Many metro Detroit students have started the school year in the virtual classroom, leaving working parents wondering how to manage a child or children at home with their full-time jobs. Certain employers may need to offer paid leave for employees of school age children.
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), certain employers are required by law to provide leave to employees who need to care for their child or children in the event of school closures. You may wonder then, is a school district which offers virtual learning options considered the same as a closed school district under law? The short answer: yes, but whether or not an individual qualifies for FFCRA depends on a few factors.
The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply through December 31, 2020.
The FFCRA applies to private and nonprofit U.S. employers with fewer than 500 employees. Private employers with greater than 500 employees and most public workers are not covered under the Act.
If an employee’s school or place of care has moved to online instruction or to another model in which children are expected or required to complete assignments at home, is it “closed”?
Yes, according to the DOL. If the physical location where the child received instruction or care is now closed, the school or place of care is “closed” for purposes of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. This is true even if some or all instruction is being provided online or whether, through another format such as “distance learning,” the child is still expected or required to complete assignments.
The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer questions related to the COVID-19 crisis. If you have questions regarding FFCRA or employment laws, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.