Required Notice to Employer
Employees are required to provide notice to their employers of their need for leave under the FFCRA. Employers can require their employees to follow reasonable notice procedures after the employee’s first workday (or a portion thereof) for which the employee takes Paid Sick Leave for any reason other than if the employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care has been closed for a period of time, whether by order of a state or local official or due to a decision of the individual school or place of care, or the child care provider of the child is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
The reasonableness of the notice will depend on the facts and circumstances of each individual situation. However, whether the employee is requesting leave under the PSLA or the EFMLEA, the request should be made as soon as practicable.
In the event the employee’s leave request is to care for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons, the employee must provide the employer with notice as soon as practicable, if the PSLA or EFMLEA leave was foreseeable. If the need for leave is foreseeable, it will generally be practicable for the employee to provide notice prior to taking leave.
In either circumstance, if the employee fails to give proper notice, the employer should advise the employee of the failure and provide the employee the opportunity to provide the required documentation before denying the employee’s request.
Communication or Delivery of Notice
If the employee is unable to personally give notice to the employer, it is generally reasonable for the employee’s spokesperson to communicate or deliver the notice. An employee’s spokesperson includes a spouse, adult family member, or other responsible party.
Content of Notice and Documentation of Need for Leave
It is generally reasonable for employers to require oral notice and sufficient information so that the employer can determine whether the leave is covered by the EPSLA or the EFMLEA. Employees must provide the following information as soon as practicable when taking Paid Sick Leave under the EPSLA or Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the EFMLEA:
- Employee’s name;
- Date(s) for which leave is requested;
- Qualifying reason for the leave; and
- Oral or written statement that the employee is unable to work because of the qualified reason for the leave.
If Paid Sick Leave is requested for the following reasons, additional information must be provided by the employee:
- If the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, the employee must also provide the name of the government entity that issued the isolation or quarantine order.
- If the employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, the employee must also provide the name of the healthcare provider who advised the employee to self-quarantine.
- If the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis from a healthcare provider, the employee must also provide the name of the healthcare provider from whom the employee is seeking the medical diagnosis.
- If the employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or the individual has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, the employee must also provide:
- The name of the government entity that issued the quarantine or isolation order to which the individual being cared for is subject to; or
- The name of the healthcare provider who advised the individual being cared for to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
If Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave is requested because the employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care has been closed a period of time, whether by order of state or local official or authority or due to a decision of the individual school or place of care, or the child care provider of the child is unavailable, for reasons related to COVID-19, the employee must also provide:
- The name of the child being cared for;
- The name of the school, place of care, or child care provider that has closed or become unavailable; and
- A representation that no other suitable person will be caring for the child during the period for which the employee takes Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Family and Medical Leave.
Absent unusual circumstances, it is reasonable for employers to require employees to comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.
Additional Information for Tax Credits
Employers may also request that their employees provide additional information as needed for employers to support a request for tax credits pursuant to the FFCRA. Employers are not required to provide leave if the information needed to support the applicable tax credit is not provided by employees.
FFCRA Regulations Overview
- Six Qualifying Events for Emergency Paid Sick Leave
- FFCRA Employee Eligibility, Including the “Healthcare Provider” Exemption
- Which Employers the FFCRA Applies to, and How Small Businesses Obtain an Exemption
- FFCRA Employer Notice Requirements
- Continued Healthcare Coverage and the Intersection with Other Laws
- FFCRA Return to Work Issues, Employee Record-Keeping Obligations and Prohibited Acts
- Calculating the paid benefits owed under the FFCRA
- Intermittent ESL and EFMLA Leave and the Interplay Between EFMLA/ESL and the FMLA
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