IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Amy Alvarez | 3/30/2021

Signed into law on March 11th, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act offers an extension to Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This provision added additional reasons the leave can be used as well as increasing the cap on eligible compensation for a tax credit.

FFCRA continues to be voluntary for businesses with less than 500 employees but employers who offer the leave will continue to receive a ta credit through September 30th, 2021.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL):

Covered employees are eligible for paid sick leave include:

  • Employee subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to coronavirus
  • Employee has been advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus
  • Employee is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus
  • Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order described in (1) or has been advised as described in (2) (2/3s pay)
  • Employee is caring for their child because the school is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable due to coronavirus (2/3s pay)
  • Employee is experiencing a similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services


  • Employee needs time off related to vaccination, including time of to get he vaccine an to recover from any related side effects
  • Employee is seeking or waiting for a COVID-19 diagnosis or test result if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or the employer has asked the employee to get a diagnosis or test. (Previously, time spent waiting on test results was not necessarily covered unless directed by a doctor.)

Balances for EPSL reset on April 1st, 2021. Up to 80 hours is available for each employee, regardless of usage from April 1st, 2020 – March 31st, 2021. Employers must offer this benefit ethically and without favoring highly compensated, full time or long tenured employees. Doing so will disqualify the employer from credit for the hours.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA):


  • Covered employees are eligible for EFMLA for all eligibility reasons under EPSL, including the original child care reasons
  • The 10-day unpaid waiting period has been eliminated
  • The aggregate cap on EFMLA has been increased to $12,000 (from $10,000)
  • As with EPSL, employers must offer this benefit ethically and without favoring highly compensated, full time or long tenured employees.
  • Employee continues to receive 2/3s pay for leave related to child care and caring for another person who is isolating or quarantining on government or doctor’s orders.

A full outline of the program can be found here

Please reach out to with questions.

Amy Alvarez
Human Resources Consultant
Amy Alvarez, SHRM-CP is IDOC’s Human Resources Consultant. Amy has experience in HR in healthcare and retail, management in big box and specialty retail stores and physician recruitment. Through these roles and training, Amy is well-versed in recruitment and hiring strategies for “hard to fill” roles, dealing with low productivity, helping encourage employee engagement, on-boarding, training, day-to-day management in a retail setting, employee relations, and so much more.
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