Questions and Considerations on FFCRA: An Update
CCATO was queried about dealing with Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the following was provided as information was provided by Scott PSATS and you may access the U.S. Department of Labor site FAQ and the Act is at this LINK
Q1 – A municipal employee who is compromised and has to stay home until this is safe or over. In that case, is the Governors Stay at home order considered enough for Family First Act when it says subject to federal, state or local quarantine order related to Coronavirus to allow us to follow the new rule on pay and leave?
In the situation you pose about the COVID-19 compromised employee, it sounds like he would be eligible to access FFCRA leave as of 4/1, which is the law's effective date. With respect to Stay At Home directives may not trigger condition 1) below.
Q2 -- An employee’s wife is having a high-risk pregnancy and the employee also has asked if he would fall under FFCRA. Another very senior employee cannot work now because of his risk profile – who he qualify?
With respect to your examples about high-risk pregnancies, elderly, etc., those employees could probably obtain advice from their medical professionals directing them to self-quarantine, which would then permit them to access the FFCRA leave as of 4/1 as well. The employee whose wife is having a high-risk pregnancy would have a couple of options. First, if his wife has been advised by her health care provider to self-quarantine during the pregnancy, the employee could fall under #4 in the FFCRA categories. Second, if the employee's health care provider advised him to self-quarantine so as to have a better chance of not exposing his wife during her high-risk pregnancy, then the employee could fall under #2 in the FFCRA categories. Similarly, if the other employee is advised by his/her health care provider to self-quarantine, then that could fall under #2 as well.
Q3 -- All of the above after the Stay-at-Home directives end date will still be employees that should stay at home the environment stabilizes. Are municipalities to use the pay and leave portions of the new Family First requirements for those with a stay at home order or does it have to be someone who is quarantined with a positive result/isolation order.
In terms of whether the Governor's stay-at-home orders, standing alone, apply to make others of your employees eligible for FFCRA leave, it is our understanding that they do not. Given that, whether or not your employees are eligible for leave will come down to the FFCRA categories listed below. Since answers re: eligibility may turn on the specifics of each employees' situation, I'd recommend that each township consult with their solicitors/labor counsel regarding their obligations before denying/granting leave. Having said that, there is nothing preventing townships from going beyond the FFCRA in terms of offering sick leave and/or family and medical leave for employees (or FMLA if the township has 50 or more employees) if they choose to do so. Here are the FFCRA categories:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
- is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
- is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Please note that this response does not constitute legal advice from PSATS to the townships so should be used for informational purposes only. Definitive legal advice and Opinions should be via your Solicitor.