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Q&A: Can I deny FFCRA leave to an employee?

Can I deny FFCRA leave to an employee who has high schoolers attending class remotely who are able to take care of themselves during the day?

No. Employees are entitled to emergency FMLA (EFMLA) when they are unable to work or telework because they need to care for a child because the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19. However, if the child or children are 15 or older, you should require that the employee provide a statement or affirmation that there are special circumstances that cause the older child to need their care. They do not need to provide any further information beyond that statement (such as what the special circumstances are). If you feel it necessary, you can remind all employees that it is fraudulent to take FFCRA leave if they are not unable to work as a result of the care they will be providing.

Answer from Monica, SPHR, SHRM-CP:

Monica has held roles as an HR Generalist and Payroll and Benefits manager at a large ski resort, providing HR guidance to more than 500 employees. She also has HR experience in the healthcare field and the non-profit world. Monica holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Linfield College.

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