The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) provides for, among other things, up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a child whose school or care provider closed or became unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. As we approach the summer months – and schools, camps, daycare, and other programs remain closed – many are left wondering what options are available for parent employees.
With schools soon closing for summer vacation, the availability of paid leave to care for a child becomes more limited. The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) has issued guidance specifically stating that paid leave to care for a child is not available if the school or care provider is closed for summer vacation or for any other reason not related to COVID-19. The WHD does clarify though that an “employee may be able to take leave if his or her child’s care provider during the summer – a camp or other program in which the employee’s child is enrolled – is closed or unavailable for a COVID-19 related reason.” 
However, in order to qualify for FFCRA leave under this scenario, parent employees must demonstrate that there is no suitable alternative childcare available. When requesting paid leave to care for their child, parent employees must submit to their employer: (1) their child’s name; (2) the name of the school or childcare provider that has closed or become unavailable due to COVID-19; and (3) a statement that no other suitable person is available to care for their child.  It remains to be seen to what degree parent employees must search for and locate alternative child care and what employers consider a “suitable” alternative.
Our firm has extensive experience counseling employers and businesses on employee benefits, including the new state and federal COVID-19 paid leave laws. If you have any questions about this legal briefing or questions related to COVID-19 paid leave coverage for your employees, please contact any member of our Firm at 585-730-4773.
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This Legal Briefing is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or counsel. The substance of this Legal Briefing is not intended to cover all legal issues or developments regarding the matter discussed. Please consult an attorney to ascertain how the applicable law may relate to you or your business. © 2020 Law Offices of Pullano & Farrow PLLC