The Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance yesterday to help employers respond to leave requests from employees who are caring for their child(ren) due to their school closure. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), applicable employers must provide paid leave to employees who are unable to (tele)work when caring for their son or daughter because the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.

Many schools have opened recently with various in-school and distance learning plans, including hybrid approaches, which has caused employers to question when FFCRA leave should be granted.

The DOL’s guidance includes FAQ 98-100. See questions below and refer to the DOL website for a complete response to these and other FAQs issued to date:

98. My child’s school is operating on an alternate day (or other hybrid-attendance) basis. The school is open each day, but students alternate between days attending school in person and days participating in remote learning. They are permitted to attend school only on their allotted in-person attendance days. May I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? YES (see link for complete response). 

99. My child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall. I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? NO (see link for complete response) 

100. My child’s school is beginning the school year under a remote learning program out of concern for COVID-19, but has announced it will continue to evaluate local circumstances and make a decision about reopening for in-person attendance later in the school year. May I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? YES (see link for complete response)

Check out our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources and information.