Local Attorney Explains Family Time-Off During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, August 28th 2020, 5:15 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

With COVID-19 cases and quarantines popping up at local schools, many working parents are forced to ask for time off from work.

When it comes to sick or family leave during the pandemic, local attorney Ed Blau said employees have options.

“The important thing is that you know your rights and you talk to your company or you talk to your employer about those,” Blau said.

A law passed early in the pandemic provides at least two weeks off at 2/3 pay to care for a child.

“If it's a situation where the parent has to be gone for work longer than the two weeks, there can be an additional 10 weeks of leave. However, that is at 2/3 pay,” Blau said.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act can allow for a total of 12 weeks off at 2/3 pay if a person has been employed for at least 30 days.

Circumstances include your child getting the virus, being quarantined or their school closing.

Blau recommends contacting your company's human resources first if you need time off.

“You could email your HR department, you can call them, or you can walk in, if that's possible given COVID precautions,” Blau said.

If a supervisor pushes back, it may be time to ask for some help from an outside agency

“You can call the Department of Labor. You can call the EEOC. There are any number of agencies that you can speak with about this issue,” Blau said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a list of resources for parents and families.