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Specifically, the FFCRA provided for 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) to be used by employees who were unable to work or telework due to specific COVID-related reasons and 12 weeks of emergency family and medical leave (EFMLA) to be used to care for the employee’s child or because the child’s school or daycare was closed or unavailable due to the pandemic. FFCRA leave was fully or partially paid depending upon the circumstances and, in all cases, the employer was eligible to be reimbursed for the entire cost of the leave through a dollar-for-dollar payroll tax credit.

The recently passed America Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA) expands the scope of both the EPSL and EFMLA to allow employers to voluntarily provide additional leave from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. The new FFCRA leave under the ARPA is not mandatory.

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