I really wanted to blog about the policemen who got fired for catching Pokémon rather than criminals. But, sigh, I’ll save that for a future blog post.
Instead, I’ll share some scoop from Eleanor Mueller at Politico, who reports here that three separate sources have confirmed that the White House is “exploring a push for a coronavirus-related paid leave program akin to that enacted in an earlier round of pandemic relief.”
Specifically, the White House wants Congress to pass provisions to provide all workers with two weeks of Covid-related sick leave at full pay and 12 weeks of Covid-related family and medical leave at two-thirds pay.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which took effect on April 1, 2020, required private employers with fewer than 500 employees and governmental agencies), provided employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
The mandatory leave requirements of the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, but I still suffer from flashbacks from some of those questions I received during those early sessions of The Employer Handbook Zoom Office Hour. Although, you could say that this law helped put my kids through college.
I didn’t know that certain 529 college accounts carried Triple Platinum Status.
Anyway, Ms. Mueller reports that the program would be “short-lived, with an expiration date likely later this year,” if it has the support from Congress to get it passed at all. The article is silent about which employers any new law would cover and whether the government would provide tax credits.
In the meantime, many states and localities have their own forms of paid leave. Here is a chart I found that is updated through January 1, 2022.