As the spread of COVID-19 continues, thousands of employees continue to be affected one way or another. One of the many concerns that workers have is what will happen to their jobs if they need to take a leave of absence. Whether you’ve been sick or a loved one has contracted COVID-19, you should be aware of your medical leave rights during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys explain the medical leave rights for workers.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ensures that employers provide workers with job-protected unpaid leave for medical and family reasons. The FMLA also gives employees access to employer-provided health insurance. Since FMLA regulations haven’t changed, workers can take medical leave if they become sick or their loved one becomes ill due to COVID-19.
According to the Department of Labor, the FMLA covers all employees who have:
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded FMLA for reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions are effective until December 31, 2020.
Covered employers must provide all workers with the following under FFCRA:
The FFCRA applies to certain public and private employers with less than 500 employees. Most federal government workers aren’t covered by FFCRA but are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act. You should check with your HR department to determine if FFCRA covers your work. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business.
The FMLA doesn’t cover workers who want to take a leave of absence out of an abundance of caution to avoid exposure to COVID-19. However, it is recommended for people how have come in contact with COVID-19 to stay home to flatten the curve. You should speak to your employer if you’re currently in that situation. Additionally, the FMLA doesn’t protect workers who are home to care for healthy children.