DOL Issues Guidance on FFCRA Leave

Written by
Saleha Walsh

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The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-4 (FAB 2020-4), which outlines when employees can claim leave under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), for childcare due to the closure of programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While schools or daycare centers generally provide a consistent place of care for children throughout the school year, the closure or limited services of summer programs like camps will undoubtedly create issues for family’s dependent on them outside of the school year.

The FFCRA requires all covered employers, generally those who employ fewer than 500 people, to provide any eligible employees with up to 10 weeks extended leave to care for a child if they are unable to make other arrangements due to canceled summer programs.

FAB 2020-4 makes it clear that “place of care” is a physical location where care is provided for children while the parents work, which includes summer camps and summer enrichment programs. The DOL had previously stated that summer programs could be considered a child’s place of care if the child was enrolled before it was closed due to COVID-19. However, it has since conceded that this can be difficult to prove in some cases. FAB 2020-4 gives examples of certain factors that may help prove that the camp or program was the planned place of care.

As is the case with family and medical leave during the school year, employees requesting leave through the FFCRA during the summer months are required to provide their employer with specific information. In this instance, employees must provide the name of the child and that of the summer camp or program that the child would have been attending. The employee must also provide a statement that no other suitable person is available to care for the child.

If you have any questions about providing FFCRA leave or the impact it will have on your team, email us at info@insourceservices.com or call us on (781) 235-1490.

HR staff keeping abreast of the changes to COVID-19 related regulations and assistance programs may be interested in learning about the latest extensions to COBRA election and payment deadlines. You can learn more from Insource Insights here.