• Jackson Shields Yeiser


By Paula Jackson

April 16, 2021

Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), employers can voluntarily extend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (“FFCRA”) Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) and Emergency Family Medical Leave (“EFML”) to employees from April 1, through September 30, 2021, and receive certain tax credits.[1]

ARPA changes some of the EPSLA and EFMLA leave requirements and obligations for this time frame. Basically, employees can now get up to 14 weeks of combined paid leave (i.e., 10 days for EPSL and another 12 weeks for EFML) for nine qualifying reasons.[2]

The 10-day EPSL bank of available leave starts over April 1, 2021, and now includes the following three qualifying reasons for leave: (1) obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine; (2) recovering from any illness or condition related to that vaccine; or (3) seeking or awaiting results of a COVID-19 diagnosis or test if the employee was exposed to COVID-19 or the employer requested the test or diagnosis.[3]

As of April 1, 2021, employees can now use EFML for any of the six qualifying reasons previously stated under EPSL (instead of just for childcare) as well as for the three new qualifying reasons stated above (e.g., getting a vaccine, recovering from any condition related to that vaccine, or getting a test or diagnosis if exposed to COVID or required by the employer).[4] Additionally, the employee should now be paid for the entire 12 weeks of EFML.[5] Further, ARPA increased the limit on the tax credit for EFML wages to $200 per day for up to a total of $12,000 per employee (instead of the previous $10,000 cap).[6]

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] See American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), Section 3131, 3132 at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-117hr1319enr/pdf/BILLS-117hr1319enr.pdf. [2] See id. [3] See ARPA, Section 3131(c). [4] See id. [5] SeeARPA, Section 3132(c)(2)(A)(ii). [6] See ARPA, Section 3132(c).

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