Emergency Paid Sick Leave: How is it Defined Under the FFCRA?
The Barnes Dennig COVID-19 Advisory Team is seeking additional guidance on whether or not the recent ‘Stay at Home’ orders which are being pushed out on a state-by-state basis qualify as “quarantine” or “isolation” for emergency paid sick leave payments. At this time, the ‘Stay at Home’ order in Ohio does not appear to meet these definitions, therefore employees unable to work solely due to ‘Stay at Home’ orders would not qualify for emergency paid sick leave. Our team will continually update this publication as more information is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and IRS.
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is the benefit for full-time and part-time employees for up to 80 hours of paid leave. For reasons 1-3, qualifying employees are paid up to $511 daily. For reasons 4-6, qualifying employees are paid up to $200 daily. The effective date is April 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020.
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), an employee qualifies for emergency paid sick leave if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
- is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
- is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Requirements (1-6) above, do not impact qualification for emergency family and medical leave (EFMLEA) payments. Under the FFCRA, an employee will only qualify for the Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLEA) benefit if the employee is unable to work or telework due to the need to care for a child (under the age of 18) whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19. Eligible employees must be employed 30 consecutive calendar days. Leave under the EFMLEA would be up to 12 weeks, with the first 2 weeks unpaid and the remaining 10 weeks at 2/3rds of regular pay with limits. EFMLEA will also be effective April 1, 2020 expiring on December 31, 2020.
Barnes Dennig COVID-19 Advisory Team