As a follow-up to our Legal Alert regarding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the amendments to the FMLA (the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (E-FMLA)), the House made key revisions to these bills before sending them to the Senate for consideration. These changes include:
These revisions greatly limited the scope of coverage of the E-FMLA. The paid emergency leave requirement now only applies if an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the employee's son or daughter who is under 18 because the child's school or place of care has been closed or his or her childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency.
- The revisions reduced the number of initial unpaid days from 14 to 10.
- The revisions allow employers to require employees to substitute other leave.
- The revisions place caps on the amount an employer is required to pay to employees receiving E-FMLA. Paid E-FMLA may now not exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate.
- The revisions also allow an employer to exclude its health care provider or emergency responder employees from coverage.
Paid Sick Time
The House also reduced coverage for paid sick time. The revisions now require covered employers to provide paid sick time to the extent that the employee is unable to work (or telework) because:
- The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
- The employee is caring for a son or daughter because the child's school or place of care has been closed or his or her childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of the HHS in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
EXCEPTION: Employers of health care providers or emergency responders may elect not provide this leave to those employees.
The revisions eliminate the requirement that Paid Sick Time be paid in addition to other available paid leave. It also removes the provision that employers cannot change their existing leave policies.
The revisions place caps on the amount an employer is required to pay to employees receiving Paid Sick Time. These caps differ depending on whether the employee is receiving full wages or two-thirds wages. There is a cap of $511 per day and an aggregate limit of $5,110 for those receiving full wages (categories 1, 2, and 3 above) For categories 4, 5, and 6 (where the employee would be paid at a two-thirds rate), there is a $200 cap per day, with a $2,000 aggregate.
The revisions also allow employers to require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures to continue to receive Paid Sick Time after the first workday (or portion thereof) an employee receives paid sick time.
This revised bill still needs to considered and approved by the Senate. We anticipate more changes to come.
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