Orlando, FL asked in Employment Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Health Care Law for Florida

Q: Parttime respiratory therapist taking LOA for childcare during COVID-19 pandemic.

Parttime respiratory therapist for large hospital. Asked for LOA at end of March for childcare related. Hospital just now sent me one paper to sign this week stating I am Unwilling to work due to exposure to COVID-19 and do not have job protection. We do not put our child in daycare.

Grandma watches our 1 year old when I work, but with stay at home order she can not help. Not sure if I qualify for FMLA because I work less than 1250 hours/year. I do not qualify for the FFCRA due to my hospital is private and well over 500 employees. What are my options and rights?

1 Lawyer Answer
Alberto Naranjo
Alberto Naranjo
  • Miami Lakes, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: For this new type of FMLA under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act the number of hours does not matter play a factor from my understanding but the reason your requesting the leave is very important and not everyone qualifies. I provided the information that is on the Department of Labor website for your review but I suggest you speak to an attorney to properly respond to the company.

Covered Employers: The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.[1] Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this Act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision.

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave:

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

is 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;

is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);

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; or

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.

Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee 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.

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