From: Vance Zimmerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 7:42 AM
To: APWU National Officers
Subject: Department of Labor: FFCRA updated Questions and Answers
The Department of Labor, the agency tasked with enforcing and interpreting FMLA and FFCRA laws, has recently updated their questions and answers. One of the questions I have received quite a bit recently is about how the expanded FMLA leave for school closings apply now that many jurisdictions are closing for the summer. The DOL has clarified this question and says that once a school is closed due to summer break, employees are not allowed to take expanded paid FMLA (2/3 pay). If their normal day care, summer camp, summer program, etc is closed due to COVID-19 they can still use the expanded paid FMLA. The exact text is below:
I took paid sick leave and am now taking expanded family and medical leave to care for my children whose school is closed for a COVID-19 related reason. After completing distance learning, the children’s school closed for summer vacation. May I take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to care for my children because their school is closed for summer
No. Paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave are not available for this qualifying reason if the school or child care provider is closed for summer vacation, or any other reason that is not related to COVID-19. However, the employee may be able to take leave if his or her child’s care provider during the summer-a camp or other programs in which the employee’s child is enrolled-is closed or unavailable for a COVID-19 related reason.
This is questions #93 of the attached questions and answers that can also be found at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions This is how the law has been interpreted by the DOL and the stance the USPS is taking.
Industrial Relations Director
American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO
1300 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4128
Tel: 202.842.4273 | Fax: 202.371.0992