The FFCRA, passed by Congress in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to mandate paid leave benefits to eligible employees for certain qualifying events, expired on December 31, 2020. Although Congress passed new stimulus legislation in January 2021, that legislation does not extend the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) benefits established under the FFCRA.
While employers are no longer required to provide EPSL and EFMLA benefits, the new law does extend the FFCRA tax credits for those employers who decide to voluntarily continue to provide those benefits to their employees, until March 31, 2021. Information about refundable tax credits for qualified leave wages can be found on the IRS website http://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/new-employer-tax-credits.
The DOL guidance also reminds employers that its Wage and Hour Division will continue to enforce the FFCRA for any leave taken or requested between April 1 and December 31, 2020 which was not paid by the employer. The statute of limitations for both the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA is two years from the date of the alleged violation (or three years in cases involving alleged willful violations). The updated DOL guidance can be found at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions#104
The Labor and Employment Law team at Berchem Moses will continue to keep you updated on all pertinent legal updates on the ongoing issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and remain available to help you navigate these unprecedented challenges.