The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”, H. R. 6201, Public Law 116-127) enacted on March 18, 2020 and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act enacted on March 27, 2020 (“CARES Act”, H. R. 748, Public Law 116-136) address many issues. Specific to employee benefits, these laws provide for mandated health coverage for coronavirus testing and related services, emergency paid sick leave, and emergency family and medical leave, as well as tax credits for providing emergency leave and continuation of health coverage for employers impacted by the COVID-19 situation.
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) mandate and tax credit initially expired December 31, 2020. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260, enacted December 27, 2020) did not extend the mandate, but allowed employers to continue to make the leave available and claim a tax credit through March 31, 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act (“ARP”, Pub. L. 117-2, enacted on March 11, 2021) further extended the tax credit to employers who choose to continue to make this leave available through September 30, 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act also provides a COBRA subsidy for assistance eligible individuals, as described below.
Click here for some FAQs relating to these laws.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines
Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)
Emergency Family and Medical (FMLA) Leave (EFML)
Coordinating EPSL and FMLA Leave Provisions
Notice Obligations: EPSL and EFML Leave
COBRA Premium Subsidy
Employee Benefit Plan Considerations
Layoffs, Furloughs and Effects on Benefits
About the Author: Karen R. McLeese is Vice President of Employee Benefit Regulatory Affairs for CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc., a division of CBIZ, Inc. She serves as in-house counsel, with particular emphasis on monitoring and interpreting state and federal employee benefits law. Ms. McLeese is based in the CBIZ Kansas City office.
The information contained herein is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations. The information contained herein is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. The information contained herein is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. Attorneys or tax advisors must be consulted for assistance in specific situations. This information is provided as-is, with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.