Ask An HR Expert: What is the emergency FMLA expansion?

Hello! Thank you for joining me for another episode of Ask an HR Expert. My name is Katie Stewart, and I am with Tandem HR.

Today’s questions is: What is the emergency FMLA expansion and how to do I know if my employees are eligible?



Any employer that has less than 500 employees is required to provide a leave of absence under the new law called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Any employees who have been employed by your company for 30 calendar days are eligible to receive the benefits of this act.


The leave provides job protection for 12 weeks if the employee is unable to physically go to work or work remotely due the fact they need to take care of their child at home. If a daycare center or school is closed and the employee needs to be home caring for the child, they are eligible for this leave.


The first 10 days of the leave is unpaid. If the employee has other paid time off accrued, they are able to use it but the employer cannot mandate that they use it. Pay for the remaining portion of the leave is equal to 2/3 of the individual’s regular take-home pay. That’s easy to calculate for a salaried employee.


But what if you have an employee that is paid hourly who may have a schedule that varies? You need to average the number of hours they have worked per week over the last six months. Multiple that number of hours by 2/3 of their hourly pay.


Remember, you are expected to restore this individual back to their job once the economy gets back and individuals can return to work. There are also some exceptions for employers with less than 25 employees. If you have questions about that specifically, please reach out to your HR department. I hope found this information helpful.


Thank you for joining me for Ask an HR Expert.


If you have any other questions, please reach out to Tandem HR at 630.928.0510