COVID-19 Update: Online Tool Helps Workers Determine if They Qualify for Sick Leave
Workers often have questions about their benefits, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic many may be questioning the amount and type of medical leave they have available to care for themselves or a loved one.
This week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched an online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to cover their time away from work for matters relating to the coronavirus. The tool guides workers through a series of questions so they can figure out if the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to their employer. If the provisions do apply, the tool helps them learn whether they qualify for either paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under that law.
Under the FFCRA, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division reimburses private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with two weeks of paid leave taken for reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls and ensures employees are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.
Employees are also eligible for FFCRA if a healthcare provider has advised them to self-quarantine for reasons related to the coronavirus or if they are caring for someone subject to a quarantine order. In addition, up to 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave is available for workers forced to miss work to care for their children because the pandemic has closed their child-care provider.