Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Analysis Reveals the Scale of Harm Done by Trump Paid Leave Regulations
Press Release

RELEASE: New Analysis Reveals the Scale of Harm Done by Trump Paid Leave Regulations

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new column analyzing who is and who is not covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) emergency paid leave program passed by Congress last month. The analysis also examines how recent regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor undermine efforts to keep workers and emergency responders safe from the coronavirus pandemic. Key findings include:

  • An estimated 68 million to 106 million private sector workers will be excluded from paid leave protections under the FFCRA.
  • At best, 47 percent of private sector workers will be eligible for COVID-19-related emergency paid leave; however, the law’s loopholes and business waivers and the Trump administration’s expansive regulations could drive that number down to as few as 17 percent, or just more than 22 million private sector workers.
  • Nationwide, nearly 9 million health care workers and emergency responders could be excluded from guaranteed COVID-19-related emergency paid leave.
  • Nationwide, nearly 34 million workers at America’s small businesses with fewer than 50 employees could be excluded from the FFCRA’s paid child care leave protections.

“The fastest and only way to get our economy moving again is to address the public health threat before us and make it safe for businesses to open back up and for people to return to work. Guaranteed paid leave for all is essential to ensure that no worker has to go to work sick in order to avoid losing wages, or has to risk their job in order to care for themselves or a child in the middle of a pandemic. This analysis shows that the Trump administration’s paid leave regulations and loopholes championed by Republican leaders in Congress have left the majority of private sector workers, including as many as 2 million grocery store workers and 9 million health care workers and emergency responders, without these critical protections. Congress should move swiftly to guarantee that all workers have emergency paid leave,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, senior fellow with the Women’s Initiative at CAP.

Read “Coronavirus Paid Leave Exemptions Exclude Millions of Workers From Coverage” by Sarah Jane Glynn.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202-741-6292.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.