October 8, 2020
The JUSTLAW Team

The FMLA and why should all business owners be aware of it

What is the FMLA?

The FMLA stands for the Family Medical Leave Act. Under this act, qualified employees
are entitled to take time off in order to care for their families.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, the FMLA ordinarily provided qualified
employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for various reasons. Such reasons include
caring for a newborn, caring for a new adopted child, or caring for a family member with an
illness.

What are the requirements to meet the FMLA?

The FMLA applies to employers with fifty (50) or more employees. The employer must
have had 50 or more employees for at least a period of twenty or more weeks.
In addition, employees must have worked for 1,250 hours over a 12 month,
non-consecutive period.

How has the FMLA changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus
Response Act into law on March 18, 2020. The purpose was to help those who were forced to
miss work because they have to care for a loved one with an illness, specifically COVID-19.
Furthermore, it applies to employees who are forced to quarantine, caring for a child who does
not have school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or was told to stay home due to the doctor’s
orders.

The act provides employees with partially paid leave for twelve weeks. For ​f​ull-time
employees who have to stay home due to a COVID-19 related reason, they are eligible for their
regular pay rate for a period of two work weeks, which is capped at $511 for each work day and
$5,110 over the whole two weeks. Part time employees will have their paid leave adjusted
accordingly depending on how many hours they work a week.

Under this act, the requirements for an eligible employee have dropped in terms of how
long they have had to work in order to receive paid leave. Under this act, an employee would
have had to have worked for 30 work days or more. However, this still only applies to employers
with 50 or more employees.

Finally, the moment that all you business owners have been waiting for. You can get
reimbursed through a tax credit. If you would like more information on this, set up a quick20-minute consultation with us and we will help you determine how to access your
reimbursement.

* * * * * *

The FMLA and the subsequent legislation, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, will
act as a lifesaver for your employees and will not leave you hanging. Don’t forget, as mentioned
above, that your friends here at JustLaw are here to help you along the way as we all navigate
through these unprecedented times.