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FFCRA Legislation Means Changes to Emergency Paid Sick Leave & Paid Family Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) included two pieces of legislation that may impact your employees’ leave rights. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act affords employees two weeks of paid sick leave if they are unable to work because

  • They are quarantined pursuant to a government order or advice of a health care provider or
  • They have a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to a quarantine or care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.

The amount of the paid leave varies depending on each employee’s circumstances.

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) affords up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave for employees who are unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed for reasons related to COVID-19. The first 10 days of leave are unpaid (but employees may use paid leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act or other accrued leave during such time).  The remaining leave is paid at 2/3 the employer’s regular rate of pay, subject to daily and aggregate caps. There is a different formula for employees who routinely work varied hours.

Both laws apply to public employers regardless of size. The Department of Labor will be issuing regulations to clarify the legislation.  Because of the fluid nature of these changes, school districts should consult with counsel to evaluate leave requests related to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges in Colorado and across the country, and that includes for school districts. We are actively monitoring legislation, executive orders, and resources related to the pandemic so that we can help board members and educators navigate the rapidly changing landscape and transition to distance learning. If you are not already in touch with one of our attorneys and would like to reach us for guidance, email is the best way to contact us.

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