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On August 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) related to the reopening of schools. See FAQs 98, 99, and 100.

This guidance explains eligibility for paid leave relative to the varied formats and schedules schools have announced as they plan to reopen, including blending in-person learning with distance learning. WHD offers this information to explain the benefits and protections available under both the paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA.

The FFCRA allows certain employees to take up to two weeks of paid sick leave and take up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, 10 of which are paid, for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
An eligible employee can take both types of paid leave “because of a need to care for the employee’s son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.”

The FAQs address some of the more difficult situations facing employers and workers including whether employees qualify for paid leave when:

A child attends a school operating on an alternate day basis;
A parent chooses remote learning when in-person instruction is available; and
A school begins the year with remote learning but may shift to in-person instruction if conditions change.

This latest guidance compliments a robust and growing library of resources and tools provided for workers and employers as they navigate the changes in the workplace brought on by COVID-19.

Under the FFCRA employers with fewer than 500 employees who pay monies to employees may be entitled to tax credits. Be sure to speak with your accountant or payroll service about this.

Connect to the FAQs from the DOL: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

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