Posted 3 months ago - by

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Payroll Systems remains 100% operational during the Shelter in Place order.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

Who is subject:

Employers with fewer than 500 workers (note there are exceptions)

Effective Dates:

The legislation was amended to become effective April 1, 2020. The law only applies to paid sick leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. It only applies to paid sick leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. It is not retroactive and does not apply to leave taken or paid before April 1st. Leave must be taken before it can be paid.

Emergency Sick leave:

80 hrs for full time employees or a pro-rated amount for part time employees

Emergency Family Leave:

12 weeks

Who pays for it:

Employers, but the IRS will refund the amounts paid through a credit against payroll taxes. Note that the employer must have the cash available to pay the employees – it is not provided by the IRS.

How do I pay my employees for these benefits:

Payroll Systems will provide the earnings codes necessary for clients to pay and administer benefits under the Act. The codes will be added to your company as soon as we have final guidance on the tax credits.


Sick leave for the employee

  • Paid to an employee: (i) subject to a coronavirus quarantine or isolation order, (ii) who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus concerns, (iii) who is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Up to 80 hours for full time employees, prorated for part time employees.
  • Paid at the employee’s pay rate and capped at $511 per day.
  • Wages paid are not subject to the 6.2 social security tax (both employee and employer).

Sick leave can also be used to take time off to care for family members. If Sick Leave is used for this purpose, it is subject to the following conditions.

  • Paid to an employee: (i) caring for an individual described in (i) or (ii) above, (ii) caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or the child care provider of the child is unavailable, due to coronavirus precautions, (iii who is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by HHS in consultation with the Treasury and Labor Departments.
  • Up to 80 hours for full time employees, pro rated for part time employees.
  • Paid at 2/3 of employee’s pay rate, capped at $200 per day.
  • Wages paid are not subject to the 6.2 social security tax (both employee and employer).


  • The employee must have been on the job for at least 30 days.
  • Paid to employees who are unable to work or telework because they must care for a minor child if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or if the child-care provider of that child is unavailable due to a coronavirus emergency.
  • The first 10 days of leave can be unpaid.
  • Up to 12 weeks.
  • Paid at 2/3 of employee’s pay rate, capped at $200 per day.
  • Wages paid are not subject to the 6.2 social security tax (both employee and employer).


  • Amounts paid to employees under these benefits will be refunded to employers by a credit against the employer’s payroll taxes.
  • An employee may also claim a credit for “qualified health plan expenses relating to those wages”
  • If the employer’s payments to employees exceed the amount of the employer’s payroll tax, then the additional amount will be refunded to the employer


Employers must post the “Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave” notice in a conspicuous place. The requirement may also be satisfied by emailing or mailing the notice directly to employees. See link below

Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave

Other Resources

Questions and Answers on the FFCRA

Fact Sheet for Employers

Fact Sheet for Employees

Note that this document is a summary only. Please refer to the Act for further details and exceptions. Additional guidance is expected by the Department of Labor by April 1st, 2020.

Read full Department of Labor news release

Payroll Systems, LLC. |


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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.