The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) was signed into law on March 18, 2020. This summary reflects these changes.
Both Democratic and Republican party leadership and the Administration indicated that a third emergency supplemental is being drafted. That supplemental is expected to focus on industry-specific assistance. McDermott+Consulting continues to closely monitor these developments and will keep you updated.
H.R. 6201, as amended, would require employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave. If an employee is on leave for more than two weeks, the employer would be required to provide FMLA leave to equal a total of three months (12 weeks) of leave paid at a reduced rate. The sick leave and FMLA leave must be related to the coronavirus pandemic. Health care providers and emergency responders are excepted from these requirements; employers with fewer than 50 employees can seek an exception.
The bill provides payroll tax credits to offset the costs of providing this leave. The bill also provides $1 billion in grant funding to help states manage and expand their unemployment insurance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of states with a more than 10% increase in unemployment, the bill would waive requirements to raise the unemployment tax for employers with high lay-off rates.
Sick Leave (for Employers with Fewer than 500 Employees)
FMLA (for Employers with Fewer than 500 Employees Who Have Been Employed for at Least 30 Days)
Tax Credits to Offset Costs of Paid Sick Leave Entitlement
The bill would appropriate $1.2 billion to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide additional nutrition assistance to affected areas and populations. Key populations include low-income seniors and their caregivers, local food banks, pregnant and postpartum women, and students who lose access to school lunch programs as a result of COVID-19-related school closures. The bill would also grant states additional flexibility in providing nutrition aid under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Child Nutrition Program.
Key food assistance provisions in H.R. 6201 include:
H.R. 6201 would require private health plans to cover diagnostic testing for COVID-19 at no cost to consumers.
Federal Medical Assistance Percentages