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ARE EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO PAID LEAVE DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

The Leigh Law Group represents employees in California and federal employment-related matters. During this unprecedented time coping with COVID-19 and quarantine orders, our clients and potential clients alike have been asking what their rights are, especially relating to leave time. We provide the following information to help you understand the relief and legal protections enacted to address COVID-19. However, the following should not construed as legal advice: if you believe you need an attorney, you should retain legal counsel to avoid missing any potential statute of limitations that may affect your case.

The Leigh Law Group team remains fully operational, even while sheltered in place, and is ready to take your call to determine if representation is appropriate: (415) 399-9155.

Potentially yes. On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires certain “covered employers” to provide employees with paid sick leave or expended family and medical leave related to COVID-19. It went into effect on April 1, 2020. Here’s how it work:

What is a “Covered Employer?”

Certain public employers and private employers with less than 500 employees.

Most federal employees are not covered by the FFCRA’s expanded family and medical leave provisions due to coverage under Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”). They are, however, covered by the paid sick leave provision.

What are the Benefits Provided?

All employees of a covered employer receive:

· Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s full regular pay rate where the employee cannot work because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis; or

· Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate because the employee cannot work due to a bona fide need to care for a quarantined individual or child whose school or child care center is currently closed due to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition.

Employees with 30 or more days of employment with a covered employer receive:

· Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate because the employee cannot work due to a bona fide need to care for a child whose school or child care center is currently closed due to COVID-19.

How Does an Employee Demonstrate the Inability to Work?

The FFCRA’s coverage applies if the employee cannot work, or telework, due to the employee:

· Being quarantined by law or self-quarantined per a health care provider’s advice;

· Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;

· Caring for a quarantined or self-quarantined individual;

· Caring for a child whose school or child care center is currently closed due to COVID-19; or

· Experiencing any other substantially similar condition.

What if the Employee Works Part Time?

For reasons of child care, a part-time employee is eligible for leave for number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

For all other reasons, a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.

How Long Will the FFCRA Provisions Last?

December 31, 2020

For more information on the FFCRA, see the U.S. Department of Labor’s website: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave#_ftnref4

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions