24 Nov COVID-19 Family Matters
What if my employee was exposed to COVID at a family party/vacation/social event? Am I still obligated to give them COVID pay?
Employers are required to distribute COVID pay to eligible employees when exposure takes place outside of the office, regardless of location or occasion.
Am I obligated to pay my employees to stay home with their children if there is a school closure or shutdown?
Not necessarily. The Department of Labor has classified any business with less than 50 employees as a “small business” and has stated that these small businesses may be exempt from the paid and additional unpaid leave requirement if doing so would jeopardize the viability of the small business as a going concern.
Specifically, the practice must be able to certify and demonstrate any one of the following:
- The provision of leave for that reason would cause practice business expenses to exceed revenues and cause the small business to cease operating at a minimal capacity
- The absence of the employee(s) requesting leave would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the small business because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities
- There are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services provided by the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, and these labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at a minimal capacity.
For information about how to opt into this small business exemption, see the following quote from an FAQ article from the Department of Labor below:
If providing child care-related paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave at my business with fewer than 50 employees would jeopardize the viability of my business as a going concern, how do I take advantage of the small business exemption?
To elect this small business exemption, you should document why your business with fewer than 50 employees meets the criteria set forth by the Department, which will be addressed in more detail in forthcoming regulations.
The IDA will continue to update you as new information on this exemption becomes available.