WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT (“EPSLA”)

April 8, 2020

Have you posted the required notice?

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide eligible employees with Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Employees are eligible if they meet any of the following criteria (regardless of how long they have been employed):

  1. the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine because of COVID-19;
  3. the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. the employee is caring for an individual subject or advised to quarantine or self-isolate;
  5. the employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions; or
  6. the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time, and part-time employees are entitled to the equivalent of the average hours that they would work over a two-week period. Employees who take EPSLA leave because of their own illness or quarantine, must be paid their regular rate of pay, subject to a maximum of $511 per day and $5,110 total. Employees who take EPSLA leave to care for a family member or a school-aged child (due to illness or a school/daycare closure) are to be paid two-third of their regular rate of pay, subject to a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 total.

Employees are permitted to use EPSLA hours before they dip into their Arizona Paid Sick Time. Any unused EPSLA hours will expire on December 31, 2020.

All employers subject to the EPSLA are required to post the following notice: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf Employers can satisfy this posting requirement by emailing or direct mailing the notice to employees, or by posting on their internal or external website. 

The Act prohibits retaliation and employers face double damages and attorneys’ fees for violations related to the EPSLA.

About the Author: Meaghan Kramer assists clients with employment law and commercial litigation matters. Meaghan is advising clients on workplace related legal issues arising from COVID-19. Meaghan writes about employment issues, including safeguarding workplace confidences, and creating work environments that are free from discrimination and harassment. mkramer@eblawyers.com | 602.222.4995

Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice and is only for general, non-specific informational purposes. It is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. If you have a legal matter, the specific facts that apply to you may require legal knowledge not addressed by this article. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer.