Medical and Family Leave: COVID-19

Our Memphis Attorneys Explain FMLA and FFCRA

We’ve all been told to stay home when we are sick, but many Americans do not have this luxury. Without sick time, some people feel they have to choose between their paycheck and their health. Further, many workers do not have enough protected time off to care for their families, especially when welcoming a new family member or caring for relatives who cannot care for themselves.

To account for these dilemmas, the federal government developed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While these provisions protect workers and their families, they do not account for sick leave and proved insufficient when the country was faced with a global pandemic in March 2020.

As such, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) passed the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on April 1, 2020. This important act expands provisions of the FMLA and creates new protections for workers and their families.

If your employer interferes with the paid leave you are now entitled to by law, discuss your situation with Donati Law, PLLC.

What Leave Am I Eligible For?

The FFCRA does not replace the FMLA, so if you were eligible for medical and/or family leave under the FMLA, you still are. Now, under the FFCRA you are also eligible for:

  • 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at your regular rate of pay when you are quarantined and/or seeking treatment for COVID-19 symptoms
  • 2 weeks of paid sick leave at 2/3 your regular rate of pay when you are caring for a quarantined family member or a child whose school or childcare provider is closed because of COVID-19
  • Up to 10 additional weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at 2/3 your regular rate of pay when you are caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed (per above). *

*Only those who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days are eligible for paid expanded family and medical leave.

Unlike leave provided by the FMLA, which is unpaid and restricted for those who have been employed for at least 12 months, the leave provided by the FFCRA is available to all employees who have a qualifying reason (with the exception above).

Still, the FFCRA only applies to certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.

To find out whether FFCRA leave applies to your case and for assistance with uncooperative employers, call us at (901) 209-5500 today.

How To Use Your Leave

If you wish to use FMLA leave during this time, you must give your employer 30 days’ notice, or as much notice as possible. Employees should also provide notice of FFCRA leave whenever it is foreseeable and follow reasonable notice procedures even after their 1st sick day.

For eligible employees at covered employees, you should not have any difficulties getting leave from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

If you find that this is not the case, contact our Memphis paid leave lawyers ASAP.


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for investigating and enforcing compliance with the FFCRA. You may not be fired or retaliated against for using paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA.

If you have a complaint, you can file it by calling 1-866-487-9243.

You can also hold your employer accountable by retaining a Memphis employment lawyer from Donati Law, PLLC.

Our team of attorneys has been representing employees for over 35 years, and we aim to improve the lives of our clients and everyone in our community.

Let us protect your rights – call us at (901) 209-5500 or contact us online to get started.