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Expanded Family and Medical Leave

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2020 | Maryland Legal Information

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which was enacted into law on March 18, 2020, and takes effect April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, applies to private employers that employ less than 500 employees.

Under the FFCRA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) has been expanded through December 31, 2020 to allow FMLA leave (up to 12 weeks) to be used for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency concerning Coronavirus, as declared by federal, state, or local authorities.

A qualifying need is limited to circumstances where the employee is unable to work or telework due to the need to care for a child under 18 if the child’s school or child care is closed due to a Coronavirus-related public health emergency.

Under the FFCFRA, employees are eligible for the leave if they have worked for the employer for at least 30 calendar days. If an employee takes leave to care for a child due to a Coronavirus-related school closure, the first 10 days of the leave may be unpaid.  The employee may then elect to use accrued vacation or sick leave during this time.

After this first 10 days, the employer must provide paid leave of no less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 aggregate.