Updated: Feb 17

By Chad V. Sorenson, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

President, Adaptive HR Solutions

President Elect, HR Florida State Council

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

SENATE HAS APPROVED and the President has signed THE REVISED BILL

Significant differences from Bill approved on Friday night

Link to final bill: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr6201/BILLS-116hr6201enr.pdf

The US Congress has now passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (R 6201) and was just signed by President Trump. The Secretary of Labor now has up to 15 days to put it into full effect.

There have been some significant changes since my last post over the weekend. Following is a summary of the bill in bullet form to help employer understand what they will be facing shortly. The bill is good for employees in providing financial assistance should their lives be directly impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, to help small and medium-sized employers, the bill has placed limits on the amount paid out to employees and provides tax credits for the sums paid to employees under this bill.

Note that my commentary only covers the items directly impacting small and medium-sized employers. It is also important to note that this bill applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Information contained in this blog still has to be finalized by the Secretary of Labor and never should be taken as legal advice, but rather clarification assistance from a fellow HR practitioner.


  • Public Health Emergency Leave has now been added - and will sunset on 12/31/20.

  • Employers covered - employers with fewer than 500 employees. (Does not apply to employers with 500 or more employees.)

  • Employee covered - must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days. (No 12 month or 1250 hour requirement)

  • Only one qualification for this leave - “employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.” There is now no qualification for illness or caring for someone with an illness.

  • Health care providers and emergency responders can be exempted from this type of leave.

  • The Secretary of Labor can also exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of providing this leave ”when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business.” There may be further clarification of this process.

  • The first 10 days of this leave may consist