Yesterday, the federal DOL released three separate FAQ’s addressing the issue of FFCRA’s application to remote learning situations. This is an area that had been lacking clarity so the new FAQ’s are particularly welcome and timely, given the impending start of school.
We know that the FFCRA applies to eligible employees where a child’s school is closed. As we surmised, if the school is open but with a remote option and the parent chooses that remote option, the employee may not be eligible for leave, depending on the circumstances.
The second FAQ addresses the situation where a parent has a choice of remote or in-school learning. If a parent has that choice, and chooses remote, the FFCRA will not apply, even if the reason is the parent’s fear of the child’s exposure to COVID. The reason is that the school is not “closed” due to COVID–19 related reasons as required by the law.
The third FAQ addresses the situation where a school starts as remote, with the possibility that it may open to in-person attendance later on. Again, the FFCRA would be available while the school days are remote. If the school later changes the learning process and opens, either fully or partially, the same rule as above will apply- the FFCRA will only be available on remote instruction days.