Appropriations Act Extends FFCRA Tax Credits But Does Not Extend FFCRA Paid Leave Requirements

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020, did not extend the December 31, 2020, expiration date for the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Therefore, FFCRA-covered employers are no longer required to provide emergency paid sick or family leave under federal law.

However, the Act did extend the FFCRA tax credits for covered employees until March 31, 2021, under these circumstances:

  • If an employee still has a remaining FFCRA leave balance available for use; and
  • If the employer voluntarily allows the employee to use his or her FFCRA leave balance.

If an employee has already used all leave up to the FFCRA limits, the Act does not increase the tax credits available to covered employers for paid leave. Therefore, employers may continue to provide leave that would have been required under the FFCRA and receive tax credits until March 31, 2021, only if the employee still has paid leave available for use.

The DOL also updated its FFCRA FAQ section to advise employers and employees that the Department of Labor (DOL) will enforce the FFCRA for complaints made within the appropriate statute of limitations (two years from the date of the alleged violation or three years if the violation was willful).

As employers grapple with the impact of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and return to normal business operations, it is important for them to be aware of their compliance obligations under the FFCRA, CARES Act, and other guidance issued by governmental agencies. Employers should also carefully review the guidance and legislation for potential avenues of benefit for their business and employees.

Additional guidance for both mandatory and optional items is likely forthcoming as well, and COVID-19 continues to have a major impact on both companies and individuals as new infections spike in numerous states. 

Hall Benefits Law has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 678-439-6236.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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