Return to Virtual Schooling?

November 13, 2020

Your child’s school just announced that it is returning to an all-virtual curriculum. What does that mean for you and your job?

Well, for the moment at least, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) is still in play, and might help you. To determine if you are eligible, you first need to check off four items:

  • Do you work for an employer that has 500 employees or less? If you answered “no,” you are not covered by the FFCRA. If “yes” (or if you work for a municipality or state government agency), check off this box. Three to go!
  • Are you a health care provider or emergency responder? If “no”, then check the box—you might still be covered. If you answered “yes,” then your employer might have excluded you from coverage. (If your employer never told you that you were excluded, however, you might still be covered). Keep going!
  • Are you able to work remotely from home while your child is attending virtual classes? If you can, do not pass go, do not collect $200; you are not eligible for FFCRA leave. If you can’t, one more!
  • Is your child who is attending virtual school: (a) younger than 18; or (b) 18 or older but has a disability that prevents him/her from taking care of himself/herself? If “yes,” then check the box. If “no,” then tell your kid to “man (or woman) up” and don’t burn the house down while you are at work.

If you managed to successfully tick off all four of those items, then congratulations! You are eligible for up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick time and up to 10 weeks of paid, expanded family leave under the FFCRA (provided, of course, that you didn’t already use all of it up in the Spring during “COVID 1.0”). Emergency paid sick leave is paid at your full daily wage rate, capped at $511 / day. Expanded family leave is paid at 2/3 of your daily wage rate, capped at $200 / day. That means you get to stay home with your kid(s) while they’re in school, receive some pay, and enjoy a little job security.

The downside is that unless amended by Congress, the FFCRA expires at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2021. So, if you qualify (or think you might qualify) for leave under the FFCRA, you may want to take advantage of it now before you turn into a pumpkin on New Year’s Day.

If you are an employee and believe you were eligible for FFCRA leave but your employer didn’t give it to you, or you are an employer who isn’t sure whether (or if) your employees are entitled to receive (or should have already received) FFCRA leave, call our office today at 610-565-3700 for a free consultation.