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UPE News Item

UPE Update: COVID 19

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

UPE Sisters and Brothers:

On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) was signed into law. It is the first of multiple bills we expect Congress to pass to provide relief from the impacts of COVID-19, and touches on a variety of subjects, including COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance funding, and federal assistance programs. 

This memo outlines the key features of the bill relating to (1) paid, public health emergency leave, which is an expanded form of FMLA leave for workers to care for children out of school or without child care (the “Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act”); and (2) emergency paid sick leave employers must provide for COVID-19 related health conditions (the “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act”). 

The full text of the bill can be found at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th- congress/house-bill/6201/text.

Please click here for a summary of the Act's applicable sections

Note that the emergency family medical leave and the emergency paid sick leave apply only to private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Public agencies are required to provide the emergency family medical leave and emergency paid sick leave regardless of size. Both private and public employers can exempt employees who are health care providers or emergency responders from these leaves.

These benefits must become available no later than 15 days after the law’s enactment, meaning April 2, 2020. 

UPE is committed to providing our members with the latest law updates as they evolve. UPE will continue to press the employer to ensure the safety and well-being of our members who are required to continue to work during this pandemic. Please contact your UPE Business Agents to discuss workplace concerns and issues.

In Solidarity,


United Public Employees

Ted Somera, Executive Director



United Public Employees
9333 Tech Center Drive, #300
Sacramento, CA  95826
Phone: 916-736-9503
Fax: 916-736-9506