Employee in Quarantine? Or Caring For A Child Whose School Is Closed? Calculating FFCRA Leave Can Be Hard.

The U.S. Department of Labor agreed, and decided to make leave times and payment easier to calculate for employers subject to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) with a handy chart.

Wait, Do I Have To Provide FFCRA Leave?

Don’t know if you, employer, have to comply with FFCRA? Let’s answer these simple questions:

  1. Are you a private employer with less than 500 employees? Yes, you count part-time as well as full-time employees.
  2. Are you a public agency or other unit of government?

If the answer is yes to either of these, chances are, you are an employer who must provide paid sick and emergency family medical leave under FFCRA (unless you’re a very small employer and you have documented your eligibility for the small business exemption).

Now, once we establish that you are an employer that must provide FFCRA leave to an eligible employee, how do you calculate how much leave to provide and the amount to pay?

Calculating The Leave

In a new(ish) fact sheet, the DOL provides a simple to follow flow chart for calculating the amount of an employee’s paid sick and emergency family medical leave under FFCRA. It works like this:

If an employee is following a federal, state, or local quarantine or stay-at-home order or are quarantined by a health care provider OR has COVID-19
symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis, provide the employee with up to two weeks or 80 hours of paid sick leave at his/her/their regular rate.

If an employee is care for someone under a federal, state, or local quarantine or stay-at-home order or is quarantined by a health care provider OR an employee must care for that employee’s child whose school, childcare provider, or place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19, you must provide the employee with up to two weeks or 80 hours of paid sick leave at 2/3 of that person’s rate.

Finally, if an employee must care for his/her or their child whose school, child care provider, or place of care is unavailable because of COVID-19
AND the employee has worked for you for at least 30 calendar days, you must provide up to 10 additional weeks of family leave paid at 2/3 regular rate.

Subject to caps, of course.

See? Easy peasy. No need to incur violations and back wages—the DOL has issued almost $2.9M in COVID-19 violations through November 5, 2020!

Rather, just print and refer to this handy flow chart to remind yourself of how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the amounts employers must pay. It explains the basics. For more detail, see my back-to-school post here and caps information in this post.

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Amy Epstein Gluck

Amy Epstein Gluck

Amy Epstein Gluck has represented individuals and corporate clients in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and various federal district courts for more than twenty years. Ms. Epstein Gluck’s current practice areas include employment law—advising on and drafting employment agreements; handling employment negotiations, severance agreements, noncompete and nondisclosure agreements, “wrongful terminations” and other EEO matters; representation at the EEOC level; advising employers about discrimination laws and how to remain in compliance, and employment negotiations.