In March 2020, the\u00a0Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provided numerous paid leave opportunities for employers with under 500 employees. Employers were able to receive tax credit reimbursement for FFCRA payroll, but most of these credits expired within one year. Fast forward to 2021 and the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). How did this new legislation impact FFCRA paid leave and employers?\u00a0FFCRA paid leave extensionAs COVID-19 vaccinations continue to roll out, U.S. employers are still needing to accommodate positive cases in the workplace and employees caring for sick family members. If an employer chooses to provide FFCRA paid leave (mandatory FFCRA paid leave ended on December 31, 2020), they may also receive tax credit reimbursements through September 30, 2021.Also, starting April 1, 2021, employers may offer an additional 10-day FFCRA paid sick leave for an employee who already used one while claiming a tax credit for this leave. Paid family leave under the ARPA for up to 12 weeks may also be reimbursed as a tax credit to employers.\u00a0FFCRA paid leave expansionThe ARPA also expanded qualifying reasons for paid sick leave and paid family leave. Previously, an employee could only qualify for FFCRA paid leave under six possible scenarios:\tThe employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID\u201319.\tThe employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID\u201319.\tThe employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID\u201319 and seeking a medical diagnosis.\tThe employee is caring for an individual subject to quarantine or isolation.\u00a0\tThe employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID\u201319 precautions.\tThe employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.Under the ARPA and beginning April 1, 2021, employers may now expand FFCRA paid leave for the following three additional reasons:\tThe employee is waiting for diagnostic test results or medical diagnosis of COVID-19, whether after an exposure or at the employer\u2019s request;\tThe employee is obtaining COVID-19 vaccination; or\tThe employee is recovering from COVID-19 vaccination-related injury, disability, illness, or condition.Non-discriminationAs employers consider these nine qualifications for employees to receive paid sick leave or family leave, and as employers receive payroll tax credits as such, they must also abide by ARPA non-discrimination rules.Employers will only receive FFCRA tax credits as long as they do not discriminate in favor of:\thighly compensated employees,\tfull-time employees, or\ttenure with the company.If your business would like to extend and expand FFCRA opportunities to employees and receive the tax credits associated with these leaves of absences, be sure to offer these options uniformly to all employees.\u00a0Attorney\u00a0Loren Speziale collaborates with business owners and human resource professionals, providing legal guidance and risk management assistance with regard to employment law issues.