COVID-19 Updates From Shelter to Families First

03.27.20Baylee Olsen

As you and yours navigate the daily changing environment, we want to assure you of our commitment to providing you with our support, interpretation, and clarification of the COVID-19 impact to your organization. We know that you have been inundated with all kinds of information, some of which has been confusing and unclear. Our goal at SDHR Consulting (SDHRC) is to provide the most accurate, up-to-date and practical information about this challenging situation. Since this information changes daily, we are here for you should you have any specific questions or concerns in regard to the unique challenges that your organization is facing.

You may access our COVID-19 Resources page for more information. As always, SDHRC is here to support you! 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

This Act was signed into law by the president on March 18th. The Department of Labor has announced that the FFCRA goes into effect on April 1st and lasts through December 31st, 2020. Employers with up to 500 employees are covered by this Act. 

Employers are required to provide notice to their employees about the FFCRA.  This Employee Rights Notice can be used to educate your employees and will meet the notification requirements of the law.

The important information that employers need to be aware of is:

Sick Leave

● Employers must provide employees with 80 hours of sick leave (can be prorated for part-time employees) to use for COVID-19 reasons including 1) being subject to a government quarantine order 2) a health care provider quarantine order 3) seeking a medical diagnosis due to experiencing symptoms 4) caring for another person who has been quarantined and 5) to care for a child of their school or childcare provider is not available.

● The sick leave is in addition to any other vacation, PTO or sick leave that is offered by the employer.

● For reasons 1) through 4) the sick leave is paid at 100% of the employee’s salary up to $511 per day.  

● For reason 5) the sick leave is paid at ⅔ the employee’s salary up to $200 per day.

● Employers will be given Sick Leave Credit for Social Security taxes to offset the cost.

Emergency Family Medical Leave (FMLA)

● Employers must provide employees with 12 weeks of leave to care for a child because their school or daycare has closed.

● The first 10 days are unpaid but the employee can use sick leave, vacation or PTO to receive pay.

● The next 10 weeks of leave is paid at ⅔ or the employee’s salary up to $200 per day.

● Employers will be able to get a tax credit for the amount that they paid out under Emergency FMLA.

For more details on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act please review FAQ’s About the Act.

CA Governor’s Shelter At Home Executive Order

Essential Employers as defined by the CA Essential Critical Workers List are able to keep their worksites open but must make sure to follow all precautions necessary to keep their employees safe. This can also include allowing employees to work from home if that is feasible for the business.

Employers who have closed their worksite in response to the CA Governor’s Executive Order or those employers who are suffering financial strain due to the current situation have some options based on the Company’s financial ability.

Work from Home: Instituting a telecommuting policy, tracking hours worked and ensuring employees are properly classified.

Layoff: Means to actually terminate your employee and employer is required to pay all accrued PTO/Vacation. 

Furlough: Not an actual termination and the employer is not required to pay out accrued PTO/vacation (unless their policy states otherwise). The notice requirements for furlough are relaxed in light of the current pandemic however employers are required to provide reasonable notice with an explanation of reasons for the furlough.

Please contact us and we can help you walk through these options and what makes sense for your employees and your business.  Stay tuned for our next blog post as updates occur. Stay Healthy!