New Paid Sick Leave: Is It In Addition to Existing Accruals?

Here is the biggest question in my mind about the newly enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Can the required 2 weeks of paid sick leave be met with the employee’s existing accruals or is the 2 weeks in addition to existing accruals?

The House version of H.R. 6201 (Click here) contained Section 5102(d) which stated:

(d) EMPLOYERS WITH EXISTING POLICIES.—With respect to an employer that provides paid leave on the day before the date of enactment of this Act— (1) the paid sick time under this Act shall be made available to employees of the employer in addition to such paid leave; and (2) the employer may not change such paid leave on or after such date of enactment to avoid being subject to paragraph (1).

This made it pretty clear that the required 2 weeks of paid sick leave must be provided in addition to whatever paid leave the employee had already accrued. However, this language does not appear to be in the version of the bill signed by the President. (Click here.) Is it just a Scribner’s error? Or was it intentionally deleted? If it was intentionally deleted, doesn’t that suggest that employers can meet the 2 week requirement by allowing employees to use existing accrued leave? That certainly would be helpful to public agencies who are not receiving any reimbursement for providing the paid sick leave.

I know many entities are trying to determine the answers to these questions right now ….

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