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Worker News

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Weekly

Topic of the Week  Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

  • My children’s school is closed, but I can telework; am I eligible for paid sick leave under the FFCRA?
  • How much paid sick leave is my employer required to give me?
  • If I have sick leave, am I required to use it first before using the FFCRA’s sick leave?

My children’s school is closed, but I can telework; am I eligible for paid sick leave under the FFCRA?

Employees who have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request may be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave if caring for his or her child whose school/day care/ after care/place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons.

How much paid sick leave is my employer required to give me?

An employee taking leave is eligible for two weeks paid leave. A full-time employee is eligible for 80 hours of leave, and a part-time employee is eligible for the number of hours of leave that the employee works on average over a two-week period.

Employees should be paid at either their regular rate or the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $511 per day and $5,110 total over a 2-week period.

Eligibility is subject to the following qualifying reasons:

  • subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  • is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

 An employee taking leave due to the following qualifying reasons is entitled to pay at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $2,000 total over a 2-week period.

  • is caring for an individual who is quarantined or has been advised to self-quarantine as described in;
  • is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

A full-time employee caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19 is eligible for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 their regular rate or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, for up to $200 daily and $12,000 total. A part-time employee is eligible for leave for the number of hours that the employee is normally scheduled to work over that period.

Federal Employees: Federal employees who are covered under Title I of the FMLA and have been employed for at least 30 days prior to their leave request are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially paid expanded family and medical leave if he or she is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

If I have sick leave, am I required to use it first before using the FFCRA’s sick leave?

No. The law requires that the employer allow the employee to first use sick leave provided for under this sick leave law, then decide to use any remaining accrued paid leave under an employer’s policy.  Your employer cannot require you to use accrued leave under an employer policy first.

Thought of the Week

"If women could be making what they should be making, what their male counterparts are making, the economy would be doing much better, if we're really serious about making sure that women, particularly women of color are earning the money that they deserve, then we need to make sure that we're making our voices heard this (election) year."

–Shannon Williams of the Equal Pay Today Campaign

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Blog of the Week

Millions of People Can’t Pay Rent Tomorrow. Here’s How Some Are Organizing.

As April 1 looms and the first rent payment since the start of the coronavirus pandemic becomes due, countless people wonder how they’ll be able to afford to pay. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, millions have had their hours cut, been furloughed, or laid off. A whopping 3.3 million have applied for unemployment benefits, and some say the unemployment rate could reach 30%. To put that in perspective, the unemployment rate during the Great Depression was 25%.

Top Five News Headlines

  1. A Widening Toll on Jobs: ‘This Thing Is Going to Come for Us All’
  2. The coronavirus crisis proves reasonable workplace accessibility has been possible all along
  3. Trump gambles on immigrant workers during coronavirus
  4. What Will U.S. Labor Protections Look Like After Coronavirus?
  5. Shuttle company accused of age discrimination

List of the Week

from National Partnership for Women & Families

America’s Women and the Wage Gap
  • Black women working full time, year-round typically make only 62 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
  • Latina women working full time, year-round typically make only 54 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
  • Asian women working full time, year round are typically paid 90 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
  • The wage gap translates into an annual median loss of $23,540 for Black women, $28,036 for Latinas, $24,443 for Native women, and $6,007 for Asian women.

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