New Employer Benefits Law Helps Working Parents Financially

As schools reopen across the country, over 1,000 students had to quarantine due to a coronavirus outbreak at one school in Atlanta only a few days after opening, noticed by working parents of adult and younger children. The following week the same thing happened at a school in Denver. 

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Rough school reopenings are making educators’ rethink plans for the Fall. This will also affect the work schedules of many parents. The risks are high with sick students equating to sick parents. With COVID-19’s dramatic effects on the economy, a wide range of employee leave laws may be an option to help struggling parents; separate and apart from an employer’s own paid time off policy. The problems are the laws do not do enough to help parents now. Families working from home are feeling the pinch in their pockets daily. 

Federal lawmakers already passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The FFCRA has two important services: addressing emergency paid sick leave and aid on expanded family and medical leave.

When it comes to school and child care, the Department of Labor currently says covered workers can access up to two weeks of pay, or max 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave at two-thirds of their pay. The cap on pay in this time period is $200 daily and $2,000 in total.

A covered worker who has been on the payroll for one month or more can tap the law’s expanded family and medical leave for an additional 10 weeks of pay at two-thirds compensation. In that 10-week period, an employer pays a maximum of $200 a day and up to $10,000 in total. Employers receive a dollar matched for tax credits that cover them for paying that leave time. 

The law helps only employers with less than 500 workers in medium-sized companies. A small business with fewer than 50 workers can also apply for an exemption. The paid leave programs are currently in effect from April 1, 2020, till Dec. 31, 2020.

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