12 Weeks of Job Protected Leave

Eligible employees may take leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) because they must care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or care provider is closed or unavailable due to a coronavirus emergency as declared by a Federal, State, or local authority. This includes the two week (10 day) provisions above.

  • Covered Employees and Employers
    • Eligible employees include those who work for employers with fewer than 500 employees and government employers who have been on the job for at least 30 days. The legislation further gives the Secretary of Labor the authority to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the bill’s paid leave requirements if those requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business. The Department of Labor (DOL) has not yet issued guidance on the criteria or reporting for this exemption.
    • Exception for Health Care Providers and Emergency Responders. Employers who are health care providers or emergency responders may elect to exclude their employees from the public health emergency leave provisions of the bill.
  • First 10 Days of Leave 
    • Under the bill, the first 10 days in which an employee takes emergency leave may be unpaid. An employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for unpaid leave. The employee could be covered under the two week rules outlined above during this time.
  • Paid Leave Rate for Subsequent Days
    • After 10 days of unpaid leave, an employer is required to provide paid leave at an amount not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay up to $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.
    • The bill also addresses hourly employees whose schedules vary to the extent that an employer cannot determine the exact number of hours the employee would have worked.
      • For those employees, the employee’s paid leave rate should equal the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period prior to the leave. If the employee did not work in the preceding six-month period, the paid leave rate should equal the “reasonable expectation” of the employee at the time of hiring with respect to the average number of hours per day that the employee would be scheduled to work.
    • Job Restoration 
      • Generally, eligible employees who take emergency paid leave are entitled to be restored to the position they held when the leave commenced or to obtain an equivalent position with their employer.
        • The bill limits this rule for employers with fewer than 25 employees. In such circumstances, if an employee takes emergency leave, then the employer does not need to return the employee to their position if:
          • The position does not exist due to changes in the employer’s economic or operating condition that affect employment and were caused by the coronavirus emergency;
          • The employer makes “reasonable efforts” to restore the employee to an equivalent position; and
          • If these efforts fail, the employer makes an additional reasonable effort to contact the employee if an equivalent position becomes available. The “contact period” is the one-year window beginning on the earlier of (a) the date on which the employee no longer needs to take leave to care for the child or (b) 12 weeks after the employee’s paid leave commences.
        • Multiemployer Bargaining Agreements
          • The bill provides that employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a multiemployer plan may access emergency paid leave.

 Effective Date and Expiration: The requirements set forth under this Bill are in effect 15 days after the enactment of the legislation (the DOL determined this to be April 1, 2020) through December 31, 2020.

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