The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued clarified two issues regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Under FFCRA, expanded family and medical leave (EFML) provides employees up to 10 weeks of paid leave due to their children’s school or childcare center closure. The DOL stated that EFML is not available to employees when parents are given the option to choose between in-person and virtual schooling for their children. (source) However, if the school is on a hybrid-attendance system where students alternate between in-person attendance and virtual learning, FFCRA leave is available, but only on the remote learning days as the school is “closed” to the students on those days (source) It is important to note that employees would still be eligible for FFCRA leave if the child engaged in virtual schooling was ordered by a health care professional to self-isolate.
Additionally, the DOL clarified the documentation requirement for employees using emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) due to experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Employees can be required to identify their symptoms and a date for their test or doctor’s appointment, but employers cannot require further documentation from the employee (such as a doctor’s note confirming the appointment) in order to use EPSL. “The minimal documentation required to take this leave is intentional so that employees with COVID-19 symptoms may take leave and slow the spread of COVID-19.” (source)
Understanding the ins and outs of these requirements can be confusing. HRinDemand has experts on hand to assist you. We also have for purchase, a fillable Emergency Paid Sick Leave/Emergency Family and Medical Leave Request Form to ensure you collect all the information you need to stay compliant.
If you need assistance managing the leave process under FFCRA, or are interested in purchasing HRinDemand’s new Emergency Paid Sick Leave/Emergency Family and Medical Leave Request Form please contact HRinDemand at 775-400-1322 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bailey Cummins, PHR, is a member of the HRinDemand team, a human resources company in Reno, NV, offering expert guidance and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses with employment regulations, compliance, employee relations, and company growth.
Society for Human Resource Management. (2020, August 28). DOL Provides Clarity on Coronavirus-Related Child Care Leave. https://www.shrm.org/ResourcesAndTools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/Pages/DOL-Provides-Clarity-on-Coronavirus-Related-Child-Care-Leave.aspx