The Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) gives certain workers up to 10 paid sick days to care for themselves or a family member and up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a child if the child’s school or childcare provider is closed because of COVID-19.

This leave is available until December 31, 2020.

Unfortunately, the law has A LOT of exceptions. This document can help you figure out if you may be covered and able to get leave.

 This is not legal advice. It gives you general information only. Individuals considering legal action should speak with an attorney. 

What reasons can the leave be used for?

Paid Sick Days:

You can use this leave if you cannot work or telework because:

  • A health care provider has told you to self-quarantine
  • You have symptoms of COVID-19 and you need to be tested or seen by a doctor
  • You need to comply with a government quarantine or isolation order
  • You are caring for an individual who is under a government-mandated quarantine or self-isolating because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or symptoms
  • You are caring for your child if your child’s school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable, due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Paid Leave:

You can use this leave if you need to care for your child if your child’s school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important Definitions:

“Individual” is a family member, someone who regular resides in your home, or someone you have a relationship with who you would be expected to care for if they were sick.

“Child” is your child who is under the age of 18. It includes foster children and children where you are in loco parentis or the guardian of the child. It also includes children over the age of 18 if the child is “incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.”

How much leave is provided?

Paid Sick Days:

Up to 10 days (80 hours) for full time workers. Part time workers get the number of hours they would typically work in two weeks.

Paid Leave:

Up to 12 weeks. The first two weeks are unpaid, but you can use paid sick days for those two weeks. The next 10 weeks are paid.

Which employers must give this leave?

Paid Sick Days:

  • A government or public employer of any size, including the federal government
  • A private employer with less than 500 employees
  • If you work for a business with 50 or fewer employees, your employer may not have to provide leave to care for a child when school or childcare is closed. Check with your employer

Paid Leave:

  • A government or public employer of any size
  • Most federal workers are not covered (federal workers are covered if they are covered by Title I of the FMLA. Ask your agency HR about coverage).
  • A private employer with less than 500 employees
  • If you work for a business with 50 or fewer employees, your employer may not have to provide leave to care for a child when school or childcare is closed. Check with your employer.

Which employees can get this leave?

Paid Sick Days:

Most employees who work for a covered employer. Workers are covered even if they are not authorized to work in the U.S.

Health care workers and first responders may not be able to get this leave. Check with your employer.

Paid Leave:

Most employees who have worked for the employer for 30 days. Workers are covered even if they are not authorized to work in the U.S.

An employee cannot use this leave if the employee has already used the employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act leave for the year.

Health care workers and first responders may not be able to get this leave. Check with your employer.

How much pay will the worker get?

Paid Sick Days:

If the leave is to care for yourself, your employer should pay you your full pay, up to $511 per day or $5,110 total.

If the leave to care for a child or loved one, your employer should pay you 2/3 of your normal pay, up to $200 per day or $2,000 total.

If you work part-time, your employer should calculate your pay based on how many hours you work in an average two-week period. If you are tipped worker, you should get your regular rate of pay as determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act. This usually workers out to be minimum wage.

Paid Leave:

After the first 10 days, your employer should pay you 2/3 of your normal pay, up to $200 per day or $10,000 total. Your employer should calculate your pay the same way they would for paid sick days.

If a worker take leave, does the worker get the worker’s job back?

Paid Sick Days:

Yes. Your employer can fire you for other reasons, but not for taking paid sick days.

Paid Leave:

Yes. Your employer can fire you for other reasons, but not for taking paid leave.

If you work for an employer with 25 or more employees, your employer must give you the same job back, or an equivalent job, when you go back to work. Your employer does not have to give you the job back if the employer lays people off or makes a similar decision that would have ended your job even if you hadn’t taken leave.

If you work for an employer with fewer than 25 employees, your employer must also give you your job back. If your job no longer exists and if your employer cannot find you a similar one, the employer must let you know about similar jobs that become available within the year.

Can an employer retaliate against the worker for asking for or using paid sick days or paid leave?

Paid Sick Days: No.

Paid Leave: No.

Where can workers ask more questions or report violations?

You can contact the Department of Labor, Wage & Hour, Division: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/contact/complaints

1-866-487-9243

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