Families First Corona Virus Response Act and Executive Order 107: What small business owners should know about employee accommodations

By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD

As school closings continue to force America’s workforce to navigate impossible choices between childcare and employment, New Jersey businesses should be aware of the following state and federal relief measures that currently remain in effect for all eligible employees.

Despite the execution of Executive Order 152, lifting many of the restrictions contained in earlier executive orders, the mandates contained in Executive Order 107 related to remote work were not repealed. All New Jersey businesses must continue to “accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements.” Therefore, if employees can perform their work remotely, they must be allowed to do so.

Effective through December 31, 2020, Section 3101 of the FFCRA, also known as the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of public emergency leave to care for their children. The Act applies to all employers with fewer than 500 employees but provides a “good cause” exception for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees where the requirements threaten the viability of their business.

After the first 10 days of public health emergency leave, an employer must pay,”not less than two-thirds an employees regular pay for the number of hours a week the employee normally works,” not to exceed $200 per day or $10,000 overall.  An employee may opt to use accrued paid leave during the first ten days. Upon completion of the 12 weeks, an employer must make “reasonable efforts to restore the employee to a position equivalent to the position the employee held when the leave commenced.”

If you have questions about compliance with these emergency leave requirements or would like guidance in how best to accommodate your employees, Contact Us.

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