On March 27, 2020, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) became law. Its provisions had some amendments, revisions, corrections, and additions to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Specifically, Sections 3600-3611 (Title III) of the CARES Act do the following:

  • Make the following key technical corrections and clarifications to the FFCRA:
    • Clarifies Section 110(b)(2)(B) and Section 5102 of the FFCRA that employers are not “required” to provide more than daily and aggregate caps to each employee under of the expanded FMLA and Paid Sick Leave portions of the Act.
    • Clarifies that Department of Labor regulations may be aimed at ensuring that the Paid Sick Leave and expanded FMLA portions of the FFCRA are carried out consistently with Divisions E and G of the FFCRA.
    • Clarifies that investigations into violations of the FFCRA by employers will be conducted in the same way as FLSA investigations under Sections 9 and 11 (witnesses, interviews, requests for records, etc.).
    • Makes certain other grammatical corrections.
  • Ease State burdens under the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act to provide application and application assistance for unemployment compensation by at least two of the following: in person, by phone, or online—“to the extent practicable.”
  • Make the following key additions to the FFCRA:
    • Allows the Director of the OMB to exclude certain government employers and government employees from the paid leave requirements of the FFCRA.
    • Extends expanded FMLA eligibility to employees who were laid off on or after 3/1/2020 (but who worked for 30 of last 60 days prior to layoff), but are later rehired.
    • Allows advancement of tax credits under Division G of the FFCRA where the amount of the credit exceeds the limits of the same for any calendar quarter.
    • Waives penalties for employers’ failures to deposit certain employment taxes “if he Secretary [of the Treasury] determines that such failure was due to the anticipation of the credit . . . .”
  • Contain various employee benefits provisions. See summary from Foley employment benefits and tax attorneys Leigh Riley, Casey Fleming, Amy Ciepluch, and Nick Welle, available on the Foley Coronavirus Resource Center.
  • Provide additional financial relief options to federal contractors as follows: Subject to the availability of appropriations, government agencies may use funds appropriated to them to “modify the terms and conditions of a contract” with federal contractors “to reimburse at the minimum applicable contract billing rates not to exceed an average of 40 hours per week any paid leave, including sick leave, a contractor provides to keep its employees or subcontractors in a ready state, including to protect the life and safety of Government and contractor personnel.”
    • This relief ends September 30, 2020.
    • It does not apply to federal contractors whose workers can telework.
    • The “maximum reimbursement” under this new provision is reduced by the amount of the tax credit to which the federal contractor is otherwise entitled.

For additional information regarding the FFCRA, please see Foley’s prior summary regarding the same. Foley has created a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional team, which has prepared a wealth of topical client resources and is prepared to help our clients meet the legal and business challenges that the coronavirus outbreak is creating for stakeholders across a range of industries. Click here for Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center to stay apprised of relevant developments, insights and resources to support your business during this challenging time. To receive this content directly in your inbox, click here and submit the form.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.