GREENSBORO, N.C. — The federal law Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides you with paid time off if:
You are sick with Covid-19
You are caring for someone sick with Covid-19
Your Dr. gives you an order to stay home due to a weak immune system
You have children to care for that are home due to mandatory school closure
So, how does it work?
Attorney Alexander Maultsby of Fox Rothschild, LLP explains.
“You get two weeks of leave with full pay and the employer then gets compensation. What the new law requires is you get this 14 days without having to use any of your sick leave or vacation. This is just like your vacation pay. You're not getting anything from the government.”
There are no forms to fill out to get this sick leave. You need to talk to your employer and it's a good idea to have a doctor's note.
Now, let's explain how childcare leave works. It’s also under this sick leave but the pay is different.
“If you have to be home because your child's school was ordered shut by the governor, you are entitled to 2/3 of your pay for those 2 weeks. On top of that you now qualify for FMLA or Family and Medical Leave for up to an additional 10 weeks after those 2 weeks.”
You can simply take the 2 weeks of leave. But if you're thinking you want extra time, Maultsby says you'll want to apply for FMLA first because you don't get paid for the first 2 weeks of FMLA, and then immediately after file for the 2 weeks of paid sick leave, this way you're not having a lapse in pay.
Now, who qualifies for these sick leave provisions? If your employer doesn’t provide sick leave this is for you. But.....
“If you work at Target, for example, this does not apply. If you work for Amazon, this does not apply. Any employer with more than 500 employees doesn't apply. The reason is Congress believes if you work for an employer that big, they tend to already have a decent paid sick leave policy.”