April 14, 2020
On April 10, 2020, the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division (FLD) provided a set of frequently asked questions about employee rights and employer obligations related to COVID-19. While a majority of the questions address employment and labor law concerns, a couple of questions focused on leave provided by the Massachusetts earned sick time law and how it differs from the leave provided by the FFCRA.
Specifically, FAQ eight indicates that earned sick time can be used if a public health official or health care provider requires an employee or family member to quarantine or if the public health official or health care provider recommend such a quarantine and the employee follows their recommendation. The FAQ encourages, but does not require, that earned sick time be allowed if an employee misses work because their child’s school is closed due to a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order from a state or local authority. However, it does remind employers that FFCRA leave would be required for that situation.
Additionally, FAQs 12-14 address the FFCRA and link to the DOL’s guidance on the law. FAQ 13 clarifies that if employees are eligible for both FFCRA leave and Massachusetts earned sick leave, they may choose to take FFCRA leave first and to save the Massachusetts earned sick leave for later use.
Employers should familiarize themselves with this guidance in order to ensure that they are meeting the different employment obligations.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations »