On Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It will take effect April 2nd, 2020 after it was signed by President Donald Trump this week.

The new law allows those working for companies with fewer than 500 employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if they are unable to work due to a need to care for a child under the age of 18 who cannot attend school because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The first 10 days of the 12-week leave would be unpaid, with the remaining days consisting of paid leave. The employee would be paid for the amount of hours they would normally work, up to $200 per day.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees are exempt from the provision under certain conditions, and those working for companies with more than 500 employees do not qualify. Businesses that must provide the emergency leave are restricted from retaliating against employees who use it.

The new law's paid leave provisions are set to expire Dec. 31st, 2020.