As unemployment claims spike in North Carolina and across the country, workers are looking to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to provide relief. The act goes into effect on April 1 and our founder Laura Noble spoke with ABC 11 Eyewitness News about how the act may impact employees and employers. As this crisis continues, our Noble Law COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Task Force will continue to provide our North Carolina and New York communities with coronavirus employment law resources.
Laura Noble warned of potential layoffs:
“Some small businesses may be taking the opportunity today [March 31] to conduct large layoffs so that they’re not going to be subjected to a slew of employees potentially asking to qualify for that paid family medical leave.”
Noble also spoke to the challenges faced by small businesses during this time:
“And so while the small businesses will get a tax credit with respect to this paid leave, that’s not going to help them much if they don’t have any revenue.”
This law hasn’t worked its way through the court systems yet, but as we move forward, the department of labor should provide guidance.
COVID-19/Coronavirus and North Carolina Unemployment
The state unemployment office had received 305,000 claims between March 16 and March 31, and that number will likely increase as we continue to deal with this pandemic. The restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard, and 350,000 positions in the state’s 500,000 restaurant jobs have already been eliminated.
For those North Carolinians who are struggling and out of work, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a glimmer of hope in uncertain times.
Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under FFCRA
The law requires certain employers to provide their employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who need to take leave from work for reasons related to COVID-19. These may include the following:
- The employee or someone the employee is caring for is subject to a government quarantine order or has been advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine;
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical actions; or,
- The employee or someone the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVI-19.
Learn more about the FFCRA leave requirements at the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Divison and from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Noble Law Stands Ready
Our employment law firm is doing its part to help contain the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus, and our entire staff is working remotely. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t still working hard for our clients every single day. We are a technology-driven employment law firm, and our digital doors are open! We have video consultations during regular business hours, and even after-hours and weekends by request, to help you deal with any workplace legal issues you may have. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our employment law attorneys.