Your HR team should be a crucial part of your internal and external communications structure, however not all companies are yet at the stage where they have a dedicated HR team. The following helpful resources are made available by government agencies and HR organizations and may help you navigate the needs and rights of your employees during this crisis.
- The official websites for federal COVID-19 updates by the US Department of Labor provides FAQs on CV-19 and FMLA here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic
- For our friends in California, view FAQs by the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (be sure to reference the guidelines for your state): https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.htm
- Think HR, an innovative organization focused on “People Risk Management,” has made their entire CV-19 crisis response center and library available to the public. Check it out at https://www.thinkhr.com/covid19/
The following information on employee rights outlines the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act as made available through the Wage and Hour Division of the U. S. Department of Labor:
Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
PAID LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS
Generally, employers covered under the Act must provide employees:
Up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave based on the higher of their regular rate of pay, or the applicable state or Federal minimum wage, paid at:
- 100% for qualifying reasons #1-3 below, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total;
- 2/3 for qualifying reasons #4 and 6 below, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
- Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 for qualifying reason #5 below for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.
A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.
In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are eligible for up to two weeks of fully or partially paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons (see below).
Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave for reason #5 below.
QUALIFYING REASONS FOR LEAVE RELATED TO COVID-19
An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
- 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
- is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has the authority to investigate and enforce compliance with the FFCRA. Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to this Act. Employers in violation of the provisions of the FFCRA will be subject to penalties and enforcement by WHD.
For additional information or to file a complaint:
Please note, Konnect does not provide legal or employment advice, and you must seek out professional guidance on how to best support your team in order to ensure you are following the correct standards and procedures for your company.