Navigating paid leave for child care

Home COVID-19 Navigating paid leave for child care

To help retailers navigate the inevitable issue surrounding summer child care amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Floor Covering Association has issued the following guidance:

“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires an employer with less than 500 employees to pay two weeks of sick leave and ten weeks of family leave to employees who cannot work because they are caring for their children whose school and day care are closed because of COVID-19. As summer approaches, school will no longer be closed because of the coronavirus, but because the school year is over. This raises the question of whether employers are required to continue to provide paid leave under the FFCRA if the employee needs to care for their children.

The simple answer is yes, if the employee’s summer “child care provider” is unavailable due to COVID-19. The issue is what is considered a child care provider. Over the summer months, many families enroll their children in one or more day or overnight camps or programs to provide care for their children while the parents work. Do these programs and camps qualify as a child care provider? The Department of Labor issued new guidance that defines child care providers to include “after school care programs, schools, homes, summer camps, summer enrichment programs and respite care programs. Accordingly, the cancellation of summer camps or other summer programs qualifies for leave under the FFCRA if the employee is unable to work because of the cancellation.

This does not mean that every employee can just continue or take paid leave to care for a child. Rather, the employee must verify that he or she cannot work because they need to care for a child whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19. The employee should: (1) certify that he or she needs to care for a child under the age of 18 because the child’s school, child care, or child care provider is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19; (2) provide the name and age of the children; (3) identify the school or place of care closed; and (4) certify that no other person will be providing care. It remains unclear how much effort a parent is expected to make to find alternative child care if their first-choice is being closed for the summer.

WFCA will continue to monitor new guidance on these issues and advise members of any further clarifications. WFCA continues to work to keep members informed and updated regarding their opportunities and obligations during the COVID-19 crisis. Please feel free to send your concerns or questions directly to jeffw@jkingesq.com and mperkins@lobbyit.com.

Notice: The information contained in this update is abridged from legislation, court decisions, and administrative rulings, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.”

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