The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 1, 2020, contains certain requirements for emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family leave, applicable to all employers with fewer than 500 employees. The legislation indicated that employers with fewer than 50 employees were generally subject to the requirements but may qualify for an exemption. No specific guidance was initially provided as to what that exemption might look like. The U.S. Department of Labor now updated their FAQs to include guidance for employers with fewer than 50 employees seeking an exemption. Specifically, the DOL provided as follows:
When does the small business exemption apply to exclude a small business from the provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act?
An employer, including a religious or nonprofit organization, with fewer than 50 employees (small business) is exempt from providing (a) paid sick leave due to school or place of care closures or child care provider unavailability for COVID-19 related reasons and (b) expanded family and medical leave due to school or place of care closures or child care provider unavailability for COVID-19 related reasons when doing so would jeopardize the viability of the small business as a going concern. A small business may claim this exemption if an authorized officer of the business has determined that:
If I am a small business with fewer than 50 employees, am I exempt from the requirements to provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?
A small business is exempt from certain paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements if providing an employee such leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. This means a small business is exempt from mandated paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave requirements only if the:
The Department encourages employers and employees to collaborate to reach the best solution for maintaining the business and ensuring employee safety.
For more on FFCRA:
See All COVID-19 News