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DOL Issues Back-to-School Leave Guidance

September 10, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published new frequently asked questions (FAQs) for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) related to the reopening of schools.

This guidance explains eligibility for paid leave relative to the varied formats and schedules schools have announced as they plan to reopen, including blending in-person with distance learning. WHD offers this information to explain the benefits and protections available under both the paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA.

The FFCRA allows certain employees to take up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave, 10 of which are paid, for specified reasons related to COVID-19. An eligible employee can take both types of paid leave “because of a need to care for the employee’s son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or whose childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.”

The FAQs issued today address whether employees qualify for paid leave when:

  • A child attends a school operating on an alternate day basis;
  • A parent chooses remote learning when in-person instruction is available; and
  • A school begins the year with remote learning but may shift to in-person instruction if conditions change.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to the coronavirus and its effects on wages and hours worked and job-protected leave under the FMLA at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic. For AGC-provided resources on FFCRA and other coronavirus-related matters of significance to construction employers, visit AGC’s coronavirus website.

For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382.

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