Department of Labor Issues New Guidance

The Department of Labor has issued new guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML) for summer camps and related activities. In short, “unlike schools and day care centers, many summer camps and programs closed in response to COVID-19 before any children began to attend and, in some cases, before they began to enroll. Such camps and programs therefore would not have been places of care [which would trigger EPSL or EFML coverage].” The new guidance is intended to resolve such issues.

Parents are also anxious about what will happen with their children’s schools come fall and, if schools are closed, how they will balance it all. The FFCRA provides that, if the physical school is closed, parents qualify for pay via EPSL (2 weeks) and EFML (10 weeks), even if instruction is provided virtually. Remember that the employer receives a tax credit for these payments. Of course, other issues come into the balance – e.g., whether a spouse, partner, or other relative can cover childcare; whether telework is a possibility (and, if so, how to balance with childcare responsibilities); and whether the leave requested is full or intermittent.