Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide support for businesses, employees, and individuals affected by the impact of the Coronavirus including paid sick and family leave, and increased appropriations for WIC, Meals on Wheels, and other nutrition services.
Check out this short guide to some of the benefits to families and workers below, and for a more in-depth guide, click here for detailed provisions from the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Division A – Second Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
- Increases appropriations for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) by $500 million. While this money could be used more effectively, such as providing access to meals for families, this, along with additional flexibility included, will help WIC participants.
- Appropriates $160 million for home-delivered nutrition programs such as Meals on Wheels and $10 million for nutrition services for Native Americans.
- The bill also appropriates $80 million for congregate nutrition services.
Division B – Nutrition Waivers
- Provides additional authority for the Agriculture Secretary to waive requirements in the child nutrition programs that limit program operators’ ability to get these meals to the children who need them.
- Cited as the MEALS Act, permits the Secretary to waive provisions in the school meal programs even if it would result in an additional cost to the federal government.
Division C – Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
Amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to require employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide all employees paid leave because of a qualifying need related to a public health emergency. Division C includes new definitions of covered employee and covered employer applicable only to the new entitlement to leave. Division C is effective not later than 15 days after the bill’s enactment. These requirements expire on December 31, 2020.
Division E – Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
- Requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks of paid emergency leave immediately to all employees because of a qualifying need related to a coronavirus public health emergency. Division E is effective not later than 15 days after the bill’s enactment. These provisions expire on December 31, 2020.
- Paid Sick Leave Requirement. The employer shall immediately provide each employee two weeks of paid sick leave to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to reasons related to COVID-19.
Division G – Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave
Provides specific levels of reimbursement to covered employers and certain individuals in the form of payroll credits and tax credits for the leave payments required by Divisions C and E.