FFCRA AND RETURN TO SCHOOL
Now that school has resumed, most are using remote learning. Under the DOL definitions, this would qualify as a school closure and employees could access FFCRA benefits if they had to stay home to take care of their children. If the school offers an on-site option for learning they would not qualify for FFCRA benefits.
Under the FFCRA, the employee could get up to 12 weeks of Leave (job-protected); two weeks paid for under the Emergency Public Emergency Paid Sick Leave and 10 weeks under the Emergency FMLA Expansion. There are certain circumstances where employers can be exempt from the FMLA expansion.
To qualify for the exemption from the 10 weeks (in addition to the two weeks of sick leave), a small business (under 50 employees) must be able to show that providing leave for school or child care closures or child care unavailability would threaten the company’s ongoing viability in one of three ways:
The leave would result in expenses exceeding available revenues, causing the business to cease operating.
The absence of the employees requesting the leave would entail a substantial risk to the capabilities of the operations because of the employees’ unique skills or responsibilities.
There would not be enough other qualified workers available to perform the work needed to keep operating.
Employers can self-certify.