October 3, 2022

Volume XII, Number 276


October 03, 2022

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Congress Allows FFCRA Leave to Expire But Extends Tax Credits for COVID-19 Related Leave in Certain Circumstances

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which required employers with less than 500 employees to provide paid leave to employees related to certain coronavirus-related circumstances. The FFCRA was scheduled to expire on December 31, and there was some debate in Congress about extending FFCRA’s leave requirements in the negotiations leading up to the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). 

Congress chose not to extend the FFCRA’s leave mandate so employers are no longer required to provide COVID-19 related leave under federal law. However, Congress encouraged employers to continue to provide COVID-19-related leave to employees by extending the FFCRA’s tax credit to covered employers (those with less than 500 employees) who voluntarily provide paid FFCRA leave to eligible employees until March 31, 2021.

To receive the tax credits, employers must comply with the same requirements previously applicable to mandated FFCRA leave. For example, the leave must fit one of FFCRA’s qualifying reasons, and employers must continue to adhere to the FFCRA’s prohibitions against interference, retaliation, and discrimination. As a refresher, FFCRA provides up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave to eligible employees who need time off from work because:

(a) They are subject to a government quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;

(b) They have been advised by a healthcare provider to quarantine due to COVID-19;

(c) They are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis;

(d) They are caring for someone related to COVID-19; and

(e) They are caring for a child whose school or place of child care has closed or is unavailable due to COVID-19. 

FFCRA also provides up to 10 weeks of partially paid leave for eligible employees who are caring for a child whose school or place of child care has closed or is unavailable due to COVID-19. 

There are some nuances to the CAA’s impact on the FFCRA leave tax credits, including employees who have previously exhausted their FFCRA leave entitlements in 2020 remain ineligible for tax credit-eligible leave (although leave may still be granted without the tax credit).

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About this Author

Gordan Hill Employment Litigator Hill Ward Henderson

Gordon is a Shareholder in the firm’s Litigation and Employment Law Groups, and is the firm's Assistant General Counsel for Labor and Employment matters. His practice primarily involves employment litigation and counseling, as well as noncompete litigation and general commercial litigation.

In his employment practice, Gordon advises, represents and defends corporate clients in a broad spectrum of employment-related issues. Gordon has successfully defended clients in a wide variety of employment-related litigation, but...

Jeff Wilcox Litigation Attorney Hill Ward Henderson Law Firm

Jeff is a Shareholder in the firm’s Litigation Group. His practice primarily focuses on employment law, including wage-hour compliance, FMLA and ADA compliance, allegations of discrimination and harassment, non-compete litigation, and handbook and policy drafting. 

Jeff is active in both professional and Bar-related activities.  He currently serves as a Director on the Hillsborough County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division Board, and is a member of the Employment and Labor Law Committee in the Defense Research Institute.  In 2014, Jeff received the Hillsborough County Bar...

Cory J. Person - Shareholder Hill Ward Henderson Litigation and Employment Law

Cory J. Person is a Shareholder with Hill Ward Henderson, practicing in the firm’s Litigation and Employment Law groups. His practice is primarily focused on the defense of products liability, premises liability, negligent security, general negligence and complex tort claims.  Cory also has extensive experience representing employers in litigation arising out of discrimination, harassment and non-competition agreements.  Prior to joining Hill Ward Henderson, Cory was a partner with a major insurance defense firm, with a similar practice focused on third party liability.  Cory...

Matthew Hall Insurance Litigator Hill Ward Henderson

Matthew practices in the firm’s Litigation group, primarily focusing in complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage disputes, management-side employment matters and federal court practice. The diversity of Matthew’s practice is reflected in the diversity of the clients he represents: from Fortune 100 companies to large insurance companies to small and up-and-coming businesses to individuals. Matthew has worked to obtain six-figure recoveries on behalf of his clients in breach of contract actions and successfully defended other clients from multi-million dollar...

Ryan M. Guerin - Associate HWH Law complex commercial litigation labor and employment

Ryan is an associate in the firm’s Litigation group. His practice primarily focuses in the area of labor and employment. Ryan also covers an array of general and complex commercial litigation matters.

Ryan represents employers in litigation involving claims of employment harassment, discrimination, retaliation, leave laws, wage and hour laws, whistleblower laws, enforcement of and defense against non-solicitation and non-competition agreements, background check laws, and other employment-related claims. Ryan represents numerous industries, including clients...