The COVID-19 global pandemic has left millions of employees wondering about their paid leave rights.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed on March 18, 2020, requires certain employers to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave or expanded medical or family leave in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. The provisions remain in place until December 31, 2020.
What Type of Employees Qualify for Protection under FFCRA?
The types of employees covered under the FFCRA are:
- Those working in the private sector for employers with 500 or fewer employees, and
- Some other employees within the public sector.
Exceptions exist for private-sector employers who can show:
- That they employ less than 50 individuals;
- That the leave is due to school closings or unavailability of care, and
- That the leave requirements would jeopardize the future of the business.
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Qualifying Reasons for Leave Under the FFCRA
The Department of Labor lays out the requirements for qualifying for emergency paid sick leave under FFCRA, which include the following:
- The employee is subject to federal, state, or local quarantine orders due to COVID-19;
- A health official has advised the employee to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
- The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and has sought medical care;
- The employee is caring for an individual subjected to federal, state, or local quarantine orders due to COVID-19;
- The employee is caring for a child whose school is closed or for whom care is unavailable due to COVID-19; or
- The employee is experiencing any “substantially-similar condition” defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
An employee qualifies for extended family leave if they are caring for a child whose school has been closed or for whom outside care is unavailable due to COVID-19.
What Is the Qualifying Duration of Leave?
The FFCRA provides that covered employees are entitled to the following protections:
- Two weeks paid sick leave at the employer’s regular rate of pay;
- Two weeks paid sick leave at two-thirds the employer’s regular rate of pay if the employee is care for a quarantined individual or a child or is otherwise unavailable due to circumstances related to COVID-19; and
- Up to an additional ten weeks of expanded family leave and medical leave at two-thirds the employers’ regular rate of pay where the employee is caring for a child whose school or care has closed due to COVID-19.
These various protections afforded to covered employees help to ensure that individuals are able to care for others without additional financial stress.
Learn Your Right Employee Rights
Determining whether you qualify for emergency paid sick leave under the FFCRA is difficult, and it is in your best interests to locate a knowledgeable employee rights attorney to advocate for your rights.
Workplace Rights Law Group knows the laws surrounding the recent Families First Coronavirus Response Act and fully understands the complexity and the stress surrounding many individuals during this global pandemic.
For a free consultation, contact us today. We’ll discuss your situation and the viability of a case together.