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With the new school year upon us and the wide range of approaches schools are taking to address COVID-19 concerns, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) provided additional guidance as to when a school is considered “closed” for purposes of taking leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).
On August 27, 2020, the DOL issued three new FAQs addressing when employees can take leave under the FFCRA due to the need to care for a child whose school is closed. Under the FFCRA, eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if they need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed. The new FAQs address whether schools are considered closed in situations where schools offer hybrid approaches to learning in-person and at-home, as well as where schools have tentative plans to reopen.
Mandatory Hybrid Learning Where a child’s school is open but students are required to alternate between in-person learning on some days and remote learning on other days, parent employees may take leave on the days their child is required to attend school remotely as the school is considered closed on those days under the FFCRA. The DOL clarified that leave is available only for the days a child is not permitted to attend school in-person so long as the employee needs the leave to care for a child on those days and there is no other suitable person available to do so.
Please contact an attorney on MSF’s Employment team if you need assistance with respect to this information.
Andrea B. Neuman
Partner | Chair, Employment
212.655.3513 | email@example.com
Gregg M. Kligman
Counsel | Employment
646.273.8209 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha L. Frenchman
Associate | Employment
212.6553.580 | email@example.com