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What You Need to Know About Sick Leave and FMLA During COVID-19

A document that reads Paid Family Leave rests on a desk.At this point, we have been into the Coronavirus pandemic for several months now. Most people have even gotten used to the stay at home guidelines imposed here in Michigan and in many other states. However, the rules continue to change.

It can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing rules regarding sick leave and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA). If you or a loved one gets sick, you have legal rights that your employer must follow. Let’s go through some of the rules regarding medical leave in this era of COVID-19.

Am I eligible for EFMLA?

  • The law requires that you were a full or part-time employee at the time the law went into effect. Furthermore, your company needs to have 500 or fewer employees.
  • You have started at least 30 days before your leave.
  • Healthcare and emergency responder employers do not have to pay your EFMLA benefits.
  • Note: EFMLA only applies to companies with fewer than 500 employees.

What are the rules regarding “qualifying need?”

  • “Qualifying need” definition - you cannot work or work remotely due to caring for your dependent child.
  • The first 10 days of EMFLA are not paid.
  • Starting on the 11th day of your leave, your employer will need to pay of your regular pay.
  • This payment has been capped at $200 per day.
  • For part-time workers, leave pay is based on an average weekly pay.
  • You can take up to 12 consecutive weeks of leave and receive EFMLA benefits.

What Do I Need to Do?

  • Let your employer know as soon as possible.
  • Provide as much detail as you can including your children’s name, address of school, address of childcare provider, etc.

Other things to know about EFMLA

Do I need to find a replacement while I’m on paid sick leave?

  • No, your employer cannot require you to find a replacement worker if you will get sick benefits.

Do I need to use other time-off benefits first before receiving emergency sick leave?

  • No, if you qualify for emergency sick leave, you get those benefits first.

To have more of your FMLA and sick leave questions related to the Coronavirus pandemic answered, please click here for our ask a lawyer section. If you feel your workers’ rights have been violated, get in touch with our legal experts right away.

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