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COVID-Related Employee Leave

It’s hard to believe school is about to start again--in one way or another. Back in March, I sure didn’t expect my August newsletter article to be about the pandemic. I also didn’t think at that time we’d be having agonizing discussions and debate in August about whether to have school in person in the fall. But here we are.

No doubt you’ve been inundated with information and resources over the course of this thing, probably to the point of exhaustion. Not to add insult to injury, but I feel compelled to provide a couple more links pertaining to COVID-specific employee leave. With the summer winding down, I’ve been seeing an uptick in questions about the requirements for what employers must provide.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which began on April 1, 2020 and runs through December 31, 2020, requires covered employers, including schools, to provide additional paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to their employees under certain qualifying COVID-related conditions. The Act’s requirements, in concise format, may be found at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)'s link: FFCRA Employee Paid Leave Rights.

Although the Act’s requirements linked above are fairly straightforward, there will of course be various situations that potentially lead to a need for more detailed information. To that end, the DOL has provided an additional guidance document, which may be found here: FFCRA Questions & Answers.

As always, I am here to help answer any questions or concerns you may have about this or other school legal matters. Please feel free to call any time: 405-520-9680.

Terri Thomas

Director, Legal Services

Terri Thomas serves as Director of Legal Services for OPSRC. Ms. Thomas is an attorney practicing exclusively in the area of Oklahoma school law, with a primary focus on rural and smaller school districts. Prior to OPSRC, she served as legal counsel for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools (OROS).

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