The U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) has issued two additional Q&As regarding employee leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Q&As 104 and 105 were issued on December 31, 2020. They address employees’ entitlement to FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020, and their right to payment for FFCRA leave taken before December 31, 2020.
December 31, 2020
The employee leave mandate under the FFCRA expired. The DOL issued two new Q&As regarding leave entitlements before and after the expiration of the mandate.
March 31, 2021
Employers may receive tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021.
Employee Leave Taken After December 31, 2020
Q&A 104 explains that employers are not required to provide employees with FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020, even if they did not use all available leave in 2020. However, employers may voluntarily decide to provide this leave. Employers that voluntarily provide leave can receive tax credits for leave provided until March 31, 2021.
The obligation to provide FFCRA leave applied from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Any extension of the FFCRA leave requirement would require an amendment to the statute by Congress. While the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) extended employer tax credits until March 31, 2021, did not extend an eligible employee’s entitlement to FFCRA leave beyond December 31, 2020.
Compensation for FFCRA Leave Taken Before December 31, 2020
Q&A 105 states that employees must be compensated for FFCRA leave taken before December 31, 2020. Employees whose employers failed to pay them as required by the FFCRA for leave that occurred before December 31, 2020, may contact the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division about filing a complaint, as long as they do so within two years of the last action they believe to violate the FFCRA. According to the Q&A, employees in this position may also have a private right of action for alleged violations.