USDOL Provides Guidance on FFCRA Paid Leave Related to Distance Learning

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) published new FAQs for employers and employees about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) as schools reopen in various formats. This includes:

FAQ 98: Employee’s child’s school is operating on alternate days (or other hybrid-attendance basis); students must alternate between attending school in person and participating in remote learning. Employee is eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA on days when his or her child is not permitted to attend school in person and the school is “closed” to the child, as long as the employee needs the leave to care for the child during that time and no other suitable person is available to do so.

FAQ 99: Employee’s child’s school is giving students a choice between attending in person and participating in remote learning. Employee elects remote learning option because he or she is concerned the child might contract COVID-19 through in-person learning. Employee is NOT eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA because the child’s school is not closed due to COVID-19-related reasons. However, if the child is under a quarantine order or has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-isolate or self-quarantine, the employee may be eligible to take leave to care for the child. See FAQ 63.

FAQ 100: Employee’s child’s school is beginning the school year under a remote learning program due to COVID-19-related concerns and will make a decision about reopening for in-person attendance later in the school year. Employee is eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA while his or her child’s school remains closed. If the school reopens, the availability of leave will depend on the specifics of the school’s operations. See FAQs 98 and 99.