House Passes American Rescue Plan Act

Early on Saturday morning, February 27, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act. The stimulus plan now heads to the Senate for consideration. Among other things, the American Rescue Plan Act addresses emergency paid sick leave and expanded Family and Medical Leave. While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired on December 31, 2020, Congress previously extended the tax credits for employers who voluntarily continue to offer FFCRA-framework leave through March 31, 2021. We blogged about this voluntary continuation of FFCRA leave here and here.

The version of the American Rescue Plan passed recently by the House includes the following:

  • FFCRA leave continues to apply only to employers with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Confirms that employers do not have to provide FFCRA leave, but if they opt to do so according to the FFCRA framework, they can claim tax credits for FFCRA wages paid.
  • Extends tax credits for FFRCA leave through September 30, 2021.
  • Allows for claiming tax credits for leave taken to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or recover from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Renews the bank of emergency paid sick leave (up to 10 days) on April 1, 2021.
  • Expands the definition of qualifying paid family leave so tax credits can be claimed for all qualifying uses of paid sick time, including for leave provided if the employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19 or is caring for someone subject to a quarantine or isolation order due to COVID-19.
  • Increases the limit on the tax credit for paid family leave to $12,000 in paid family leave wages.

Again, this bill has not passed the Senate, or been signed into law, so provisions could change.

Please note this current global emergency and applicable laws, regulations, proposals, guidance, advice, and responses change rapidly. We strive to keep you up to date as much as possible, but this blog article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Contact myHRcounsel with questions concerning specific facts and circumstances.