicated that “Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
The DOL has issued guidance for both employees and employers in a Fact Sheet for Employees, and a Fact Sheet for Employers. Additionally the agency has issued a Questions and Answers document addressing most frequently asked questions.
The DOL is also mandating that all functioning businesses hang informational posters in their facilities in a place accessible to all employees from April 2 through the end of 2020. The purpose behind this is to ensure employees are informed of this regulation and are able to determine if they are covered under it and what opportunities they are being given.
Here are links to the mandatory posters: Employee Rights and Federal Employee Rights, as well as information on poster-hanging specifics.
In addition to monitoring this and other critical legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, SGIA, NAPCO Media and Printing Industries of America and its affiliates have created the COVID-19 Resource Channel to provide the printing industry at large with up-to-the-minute news and information. Have questions or need additional information? Share your inquiries with the Resource Channel team.