See below about paid leave and additional resources.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave Requirements Expired on December 31, 2020.

The emergency paid "sick leave" and expanded "family and medical leave" requirements of the FFCRA are no longer mandated as of December 31, 2020.  (Employers, however, can still be sued for violating these provisions while they were in effect.)  This means that, unless new (and at this point unexpected) legislation is passed, an employee is not entitled to FFCRA-leave after December 31, 2020, for COVID-19-related reasons. 

With the end of the COVID-19 pandemic not yet in sight, most employers confront the same questions that they did before the enactment of the FFCRA (and, for that matter, after it took effect and after an employee's entitlement to FFCRA-leave had been exhausted).  How should an employer handle an employee's request for leave when he or she has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or needs to stay home to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is not available due to the pandemic?  We have previously addressed some of these topics, such as intermittent leave policies and teleworking.  Employers may choose to modify paid and/or unpaid leave policies.  Moreover, some states may impose applicable requirements, such as paid sick leave laws.   Finally, employers may choose to provide paid leave and seek further FFCRA tax credits, which we address next.


Employers Can Take FFCRA Tax Credits Through March 31, 2021.


Although FFCRA leave is no longer required, the Relief Bill allows employers another calendar quarter of paid leave tax credits.  Section 286 of the Relief Bill ("Extension of Credits for Paid Sick and Family Leave") amends certain provisions of the FFCRA to allow employers to take a payroll tax credit for providing emergency paid "sick leave" and paid expended "family and medical leave" into the first quarter of 2021 for two purposes: (1) to recover costs of providing required FFCRA leave in 2020, and (2) to voluntarily provide paid emergency "sick leave" and emergency "family and medical leave" through March 31, 2021.  In other words: (1) if an employee took FFCRA-required leave in 2020, then the employer can take the appropriate tax credits in 2021; and (2) if an employer elects, voluntarily, to provide paid leave to an employee for an FFCRA-qualifying reason in Q1 of 2021, then it can take payroll tax credits for providing such paid leave. 


Arizona’s Paid Sick Time Law

Employers are required to provide all part-time employees at least twenty-four hours and all full-time employees at least forty hours of paid sick time annually. Paid sick time can be used for a myriad of COVID-19 related events, including when:

1. An employee or family member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
2. An employee or family member has been diagnosed with and/or is being treated for COVID-19.
3. An employee’s workplace has been closed by order of a public official.
4. An employee needs to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public official.
5. A public health official determines an employee or family member’s presence in the community may jeopardize the health of others due to exposure to COVID-19.
 

Q: What agency in the Federal government should I be reaching out to if I have questions as an employer or employee?

A: You can reach out to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division by calling their toll-free helpline: 1-866-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243), your call will be directed to the nearest division office for assistance to have your questions answered. You can also access support at webapps.dol.gov/contactwhd/ or at www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.  

Q: I haven’t received my Economic Impact Payment by January 15th. What should I do?

A: January 15 is the cut-off date in the $900 billion stimulus bill by which time the IRS and US Treasury must stop sending checks as part of this round of delivery. If you don't receive your full second stimulus check money by January 15, you will need to claim all or part of the missing amount when you file your federal tax returns in 2021 through the Recovery Rebate Credit.

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