WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Labor on Monday launched an interactive online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to cover time away from work for reasons related to the coronavirus.
The tool guides workers through a series of questions to help them determine if the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to their employer. If the provisions do apply, the tool helps them learn whether they qualify for either paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under that law.
iStockThe FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with up to two weeks of paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework due to a federal, state or local quarantine or stay-at-home order. Employees are also eligible if a healthcare provider has advised them to self-quarantine for reasons related to the coronavirus or are seeking diagnosis for coronavirus symptoms. Paid sick leave may also be available to workers caring for someone subject to a quarantine order or self-quarantining based on a healthcare provider’s advice, or caring for a child whose school, place of care or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to the coronavirus. Up to 10 additional weeks of expanded family and medical leave is available for workers forced to miss work to care for their children because the pandemic has closed or made unavailable their school, place of care or child care provider.
“This new tool makes it simple for workers to find out if they may be eligible for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under the critical protections of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton. “As America reopens, this leave provides a crucial lifeline for millions of workers who need time off to care for themselves or their families. We want to ensure that everyone who is eligible knows about these protections and how to use them.”
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving tax credits to American businesses with fewer than 500 employees to reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave as required by the law. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use and the wages employers must pay. The law enables employers to provide their workers with paid leave, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.
WHD continues to provide updated information on its website and through extensive outreach efforts to ensure that workers and employers have the information they need about the benefits and protections of this new law. The agency also provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to the coronavirus and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and on job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.
For more information about the laws enforced by the WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.
WHD developed the plain-language tool in partnership with the Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI). OCI is a cross-agency effort that complements the Department’s enforcement activities by strengthening and innovating compliance assistance outreach to provide workers and employers with access to information about their rights and responsibilities. Through Worker.gov and Employer.gov, OCI provides information about worker rights and employer responsibilities.