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Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Paid Sick Leave Provisions

Part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act creates a federal paid sick leave law providing for employer-paid leave of up to 80 hours to employees for COVID-19 issues. The provisions of this portion of the law apply to all employees, even those employed less than 30-days, and apply to all applicable employers. The employer may exclude employees who are health care providers or emergency responders from the sick leave requirement.


  • Subject to quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  • Employee advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
  • Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis
  • Caring for an individual who is subject to an order for quarantine or isolation or advised to self-quarantine
  • Caring for a dependent child if school or place of care is closed
  • Employee experiencing any other substantially similar condition

Employers are required to provide 80 hours of sick leave to full-time employees, while providing part-time employees with the number of hours averaged over a 2-week period. The sick leave must be provided in addition to the sick leave the applicable employer already provides.

The amount an employee is paid during this sick leave is based on the employee’s required compensation and the employees’ number of hours normally scheduled to work (with a special calculating rule for employees with varying hours). Generally, this means paid sick time is paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay (or minimum wage, whichever is greater). However, the final legislation added a special rule permitting employers to use two-thirds of the employee’s required compensation with respect to sick leave associated with family members.

The maximum amount of paid leave:

  • $511/day ($5,110 total) for leave associated with employee quarantine or isolation, self-quarantine, or seeking treatment for symptoms
  • $200/day ($2,000 total) for leave associated with caring for other eligible peoples

A model notice is being created by March 23rd, 2020 that employers can use to satisfy the provision that the sick leave policies must be posted.

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