December 28, 2020

On December 27th, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 into law. Below is an update on existing legislation and notable changes.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Federal Law)

  • Effective April 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • Enacted the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act & Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act which applied to all employers with under 500 employees
  • Amounts paid by employers to employees under this act reimbursable in the form of a tax credit

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act & Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act Update

  • The $900B Coronavirus Stimulus Package passed by Congress, and signed by President Trump, includes a provision to extend the tax credits for FFCRA Sick and Family Leave through March 31, 2021.
  • Employers are not required to offer use of FFCRA leave beyond December 31, 2020.  Continuing to offer FFCRA Sick and Family Leave between January 1st – March 31st is voluntary.
  • If an employee has already exhausted the benefits available under the FCCRA Sick and Family Leave, the extension does not provide additional leave hours for 2021.

Healthcare and Dependent Care FSA Relief Updates

  • Plan sponsors can amend 2020 HC and DCA FSA plans to allow participants to carry over unused balances into the 2021 plan year.  Additionally, any 2021 unused funds can carry over into the 2022 plan year.
  • For 2021, plans can also be amended to allow election changes to either plan without a qualifying life event or change in status
  • Healthcare FSA Relief
    • Healthcare FSAs with grace periods ending in 2020 or 2021, can be amended to extend the grace period to 12 months after the end of the plan year.
    • Allow terminated plan participants to submit claims for reimbursement beyond termination date/run-out period
  • DCA FSA Relief: Increases eligible child dependent age to 14
  • Plan sponsors who wish to allow the temporary relief provided under the CRRSSA must amend plan documents by December 31, 2021.  Contact FSA plan administrator for more information.

New York State Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Update

  • Effective retroactively to January, 1, 2020 and secondary to FFCRA which took effect on April 1, 2020
  • Applies to employees who are subject to an order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine issued by NYS, DOH, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19.  Would also apply if employee’s children were subject to such order.
  • Depending on the size of the company, provides sick leave and job protection for the duration of the quarantine order along with DBL/PFL.
  • At this time, there is no expiration date for this legislation and it is our understanding benefits will extend into 2021.
  • Additionally, it is our understanding that employees on COVID-19 PFL in 2021, will receive the 2020 benefit of 60% of pay to a maximum of $840.70 – it will not increase to the 2021 benefit.
  • Sick leave under the New York State Paid Sick (going into effect as of January 1, 2021), is separate and additional to Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave if an employee is subject to a COVID-related precautionary or mandatory order of quarantine/isolation.


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