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HOW FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT APPLIES ONCE THE SCHOOL TERM RESUMES

As school is about to resume, many employers are wondering how the expanded FMLA under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) will apply.  When school is closed or regular daycare facilities are closed due to COVID-19, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, parents are entitled to twelve weeks of leave.  The first two weeks are unpaid and the next ten weeks are paid at two-thirds the employee’s average daily rate.  What this means is that once school resumes, if there is an outbreak in a school or if the state shuts down schools for any period of time, parents may be eligible to apply for the FFCRA extended Family Medical Leave Act.  If the parent/employee hasn’t used the two weeks of emergency sick leave called for under the FFCRA, then the first two weeks of unpaid extended FFCRA Family Medical Leave could be paid under this portion of the law.  However, the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave is only available one time in the 2020 calendar year.  Therefore, if it has been used once already, the employee would not be eligible in this instance.

Another thing to remember is that the extended FFCRA FMLA leave does not give any additional leave time.  Meaning that if an employee has used any amount of FMLA time in the preceding twelve months, that time is deducted from the available extended FFCRA FMLA leave time.  Therefore, if an employee used four weeks previously for surgery or to care for a sick family member, the employee would only be eligible for eight weeks of extended FFCRA FMLA leave.

Finally, an important part of this law is that the extended FFCRA FMLA leave is only available if the employee is unable to perform the functions of their job.  This includes teleworking.  Therefore, if you as an employer allow your employee to telework and provide flexibility to allow for them to care for their child while the child is home from school or daycare, the employee would not be eligible for the extended FFCRA FMLA leave.  This could include having a varying schedule such that the employee is allowed to work for part of the time in the morning and part of the time in the evening after school hours.

Finally, should an employee qualify for the extended FMLA time, the employer would be eligible for a tax credit for the wages paid under this leave.

If you have any questions regarding how the FFCRA extended FMLA leave will apply once the school term resumes or the availability of the tax credits, please do not hesitate to contact me.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at www.HKQLaw.com or by calling (800) 760-1529.

				

 

As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.


These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.

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