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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Recommendations 3-30-20

As we enter another week of the CoV pandemic, we are confronting a range of new developments and challenges. For example, FFCRA becomes effective Wednesday, April 1st, 2020. Generally, FFCRA provides paid sick leave and paid expanded family and medical leave to employees, subject to certain qualifying reasons, caps, and exceptions.

As to the basics regarding FFCRA, see our prior FAQ page. Below are answers and recommendations regarding some of the most common questions we have received since publishing the FAQ.


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  • FFCRA is effective April 1 through December 31.
  • FFCRA does not apply retroactively.
  • Post an FFCRA Notice and, for employees not working onsite, distribute the notice via mail or email, or post it on a website accessible to employees. Additional information regarding the notice requirement can be found here.
  • Establish two new payroll categories, for Emergency Paid Sick Leave ("EPSL") and Emergency Family & Medical Leave ("EFML").
  • Document FFCRA leave, and retain any documentation provided by employees (although that may not be the traditional doctor’s note, as health care providers are swamped).
  • Safer-At-Home and business closure orders may not, in and of themselves, qualify employees for FFCRA pay or leave. Similarly, employees are not eligible for pay or leave under FFCRA in the event of furlough or temporary layoff.
  • For employees who already qualify for FMLA, the paid expanded family and medical leave does not increase the 12 weeks already provided.
  • Employees may take intermittent leave, subject to approval of the employer.
  • Employers must offer continued health coverage to employees on EPSL or EFML.

The DOL has also released Fact Sheets (here and here) and Questions and Answers (here, here, and here) that walk through various issues.

Please note: This page contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek legal counsel for analysis and advice tailored to your particular circumstances.