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The wait is finally over! On Sunday, December 27, 2020, a sweeping stimulus bill was signed into law. Within the over 5,000 pages of the bill, we have an official answer to the question: “What will happen to the FFCRA in 2021?”

FFCRA Leave Become Optional

Beginning January 1, 2021, employers are no longer required to provide their employees with paid leave under either the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act or the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, which were both enacted under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA went into effect April 1, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020.

However, private employers may still claim the tax benefit if they chose to continue providing their employees with leave under the FFCRA framework. As you know, employers receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits for wages paid to employees while out on paid leave pursuant to the FFCRA. Now, employers who choose to continue providing FFCRA leave to their employees can continue claiming these tax benefits until March 31, 2021.

Public Employers

Like private employers, public employers can continue providing FFCRA leave to their employees if they so choose. However, unlike private employers, they have no economic incentive to do so. It’s probably unlikely that public employers will continue offering their employees FFCRA leave in 2021.

Best Practices

Employers should make whichever decision is right for them, their business, and their employees. That being said, whichever route is chosen should be clearly communicated to employees as soon as possible, despite the quick turnaround time. Though it goes without saying, whichever approach is taken should be applied consistently across the board for all employees.

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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Kevin M. Mosher

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