Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Employees are Entitled to Paid Leave if Their Kids’ Summer Camps Close

On June 26, the Department of Labor issued guidance stating that employees can take leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) if their child’s summer camp closed as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis (for more details on the FFCRA, click here for our March 2020 post).

The FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide those employees with up to 12 weeks of 2/3 paid leave if their children’s school or daycare closes due to COVID-19. The DOL guidance includes summer camps in the category of places whose closure entitles an employee to paid leave under the FFCRA.

Employees who request FFCRA leave because their children’s summer camps have closed must provide their employer with the following information:
  • Why they need to take FFCRA leave;
  • The child’s name, his or her summer camp, and a statement that there is no one else suitable to take care of the child; 
  • The employee planned on enrolling the child into the summer camp previously and had taken steps to do that; and
  • The child is able to actually attend the camp.
If you have an employee who requests FFRCA leave, it is probably worth consulting with an attorney to see whether the employee is eligible for the leave and how much he or she should be paid. The FFCRA is a complicated law, and employers could be sued or fined for not following it. Spending a little bit of money upfront to consult with an attorney could save you from spending a lot to defend a lawsuit.