Sick and Family Leave

I need to take leave because I (or my family member) am sick or in quarantine or my child’s school is closed.

Ensuring the health and well-being of American families is the government’s top priority during this crisis.  To address this unprecedented public health crisis, recently enacted laws require covered employers to provide employees with paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave.

For information on whether your employer may be required to provide you with this paid leave, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

For answers to frequently asked questions about this new paid leave, please visit: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

For employers seeking information on how to be reimbursed via tax credit for the cost of providing paid leave, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs

 

How much paid sick leave am I eligible to take and for what reasons can I take it?

If your employer is required to provide you paid sick leave, you are eligible to take up to 80 hours (two weeks) of paid sick leave, depending on your regular work schedule.  This paid leave should be paid at 100% of your regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day.  The reasons you can take this leave are if you are unable to work or telework because:

  • You are covered by a quarantine or isolation order by a federal, state, or local authority.
  • You were advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns over COVID-19.
  • You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking diagnosis.
  • You are caring for an individual who is covered by a quarantine or isolation order or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
  • You are caring for a son or daughter if, due to COVID-19, the school or place of care is closed or if the child care provider is unavailable.
  • You are experiencing a “substantially similar condition” as specified by HHS and DOL.

If you believe you might have symptoms of COVID-19 and need to get tested, please visit https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Symptoms-Testing.aspx

 

How much paid family and medical leave am I eligible to take and for what reasons can I take it?

If your employer is required to provide you paid family and medical leave, you are eligible to take up to 10 additional weeks of leave paid at two-thirds of your regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day.  This leave can only be used if you are unable to work or telework because you need to care for a son or daughter under 18 years of age because, due to COVID-19, the child’s school or place of care is closed or the child’s child care provider is unavailable.

 

My child’s school is closed, but I still need to go to work.

Due to coronavirus-related school closures, many families are facing challenges meeting childcare needs for their children.  To address this issue, Congress allocated $3.5 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to allow child care programs to safely maintain operations, including meeting child care needs of first responders, health care workers, sanitation employees, and other workers deemed essential to COVID-19 response efforts.  Because of this action, Pennsylvania will receive more than $105 million in additional funding for CCDBG in the state.

 

I cannot work because my workplace has been closed or deemed non-essential.

Americans who have lost income, contracts, or their jobs will be eligible to receive significantly expanded unemployment compensation benefits.  Between now and July 31, an additional $600 will be added to every unemployment compensation check.  Congress has also temporarily created new unemployment benefits, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, to cover individuals who are not traditionally covered, including the self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and workers with irregular work history.  The list of allowable criteria for claiming unemployment benefits has been expanded to include many reasons related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 

Other ways the unemployment compensation expansion and improvements can help you:

  • Extends the maximum amount of time workers can receive unemployment insurance benefits by 13 weeks.
  • Allows furloughed workers to stay on as employees so they can quickly resume work once this crisis ends.
  • Provides funding for the work share program to avert layoffs.
  • Encourages states to waive waiting periods so workers can be enrolled as quickly as possible.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry is currently working to implement the changes made by the CARES Act and make expanded benefits available.

You can find information on filing for unemployment here: https://dced.pa.gov/employees-workers-impacted/

You can find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and unemployment compensation here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/UC-COVID19-FAQs.aspx

You can find information about the new benefits created by the CARES Act available in Pennsylvania here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx

You can learn more about work share here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/faq/Employer/Pages/Shared-Work-Program-FAQs.aspx

Last Updated: April 17, 2020