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Sick leave employment benefits during Coronavirus Pandemic

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Sick leave employment benefits may be available to you during Coronavirus Pandemic.  On April 1, 2020 the Emergency Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) introduced tax credits for employers that have fewer than 500 employees  for the cost of providing employees with paid leave taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Generally, the Act provides that employees are eligible for:

  • If you are quarantined  and/or experiencing Coronavirus symptoms and you are seeking medical diagnosis and as a result you are unable to work or telework then you are eligible for Two weeks or up to 80 hours of paid sick; or
  • If you are unable to work or telework because you are taking care of an individual who is quarantined, or to care for a your children whose school or child care provided is closed/unavailable due to Coronovirus then you are eligible for two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds of your regular pay rate; and
  • If you are unable to work or telework because you have to take care of your child/children whose school or day care is closed/unavailable due to Covid-19 then you are eligible up to 10 additional weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds your regular pay rate.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Caronavirus or you are unable to care for your children and work at the same time as a result of school children being home, you may be entitled to paid sick leave, even if your employment contract does have any paid sick leave. If the above cases apply to you, then you should demand paid sick leave from your employer and include evidence of your situation. To see if your specific situation applies for the Family Care Act for the sick leave employment benefits and you live in Virginia consult an attorney.

Do you qualify for sick leave employment benefits?

Who qualifies for sick leave employment benefits– Your employer must pay you at least 10 days or 80 hours of sick leave if the business employs between 50-500 employees and you are diagnosed with Coronavirus. They have the option to pay you and be reimbursed if you are home caring for your children during the shutdown. In order to qualify for sick leave benefits however, you must make demand for payment under the Family Care act. They are not obligated to pay you unless you ask for it and provide evidence. Let your employer know also that they will not be harmed by this payment of sick leave as they will be able to take a tax credit at the end of the year for it.

Who does not qualify for sick leave employment benefits – If you company is experiencing an extraordinarily hard financial time due to Coronavirus, they may qualify for an exception for paying sick leave employment benefits even if they employ 50-500 employees. In order to be excluded however, they must apply with the department of labor to get an exception and keep detailed records of their financials.

Please visit the Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act for more information. You may also want to view our article on Advance Medical Directives.