The subject matter experts at Apex have compiled answers to some of the top questions being posed to us by our clients and outlined in the recently passed emergency aid package, Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The DOL has issued preliminary guidance located HERE. For comprehensive FAQs, please see below.
What employers are eligible for Emergency FMLA?
‘Fewer than 500 employees’ for ‘50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar work weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.’
What employers are eligible for Paid Sick Leave?
It defines employers as and applies to:
- A private entity or individual who employs fewer than 500 employees;
- A public agency or entity that employs one or more employees;
- An entity employing a state employee;
- An employing office;
- An executive agency; or
- Any successor in interest of an employer.
The Secretary of Labor may exclude from these requirements employers with fewer than 50 employees based on hardship or for employers of health care providers and emergency responders. The process to request an exclusion was not defined.
What employees are eligible for Emergency FMLA?
The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act changes the definition of “eligible employee” to apply to anyone employed at least 30 days (rather than 12 months per the regular FMLA rules).
What employees are eligible for Paid Sick Leave?
An employer shall provide to each employee employed by the employer paid sick time to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or 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.
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in subparagraph (1) or has been advised as described in paragraph (2).
- The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
Note: If you are able to telework, you are not sick. Paid sick leave is available if employee cannot work or telework because of a qualifying coronavirus-related absence
What about returning employees to the same position as in traditional FMLA?
Does NOT require employers with fewer than 25 employees to return an employee to their same position of employment after taking leave if:
- The position no longer exists due to economic conditions or operational changes caused by the COVID-19 emergency,
- The employer makes reasonable efforts to restore the employee to an equivalent position (benefits, pay, and other terms), and
- The employer makes reasonable efforts to contact the employee if such equivalent positions become available within one year from the earlier of the date when the qualifying need concludes or 12 weeks after the date on which the employee’s leave commences.
What do I have to provide employees as far as notice for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?
Employers must publish a Notice regarding Emergency Paid Sick Leave in a conspicuous location where labor posters are customarily displayed.