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Paid Sick Time and Leave Amid COVID-19

As COVID-19 rapidly changes the economic landscape throughout the country, businesses and individuals are facing new and evolving challenges. To address these challenges, federal and state governments are quickly drafting laws and regulations that may affect employers of all sizes.

On March 18, 2020, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act), discussed in more detail below, which entitles some employees to paid sick time and leave for issues arising directly from the COVID-19 outbreak. On the same day, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that waives the usual one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits, allowing Massachusetts employees affected by COVID-19 to collect benefits immediately. In addition, the Department of Unemployment Assistance is finalizing emergency regulations to address a sudden increase in unemployment benefits claims because of COVID-19. Read more…