House passes sweeping, Trump-backed paid leave bill in response to COVID-19

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping paid leave bill March 14 in response to the new coronavirus, and President Donald Trump tweeted his support shortly thereafter. Among other things, the bill would mandate up to 80 hours of sick leave beyond what employers usually provide "to quarantine or seek a diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus" for those at companies with 500 or fewer employees. It also mandates paid leave at a rate of at least two-thirds an employee's regular rate "to care for a family member for such purposes or to care for a child whose school has closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to the coronavirus," according to a bill summary. The bill also would temporarily amend the Family and Medical Leave Act, creating protections for certain leave related to the new coronavirus.

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