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Let’s Review the FFCRA while Celebrating Mobile

More of Mobile’s downtown treasures are opening back up in the next few weeks. T.P. Crockmiers’ welcomes patrons back tomorrow, Friday August 21st.  The Crescent Theater opens its doors August 28th. These are excellent signs that life in Mobile is slowly returning to normal, but there are still closures and families are still impacted.

We thought this is an excellent opportunity to revisit two components in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave. The FFCRA was passed by Congress in March 2020, becoming effective April 1, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2020. You are covered by these two components if your employer has less than 500 employees, were employed at least 30 days prior to April 1, 2020 and worked part-time or full-time hours. (If part-time, the benefit amounts will be adjusted.) Small businesses with under 50 employees may request a hardship exemption.

The part of the Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act we will be reviewing is eligible to parents of children who need to take time off of work to stay home with them due to school or daycare closings because we receive the most questions about this portion. To take this leave:

  • You must request it from your employer;
  • The employer may require you to complete a form or turn in documentation;
  • You are limited to 12 weeks total time off of total Family Medical Leave in a 12-month period;
  • If you have used Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) prior to this for an illness, you are limited to the remainder of the 12 weeks;
  • If you used Expanded FMLA during the spring when schools closed down, you are limited to the unused remainder of the 12 weeks; and
  • The 12 month period is determined by your employer and may not run on a calendar year cycle.

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave is sick leave separate from traditional sick pay. This is available to employees that contract coronavirus or are quarantined by a medical professional or Federal, State or Local rules governing quarantine due to coronavirus exposure. Your employer will pay you sick leave for this absence and it will not be docked from your sick leave balance. It is also available to you even if you do not have a sick leave benefit.

For more information, the Department of Labor has published several FAQs. This one is quite exhaustive.

This is intended to provide a broad overview. Please seek professional advice from an attorney if you have questions about your situation

Loper Law LLC

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452 Government Street, Suite E
Mobile, Alabama 36602
(251) 288-8308