UPDATE 3.11.21: President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on March 11, further extending federal coronavirus paid leave benefits until Sept. 30, 2021.

The act extends the period during which tax credits are available to eligible employers (under 500 full time employees) that voluntarily provide paid sick and family leave after March 31, 2021.

The tax credit is refundable and initially applied against the Medicare portion of employers’ FICA taxes (1.45%) for qualified wages paid for the period beginning April 1, 2021 and ending Sept. 30, 2021.

This is similar to the tax credit which was available to employers when paid leave was temporarily mandated under the 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

UPDATE 12.28.20: Congress passed legislation Dec. 21, 2020 that was signed by the president Dec. 27 extending federal coronavirus paid leave benefits until March 31, 2021.

While mandatory benefits expire Dec. 31, 2020, covered employers may voluntarily provide emergency paid sick leave or emergency paid FMLA leave under FFCRA and take the tax credits associated with this leave from Jan. 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division requires that covered employers (certain public sector employers and private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees) post a notice of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises.

An employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or by posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.

Additional considerations:

  • There is no requirement to post this notice in multiple languages
  • Notice must be provided to new hires either by email, direct mail, or on the premises or an employee internal or external website
  • All covered employers must post this notice regardless of whether their state requires greater protections. The employer must comply with both federal and state law.

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