January 26, 2021

Volume XI, Number 26


January 25, 2021

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Intersection Between Return-to-School and FFCRA

As we have previously reported, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which remains in effect through December 31, 2020, provides, among other things, that eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for their son or daughter if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the child’s child care provider is unavailable, due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authorities. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has been issuing guidance with respect to various provisions of the FFCRA and, as the schools across the country are getting ready to start or have already started the new school year, on August 27, 2020, issued three new Questions and Answers on the intersection of return-to-school and the FFCRA. The new guidance is straightforward:

  1. If the school’s operations are 100% virtual, the FFCRA is available for eligible employees.

  2. If the school’s operations are hybrid (i.e., students attend the school in person on alternate days), the FFCRA is available for eligible employees on days when their child is not permitted to attend school in person and must instead engage in remote learning so long as the employees need the leave to actually care for their child during that time and only if no other suitable person is available to do so.

  3. If the school offers both in person and virtual option and the employee chooses a virtual route, the FFCRA is not available, unless other provisions of the FFCRA apply such as, for example, if because of COVID-19, the child is under a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-isolate or self-quarantine, the employee may be eligible to take paid emergency sick leave under the FFCRA to care for the child.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 241



About this Author

Jurate Schwartz, Whistleblower Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Special Employment Law Counsel

Jurate Schwartz is an Associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department, who devotes her practice to representing employers in federal and state litigations, arbitrations and administrative proceedings, as well as counseling clients in employment matters.

Evandro Gigante Labor and Employment Lawyer Proskauer Rose Law FIrm

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of sexual harassment, race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination. Evandro also counsels employers through reductions-in-force, employee relations issues and other sensitive employment matters.

With a focus on discrimination and harassment claims,...

Harris M Mufson, Class/Collective Action Attorney, Proskauer
Senior Counsel

Harris Mufson is a senior associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration and Whistleblowing & Retaliation Groups.

Adept at counseling clients at every turn of the litigation process, Harris represents employers in a variety of industries, including financial services, health care, entertainment, sports and legal, with respect to a wide range of labor and employment law matters. These include compensation disputes, employment discrimination and retaliation, whistleblowing,...