Paid Leave: Guidance for Managers
As North Carolinians begin to return to work, many employers may be wondering about their legal requirements for maintaining the sanitation of the workplace while respecting employee rights. While many of the laws and regulations about workplace safety remain the same, employers should understand some new guidelines while preparing to integrate their employees back to the workplace.
FFCRA: Recently, Congress passed The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), which requires certain employers to provide their employees with either paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. The FFCRA will be in effect until December 31st, 2020.
Qualifying Private Employers: The FFCRA applies to private employers of less than 500 employees. 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. Employers that are forced to be shut down due to COVID-19 are not required to follow the FFCRA.
Paid Entitlement: The requirements of employee paid leave can be found here.
Emergency Family Medical Leave (FML) Expansion: Additional time off is available to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19. Qualifying employers must offer eligible workers (who have been employed for at least 30 days) up to 12 weeks of expanded FML. The first two weeks, or ten working days, are unpaid, but the employee can fill that gap with certain available paid time off, or emergency paid sick leave. During the remaining ten weeks, the employee is paid two-thirds of their regular salary until they return to work, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total.