May 20, 2020

Overview of Leave Laws Related to COVID-19

There is much confusion around when and how much leave an employee is entitled to under the Families First Coronavirus Act. Depending on the circumstances, an employee may be eligible for leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and/or the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).

EPSLA provides up to two weeks (no more than 80 hours) at the employee’s regular rate at a maximum of $511 per day, if one of these scenarios applies:

The employee is under a government quarantine or stay-at-home order; The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine; or The employee is seeking a diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms.

EPSLA provides up to two weeks (no more than 80 hours) at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate at a maximum of $200 per day if either scenario applies:

The employee is caring for an individual under quarantine or a stay-at-home order; or The employee is caring for their child whose school, child care provider, or place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19. NOTE: This scenario may also overlap with the first two weeks of unpaid EFMLEA as discussed below.

EFMLEA provides up to 12 weeks of leave, if both criteria apply:

The employee is caring for their child whose school, child care provider, or place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19; and The employee has been employed at least 30 calendar days.

Under EFMLEA an employee is eligible for pay as follows:

The first two weeks of leave are unpaid, unless the employee chooses one of the following:

o To use two weeks of EPSLA at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate at a maximum of $200 per day. NOTE: In this scenario, the employee can choose to supplement the two-thirds pay with vacation, personal or compensatory time to keep them at their full pay for each day.

o The employee can use accrued vacation, personal or compensatory time.

The next 10 weeks of leave are paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate at a maximum of $200 per day. NOTE: The employee can choose or

the employer can require the employee to supplement the two-thirds pay with vacation, personal or compensatory time to keep them at their full pay for each day.

The Department of Labor has released a new poster to highlight the paid benefits. In addition, cities should review the information contained in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Takes Effect April 1 article on the KLC COVID-19 Resources Page. If you have any other questions or would like additional resources contact KLC Personnel Services Manager Andrea Shindlebower Main or Personnel Services Attorney Courtney Risk Straw.