Yesterday, I posted some highlights of the rules for paid sick leave under the FFCRA. Today’s post will highlight some of the new rules for paid family medical leave under the FFCRA’s expansion of the FMLA, which provides leave to eligible employees who are unable to work because they are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed for Covid-19 related reasons (EFMLEA).
- EFMLEA counts towards an employees 12 weeks of FMLA leave
- Employees may use other paid leave or paid EPSLA for the unpaid period of EFMLEA (the first two weeks/80 hours of leave)
- An employer may require, or an employee may elect, to use vacation or PTO concurrently with EFMLEA to receive a full day’s pay
- Health care providers are not entitled to EFMLEA (or EPSLA) and the definition of “health care provider” is broader than the definition used in the FMLA (it includes individuals who are capable of providing health care services necessary to combat Covid-19 and other workers who are needed to keep hospitals and health care facilities well supplied and operational)
- Small businesses are exempt from providing EFMLEA leave (and EPSLA) when:
- Such leave would cause the small employer’s expenses and financial obligations to exceed available business revenue and cause the small employer to cease operating
- The absence of the employee or employees requesting such leave would pose a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capacity of the small employer because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or
- The small employer cannot find enough other workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services the employees or employees requesting leave provide, and these labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at a minimal capacity.
- A small employer must document the facts and circumstances to justify a denial of EFMLEA or EPSLA and maintain the documents on site (documents are not to be submitted to the DOL)
Next post will discuss intermittent leave under the EPSLA and EFMLEA.