Health Care attorney, Daniel Schulte, answers questions related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Q&A can be found in the Journal of The Michigan Dental Association (August 2020)
Question: My practice reopened a couple of weeks ago. The number of patients we are seeing has steadily increased. I have an employee who refused my recall to work due to child care issues. I let this go at first because I could get by without her. However, I really need her to return to work. She is continuing to refuse and now tells me that federal law passed as a result of COVID-19 requires me to provide her with paid leave since the reason she cannot return is due to child care issues. Is this true?
No. When applicable, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) generally requires that an employer provide paid sick time to employees who:
- Are subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- Obtain a medical diagnosis or care for someone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Are caring for an individual subject to no. 1 or no. 2 above.
- Are caring for a son or daughter if their school or place of care has been closed or is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions.
- Are experiencing any other substantially similar conditions specified by the U.S. secretary of health and human services in consultation with the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of labor.
In addition, if the FFCRA is applicable, it expands the requirement to provide FMLA leave by requiring employers to provide up to 12 weeks of leave to employees unable to work due to the need to care for a son or daughter under the age of 18 years old whose school or place of care has been closed due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a federal, state, or local authority. The first 10 days may consist of unpaid leave but the balance must be paid.
Read the complete Q&A in the Journal of the Michigan Dental Association on page 18.
About the author:
Daniel J. Schulte has more than 25 years of experience helping clients solve tough problems and capitalize on opportunities that require a blend of business and legal expertise. His practice focuses on addressing the legal, business, licensing, and regulatory challenges of health care professionals, organizations, and facilities. Dan understands how legal issues impact business objectives and, as a result, offers his clients practical, results-oriented advice. He is a Certified Public Accountant, former managing partner and current executive committee member of the firm. Dan also serves as co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group.
Other posts to consider: