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Emergency Family And Medical Leave Expansion Act

My children’s school is closed indefinitely, do I qualify for protected leave?

Yes, in certain circumstances.  On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.  This law will take effect on April 1, 2020.

I have been out of work since last week because my child’s school is closed and I can’t work from home – is my employer required to pay me for that time?

No. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act goes into effect on April 1, 2020 (not April 2, 2020, as originally planned) and it is not retroactive.

Am I covered under this act? 

You are covered if:

  • you need to be home to care for a child under 18 whose school or day care is closed as a result of the public health emergency related to COVID-19;
  • you cannot work or telework;
  •  you work for a private employer with less than 500 employees or a public agency, and
  • you have been employed for at least 30 days.

Note – The law allows the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that would exclude certain employees from these protections, including healthcare providers/emergency responders and small businesses with less than 50 employees if providing the leave will jeopardize the viability of the business.

I was hired on March 1, 2020 – I can I take the Emergency FMLA on April 1, 2020?

Yes. As long as you were on your employer’s payroll as of March 2, 2020, you will meet the Act’s requirement that you be employed for 30 days prior to the leave. I you worked as a temporary employee and then were hired for full time work, the time you worked as a temporary employee also counts towards this 30 day period.

How much leave can I take?

You can take up to 12 weeks of leave.

Is this leave paid?

Yes, in part. The first 10 days of leave are unpaid.

The following 10 weeks are paid at 2/3 of your regular rate of pay with a cap of $200 per day or a total of $10,000.

Does my employer have to give me my job back at the end of the 12 weeks?

Yes, unless you work for an employer who has less than 25 employees and

  • your position no longer exists due to economic conditions or other changes caused by COVID-19; and
  • your employer has made reasonable efforts to restore you to an equivalent position.

Contact our Employee Rights Attorneys

At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore we are committed to helping you understand your emergency leave rights with your employer during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have further questions regarding the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, contact us to schedule a consultation or give us a call at (860) 522-8888.