04.21.2021 | COVID-19 | Newsletters

Federal COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave and FMLA are Expanded and Extended–But Voluntary

The March 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) permits employers of 500 or fewer employees to provide paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) COVID-19 leave on a voluntary basis. Employers who provide these benefits may obtain a credit against payroll taxes for the benefits paid through September 30, 2021. To claim the tax credit, employers offering the benefits must offer them to all employees.

The paid sick leave is expanded to provide leave time for purposes of obtaining a vaccination, recovering from illness after a vaccine, or waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.

Under 2020’s FFRCA, COVID-related FMLA leave was paid only for employees taking leave to care for their child whose school or child care provider was not available due to COVID-19. Under ARPA, FMLA leave is paid for all COVID-19 related purposes.

Review the pertinent portions of the ARPA for details.

Related practice team: Labor and Employment

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