UPDATE: Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

Mark Campanale Coronavirus Alerts, Government Relations Updates

This Update covers two developments related to the March 2020 Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). First, the “paid sick leave” and “expanded family and medical leave” provisions expired on December 31, 2020. Second, Congress gave employers more time to claim tax credits for the paid sick or expanded family or medical leave they provided under the FFCRA. The tax credit extension provisions were part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 signed on December 27, 2020.

EXPIRED on December 31, 2020 FFCRA’s Expanded Paid Sick and Family Leave Requirements: Congress enacted the FFCRA, which required many employers to provide “paid sick leave” and expanded family and medical leave” related to the Coronavirus outbreak.
See GRC Updates from March 20 and 26, 2020:
Emergency Paid Leave Provisions of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Division E of H.R. 6201’s “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act” Revised March 20, 2020
Families First Coronavirus Act

No employer whose employees did not use any of the paid sick or family leave provided by the FFCRA is required to allow employees to use that leave after December 31, 2020 or to allow employees to carry that leave over into calendar 2021.

For information on the FFCRA’s expiration of its paid sick and family leave provisions, we recommend you and your local lawyer or accountant read the Department of Labor’s FAQs on these subjects, which is available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions. Specific information about the December 31, 2020 expiration of these leave provisions appears in FAQs 104 and 105.

EXTENDED Tax Credit Availability for Employers Who Provided FFCRA Paid Sick or Family Leave: The Consolidated Appropriations Act also provided an extension of time for employers to claim wages paid after December 31, 2020 and before April 1, 2021 that were attributable either to paid sick or family leave provided to employees for periods up to December 31, 2020, or to permit employers who voluntarily provide paid sick or expanded family medical leave after December 31, 2020. This appears to allow employers to use the tax credits provided by the FFCRA when they compute their 2020 federal taxes ─ even if the actual payments made to employees occurred after December 31, 2020.

Your lawyer or accountant can locate the information about the extensions of the time to claim the tax credits in Sections 286 and 288 of Title II of Division N of the legislation, beginning on page 2033 of the full bill’s 5593 pages.