COVID-19 Q&A Update April, 7, 2020

After releasing the newest regulations regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Department of Labor (DOL) has been adding to their FFCRA: Questions and Answers page. There are currently over 70 questions and answers. Two to note are:

Question # 60

How do I know if I can receive paid sick leave for a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19?

For purposes of the FFCRA, a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order includes quarantine or isolation orders, as well as shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, issued by any Federal, State, or local government authority that cause you to be unable to work (or to telework) even though your employer has work that you could perform but for the order. You may not take paid sick leave for this qualifying reason if your employer does not have work for you as a result of a shelter-in-place or a stay-at-home order.

Question #75:

As an employer, how much do I pay a seasonal employee with an irregular schedule for each day of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave that he or she takes?

You may calculate the daily amount you must pay a seasonal employee with an irregular schedule by taking the following steps.

First, you should calculate how many hours of leave your seasonal employee is entitled to take each day. Because your employee works an irregular schedule, this is equal to the average number of hours each day that he or she was scheduled to work over the period of employment, up to the last six months.

Second, you should calculate the seasonal employee’s regular hourly rate of pay. This is calculated by adding up all wages paid over the period of employment, up to the last six months, and then dividing that sum by the number of hours actually worked over the same period.

Third, you multiply the daily hours of leave (first calculation) by your employee’s regular hourly rate of pay (second calculation) to compute the base daily paid leave amount.

Fourth, you should determine the actual daily paid leave amount, which depends on the type of paid leave taken and the reason for such paid leave.

You must pay your seasonal employee the full base daily paid leave amount, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in total, if the employee is taking paid sick leave for any of the following reasons:

  • Your employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • Your employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; or
  • Your employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

You must pay your seasonal employee 2/3 of the base daily paid leave amount, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in total, if your employee is taking paid sick leave for any of the following reasons:

  • Your employee is caring for an individual who either is subject to a quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  • Your employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  • Your employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

You must pay your seasonal employee 2/3 of the base daily paid leave amount, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total, if the employee is taking expanded family and medical leave to care for the employee’s child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19-related reasons. Please note that if your seasonal employees are not scheduled to work, for example, because it is the off-season, then you do not have to provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave.