The EFMLA broadens the circumstances for employees to take leave and companies (under 500 employees) to hold their jobs for them. The expansion adds: 

(A) QUALIFYING NEED RELATED TO A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.—The term ‘qualifying need related to a public health emergency’, with respect to leave, means the employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

For Employees to take this leave they must have worked for the employer at least 30 days. The qualifying employee would be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave under the expansion.

Do I get paid?

For the first 10 days, the Act does not provide for payment alone, but gives employees the option to take vacation, PTO, medical or other paid sick time. For the time following the first 10 days, employers are responsible for paying:

(I) an amount that is not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay (as determined under section 7(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207(e)); and

(II) the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work (or the number of hours calculated under subparagraph (C)). If the employee’s hours vary from week to week there is a 6-month lookback period for which you can calculate their expected hours.

In no event shall such paid leave exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate.

Does my employer have to bring me back?

It depends on the size of the employer.  For businesses with fewer than 25 employees, they don’t have to restore the employee to their position if they have taken leave and the position they held no longer exists due to economic conditions that affect employment and were caused by a public health emergency.

However, the employer must make reasonable efforts to bring the employee back if the position becomes available in the 1-year period beginning on the earlier of the date on which the qualifying need related to a public health emergency concludes or a date that is 12 weeks after the date on which the employee’s leave started.