UPDATE - The requirement that employers provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expired on Dec. 31, 2020. Please visit the Wage and Hour Division’s FFCRA Questions and Answers page to learn more about workers’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities after this date.

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), an employee is entitled to paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave if the employee is unable to work (including telework) because he or she needs to care for his or her child if (a) the child’s school or place of care is closed, or (b) the child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19-related reasons.  An employee may take paid sick leave to care for his or her child only when the employee needs to, and actually is, caring for his or her child. The US Dept. of Labor stated “generally, an employee does not need to take such leave if another suitable individual — such as a co-parent, co-guardian, or the usual child care provider — is available to provide the care the employee’s child needs.”

Can an employee take paid leave under the FFCRA to care for his or her child because school is closed for the summer vacation?

The US Dept. of Labor’s answer to this question is - No. Paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave are not available if the school or childcare provider is closed for summer vacation, or any other reason that is not related to COVID-19.  

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