USDOL clarifies when employee may take COVID-19 family leave based on summer camp closures
On March 19, 2020, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). One of the primary benefits available under the FFCRA is 12 weeks of paid protected leave for any employee unable to work or telework in order to care for their child whose school or place of care is closed due to the COVID-19 emergency. However, many employees and employers have been wondering “what happens when school is out for summer?”
On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, provided additional guidance regarding when an employee may take leave under the FFCRA based on the closure of a summer camp or other similar enrichment program.
The guidance clarifies that due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 on child care programs during the summer, a “place of care” necessarily includes summer camps and other summer programs. An employee who is unable to work (or telework) due to the closure of, or limiting of enrollment in, their child’s summer program is permitted to take up to 12 weeks of protected leave.
If the summer camp or program closed before the child attended or enrolled, the employee requesting leave should provide evidence that had the program not closed, or had enrollment not been restricted, it is more likely than not that their child would have attended the program.
Appropriate evidence for FFCRA leave due to summer camp or program closure includes actual enrollment, submission of an application or deposit before the program’s closure, prior attendance during the summer of 2018 or 2019 and current eligibility, or the child being on a waitlist pending the reopening of the program. While this list of possible affirmative steps is not exhaustive, it is representative of the type of evidence sufficient to show that a particular camp or program would have been a child’s place of care during the summer had COVID-19 not impacted its operation. Eligible Employers will need this type of documentation in order to claim tax credits for qualified FFCRA leave.
For more information, contact Dunn Carney’s employment law team, below:
Allyson S. Krueger, Partner
George “Jack” Cooper, Of Counsel
Lauren J. Russell, Associate
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