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Is Coronavirus-FMLA Leave Paid Leave?

Posted on 03/23/20

Yes, employers must partially pay employees for coronavirus-FMLA leave as follows:

The first 14 days of coronavirus-FMLA leave are unpaid. Employees may elect to substitute accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for unpaid leave, but unlike traditional FMLA leave, employers may not require employees to do so.

After the first 14 days, employers shall provide paid leave at no less than two-thirds (2/3) of an employee’s regular rate of pay based on the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work or, for variable hour employees, based on a formula provided in the Act. Employees may elect to substitute accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for the one-third (1/3) of unpaid leave to be made “whole,” but the employer may not require employees to do so.

Additional Considerations:

  • Coronavirus-FMLA leave may not be used intermittently.
  • If an employee foresees the need for coronavirus-FMLA leave, the employee shall provide the employer with such notice if practicable.
  • The Secretary of Labor may exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
  • Employers with fewer than 25 employees may be excused from restoring an employee who has taken coronavirus-FMLA leave to the employee’s position or to an equivalent position upon certain conditions.
  • Coronavirus-FMLA leave runs concurrent to traditional FMLA leave. Coronavirus- FMLA leave is not 12 weeks in addition to the 12 weeks (or 26 weeks) of leave provided under traditional FMLA.

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