Expanded FMLA - Paid Family Leave Mandate for Paid Family Leave The legislation includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA), which provides a temporary expansion of the FMLA to cover a new category of leave related to COVID-19. Notably, the new COVID-19 Paid Family Leave is not a standalone provision of the law. Rather, it builds upon the existing FMLA law and the long-standing definitions and regulations that support it.
Paid Leave Benefit Amount Benefits are calculated based on the employee’s regular rate of pay and the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work. • 66.67% of regular pay • $200 per day maximum benefit • $10,000 aggregate maximum benefit The first 10 days of leave may be unpaid. After day 10, paid leave must be provided. This is a notable deviation from other FMLA leaves, as all other FMLA leaves are unpaid (except that benefits must be continued). Duration The maximum duration of benefits is 12 weeks. Who is a Son or Daughter? The FMLA defines son or daughter as a biological, adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person taking the place of a parent. Benefits Continuation Employers are required to maintain an employee's employee benefits coverage during a paid family leave on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. The employee generally must continue to make any normal contributions to the cost. This requirement applies for the duration of the 12-week paid family leave period. Employer Notices and Procedures An employer must post a notice for employees about the requirements of the law. The DOL has provided a model notice . Vita also provided a model notice .
Who is Subject? Employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide paid leave due to the public health emergency. Eligibility for Paid Leave The emergency leave is available when an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave that meets all of the following criteria: • To care for a son or daughter under age 18 because a school or place of care has been closed, or a childcare provider is unavailable • The need is due to the COVID-19 public emergency • The employee has been employed for at least 30 days (note this is a deviation from the standard 12- month waiting period for other types of FMLA leave). Rehired employees are immediately eligible to take EFMLA if they were laid off after March 1, 2020 but had worked for the employer for at least 30 of the last 60 calendar days prior to the layoff. Notably, regular FMLA allows for unpaid leave for the care of a spouse, child, or other family members with a serious health condition. This extended paid family leave is restricted to the care of children and only for the specific reasons outlined above.
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