Beginning Jan. 1, federal mandate will not require paid leave for employees with COVID-19

Virus Outbreak Congress
Posted at 4:31 PM, Dec 23, 2020

Beginning Jan. 1, employers will no longer be required by federal mandate to give employees who become sick with COVID-19 two weeks of paid leave. However, any existing state or local policy regarding providing paid leave remains unchanged.

According to Buzzfeed News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the paid leave mandate's extension from the $900 billion stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this week.

According to the Huffington Post, Democrats wanted to extend the paid leave into the new year since there's an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Still, Republicans felt renewing the mandate would make it permanent, which they did not want to happen.

In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, which required employers to provide employees up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they contract COVID and two weeks of paid leave to care for a sick relative. It also allowed employers to use up to 10 weeks of paid family leave if a child's school or daycare was closed due to the coronavirus.

Although the latest stimulus bill doesn't extend the sick or family leave mandates, the bill would still allow businesses' to subsidize costs with a refundable tax credit if they provide paid leave until March 31, 2021.

According to CNBC, 87 million workers eligible for paid sick, and family leave under the act could be affected.