The Emergency Coronavirus Bill and How This Will Impact Employers

March 16th, 2020
Human Resources, In The News, Risk Management, Workers Compensation

By:  Laurey West, SHRM-CP

Director of Operations


In my previous blog post on Dec. 12, 2019, I addressed the importance of having an emergency contingency plan. I have been working closely with our clients over the past few weeks assisting them in creating emergency contingency plans, creating memos to send to clients and customers and sending posters with safety tips related to the Coronavirus for our clients to post in common areas.

With all of the uncertainty related to the virus, I have been waiting to see what possible legislation may pass related to the virus and how companies will be expected to handle. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)” in the wee hours of March 14, 2020. The U.S. Senate is expected to pass this bill early next week.

What will this mean for employers with 500 employees or less?

The bill will provide 12 weeks of job-protected paid FMLA leave for employees of employers with 500 employees or less.  This benefit will apply to employees who have worked at least 30 calendar days. The first two weeks of this leave may be unpaid.

This bill will allow employees to take the leave to take care of children whose schools have closed due to the pandemic, care for a family member with Coronavirus or to respond to quarantine restrictions and requirements.

Employers must be prepared to pay employees impacted at least 2/3 of the employee’s regular pay while the employee is on this leave after the first 14 days of unpaid leave.

In addition, employers with fewer than 500 employees will be required to provide full-time employees at least 80 hours of paid sick leave related to the virus for self-isolation and doctor visits. Part-time employees will be entitled to the number of hours of paid sick leave equal to the number of hours they work, on average, over a two week period.

Employers will also be required to post this information in common areas for employees to view.

If passed, this leave will go into effect in 15 days after enactment and will expire on December 31, 2020.

Some resources to help you stay updated on the latest regarding the virus include the following:

We hope all of you stay safe and well.

Legal Disclaimer:
Employee Resource Administration, L.P. has made this web site and the materials shared on it available to the general public for informational purposes only. We are not employment lawyers or licensed to practice law; therefore, it is important for you to know that the information provided is not a legal opinion or legal advice of any kind. The content of this web site contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, employment law verdicts or settlements. Employee Resource Administration, L.P. expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the content of this site. We recommend seeking professional legal counsel before acting on any information provided in this web site.