BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 19, 2019)—President Donald Trump signed HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law yesterday. The bill responds to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.
The law includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL), which includes provisions that requires paid leave for specified coronavirus-related reasons in the following amounts: (1) 80 hours for full-time employees; (2) the equivalent of two weeks of pay for part-time employees, based on their prior two-week average; and (3) two-thirds of the foregoing amounts for leave required when the employee is caring for an individual who is under a government-ordered quarantine or a quarantine recommended by a health care provider, or because of a need for childcare resulting from school closures.
Private employers with less than 500 employees or public employees with more than one employee are subject to the act.
The bill also includes provisions Department of Health and Human Services nutrition programs for the elderly.