In latest the Weekly Wright Report:
- If My Employees CHOOSE to Keep Their Kids Home From School for Remote Learning, Do I Have to Hold Open Their Jobs? The DOL Provides New Guidance – read now
If My Employees CHOOSE to Keep Their Kids Home From School for Remote Learning, Do I Have to Hold Open Their Jobs? The DOL Provides New Guidance
On Thursday, August 27, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) opined on an open question that many were asking: Whether paid, job protected benefits were available to employees who chose to keep their kids home from school to learn remotely when in-person learning was an available option. In a Q&A published by the DOL on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the DOL wrote the following:
99. My child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall. I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? (added 08/27/2020)
[Answer] No, you are not eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA because your child’s school is not “closed” due to COVID–19 related reasons; it is open for your child to attend. FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If your child is home not because his or her school is closed, but because you have chosen for the child to remain home, you are not entitled to FFCRA paid leave. However, if, because of COVID-19, your child is under a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-isolate or self-quarantine, you may be eligible to take paid leave to care for him or her.
If your child’s school is operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis, employees may be eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA on each of the child’s remote-learning days because the school is effectively “closed” to the child on those days. This also assumes that the employee is the sole care-provider and there is no other or caregiver available to be home on those remote learning days.
For answers to these complicated questions and evolving issues, please feel free to reach out to Laura Rubenstein (LRubenstein@wcslaw.com) or anyone of our employment lawyers who are knowledgeable on how COVID-19 is impacting the workplace.
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