As promised, a summary of what the DOL rules say about intermittent leave is set out below. The rules for intermittent leave vary depending upon whether an employee is working on-site vs. teleworking and, with respect to paid sick leave, on the reason for leave. Hint: if an employee needs paid sick leave because they are subject to a quarantine order, the law will not permit them to come into work intermittently. Also, generally, employees may only take paid sick leave or expanded family medical leave intermittently if the employer and employee agree. Here are the rules:
For employees reporting to worksite:
- If the employer and employee agree, an employee can take paid sick leave or expanded family medical leave intermittently when the employee is taking the leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed because of Covid-19 (Childcare Leave). Intermittent Childcare Leave can be taken in any increment of time agreed to by the employee and employer.
- Employees may not take paid sick leave intermittently if leave is for any of the other authorized reasons for paid sick leave, i.e., the employee: (1) is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; (3) is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is taking leave to obtain a medical diagnosis; (4) is caring for an individual who either is subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
For employees who can telework:
- If an employer directs or allows an employee to telework, the employer and employee may agree that the employee may take paid sick leave or expanded family leave intermittently, in any agreed increment of time, while the employee is teleworking, but only when the employee is unavailable to telework because of a Covid-19 related reason.
Employers who are willing to allow employees to take paid sick leave or expanded family leave intermittently should advise employees to keep track of hours worked vs. paid leave hours and should provide employees with information (on their paystub or via other communication) to know how much paid leave has been exhausted.
More tomorrow about notice and documentation.