During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending individuals who are sick, or have been exposed to others who are sick, stay home to prevent further spread of the virus. The CDC is using a quarantine period of 14 days for individuals who are at risk.
Employers can use these guidelines to navigate compensating employees who are unable to work, or transition to remote work, for a period of time, due to the need to quarantine or due to a shutdown/layoff by the employer as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). For purposes of these guidelines, the term “paid time off” broadly covers the various benefits provided by employers such as: vacation, employer provided paid sick leave, PTO, and paid personal leave. These guidelines are in compliance with regulations established by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
To respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that includes provisions for paid emergency leave (the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA). The law is effective April 1 – December 31, 2020 and generally covers employers with less than 500 employees.