May 15, 2020

Trial Court Extends Families First Act Benefits

The following message was sent to Trial Court employees from Paula M. Carey, Chief Justice and Jonathan S. Williams, Court Administrator. 
April 16, 2020
Trial Court Colleagues,
During the current state of emergency, we are doing everything we can to keep Trial Court employees safe and informed. As such, this communication is intended to provide employee benefit guidance regarding the recently enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance on April 1, 2020, regarding the administration of the FFCRA leave. The law took effect on April 1, 2020, and expires on December 31, 2020. 
Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:
Up to ten days (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave based on the higher of their regular rate of pay, or the applicable State or Federal minimum wage, paid at:
  • 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total;
  • 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
  • Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5 below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:
  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
  6. is experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the FFCRA, an employee may also qualify for expanded family and medical emergency leave for up to twelve weeks, if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
In addition to the minimum requirements of federal law we are pleased to announce that through June 30 the Trial Court will allow employees to use their accrued vacation, personal, compensatory time or sick leave to receive pay for the for 10 days of unpaid leave, or to supplement their 2/3rd salary paid pursuant to the Act. What this means is that employees who receive benefits pursuant to the FFCRA will receive full pay, as long as they have their own accrued leave of any type to utilize. 
The OCM Human Resources Benefits & Onboarding team will serve as the primary contact for all FFCRA inquiries regarding the application of these benefits, the process to request such benefits, and SSTA coding. Please also refer to the FFCRA Courtyard page for helpful resources including the Department of Labor's Employee Rights notice. The Benefits team can be reached at
Thank you for all of your efforts during this challenging time.
Be well.
Paula M. Carey
Chief Justice
Jonathan S. Williams
Court Administrator

We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few; but we can't have both. - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
NAGE HEADQUARTERS 159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617)984-5695
Union Local Tax Issues Federal law now requires that every local union file an annual information return—Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N—with the IRS. If your local fails to file under this new requirement.. Read more