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Employee Rights: American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ARPA

Employment Discrimination Lawyer Thalia Pacheco led an internal continuing legal education seminar at our firm on March 31, 2021 regarding employee rights under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ARPA.  Here are the highlights from her American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ARPA presentation.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 ARPA–Employment Rights and Responsibilities:

When does ARPA start: Effective April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021

Who Does ARPA Cover? OPTIONAL – but if opt-in entitled to tax credits
• Same as before, employers of less than 500 employees

What Is ARPA? Provides two weeks (80 hours) paid sick leave if unable to work for COVID related
reasons including previous FFCRA reasons (local quarantine order, quarantine order from
doctor, or experiencing COVID symptoms and seeking diagnosis & Expanded Family Medical
Leave reasons (2/3 pay): closure of child’s school or daycare or caring for individual subject to
quarantine) plus leave for an employee who is:
1. Obtaining a COVID-19 immunization;
2. Recovering from an injury, disability, illness or condition related to COVID-19
immunization; or
3. Seeking or awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test or diagnosis because either the
employees has been exposed to COVID or the employer requested the test or diagnosis.
Other Differences from FFCRA:

• Non-discrimination mandate that prohibits employers from discriminating in favor of
highly compensated employees, full-time employees, or employees on the basis of
employment tenure

• Certain state and local governments as well as 501(C)(1) federal government entities,
are tax-credit eligible

What To Look Out For under ARPA: Just because it’s optional, it does not mean that the employer can
create its own rules on qualifying reasons for leave or application of the leave, or
documentation requirements, etc. To get the credit the employer has to comply with the
FFCRA’s paid leave mandates when providing the employee time off and its anti-retaliation
provision.

• ARPA LEAVE RESTARTS THE BANK OF HOURS AVAILABLE OF EMERGENCY PAID SICK
LEAVE (does not matter if someone took FFCRA leave before April 1, 2021 – they are
entitled to 10 additional days (if they qualify)

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