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Employment Discrimination Blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Your Protections Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act protects certain employees through guaranteeing paid sick leave and expanding paid family and medical leave for those impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted Georgians, with lockdowns and health concerns that have limited the ability of many to work. If you’ve been denied employee benefits you believe you’re entitled to, please contact our office today for a free consultation.

At Pankey & Horlock, we work to protect employee rights across Georgia from employer abuse. We understand the legal tactics used by employers and provide effective counsel to protect your rights. Cases involving employment discrimination and civil rights are complex, requiring experienced attorneys and tremendous diligence to ensure an equitable outcome for the harmed individual. If you have been wrongfully terminated or victimized by unlawful business practices, our lawyers will work with you to ensure that you receive the compensation that you’re entitled to.

Am I protected by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

To be protected, employees must work for a “covered employer”, which is an employer with fewer than 500 employees. However, there is an exemption for businesses of less than 50 employees where the business can demonstrate that providing leave due to school closures or child care unavailability would jeopardize the viability of the business.

What protections do I receive?

If your employer is a covered employer as defined above, then you are eligible for one of the following:

  • Two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave at your regular pay rate if you’re unable to work due to quarantine (under Federal, State, or local government orders, or the advice of a health care provider), and/or you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds your regular pay rate if you’re unable to work because of a legitimate need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (whether due to government order or healthcare provider’s advice), or to care for a child under 18 years of age whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. This protection also applies to employees experiencing a substantially similar condition to COVID-19 as specific by the government.

In addition to the above protections, eligible employees receive up to an additional 10 weeks (400 hours) of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds your regular pay rate where an employee who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days is unable to work due to a legitimate need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.

Georgia Employment Discrimination and Civil Rights Attorneys

At Pankey & Horlock, we understand the unique pressures that COVID-19 has placed on employees. Unfairly, those most affected are often mistreated by their employers and denied the rights they’re entitled to. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act sought to stop this abuse but still relies on employers self-compliance. If you believe you’ve been the victim of an employment rights violation, please contact our office today for a free consultation.


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The attorneys of Pankey & Horlock, LLC serve the entire state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Auburn, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County, GA.



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