Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

Questions & Answers

The EPSLA requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees  who are unable to work for six reasons having to do with COVID–19 where the employee:

(1) is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19;

(2) has been advised by a health care provider to self- quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19;

(3) is  experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

(4) is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (1), or who has been advised as described in (2);

(5) is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed  or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID–19 related reasons; or

(6) is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Private employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from providing paid sick leave to an employee who is unable to work because the employee is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID–19 related reasons when compliance with this requirement would ‘‘jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.’’

The EPSLA entitles full-time covered employees to up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, and generally entitles part-time employees to up to the number of hours that they work on average over a two- week period, although special rules may apply to part-time employees with varying schedules. For an employee who takes paid sick leave because he or she is subject to a quarantine or isolation order, has been advised to self- quarantine by a health care provider, or is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis, the EPSLA provides for paid sick leave at the greater of the employee’s regular rate of pay or the applicable minimum wage (federal, state, or local), up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate. An employee who takes paid sick leave for any other qualifying reason under the EPSLA is entitled to be paid two-thirds of that amount, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate.

An employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave provided by the employer before the employee uses the paid sick leave, nor may an employer require the employee involved to search for or find a replacement employee to cover the hours during which the employee is using paid sick leave.

The EPSLA requires employers to post a notice of Employees’ Rights Under the EPSLA. It permits, but does not require, employers who are signatories to multiemployer collective bargaining agreements to fulfill their obligations under the EPSLA by making contributions to a multiemployer fund, plan, or program, subject to certain requirements. Nothing in the EPSLA diminishes the rights or benefits that an employee is entitled to under any other Federal, State, or local law; collective bargaining agreement; or existing employer policy. Moreover, the EPSLA does not require financial or other reimbursement by an employer to an employee for unused paid sick leave upon the employee’s separation from employment.

 

SEARCH THE SITE