June 29, 2020
On June 26, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2020-4 to field offices of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, in which it clarified when employees may take leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for the COVID-19-related closure of a summer camp, summer enrichment program or other summer program.
Earlier in the week, the DOL, together with the Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury, issued a set of 18 frequently asked questions (FAQs) that provides answers about health coverage issues related to COVID-19, including implementation of the FFCRA and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
The FFCRA requires covered employers (generally those with less than 500 employees) to provide eligible employees with up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave of which 10 weeks may be paid, in the event that the employee is unable to work or telework because he or she needs to care for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons. The term “place of care” includes summer camps as well as summer enrichment programs, such as summer school, or other summer program.
The DOL, in previous guidance, indicated that a closed summer camp or program may be considered to be the place of care for an employee’s child for purposes of FFCRA leave, if the child was enrolled in the camp or program before the summer camp or other summer program announced its closure due to COVID-19 related reasons.
FAB 2020-4 clarifies that actual enrollment may not be the only qualifying situation to take leave and that there is no one-size-fits-all rule. DOL investigators will look for evidence of a plan to enroll, or whether it is more likely than not that the child would have intended to enroll had the summer camp or program not closed. Possible situations that evidence an intent to enroll include the following:
The FAQs Part 43 provides guidance on a variety of topics related to health plan coverage. For example, the FAQs:
The FAQs Part 43 are available here.
For additional information, please contact your Burnham Benefits Consultant or Burnham Benefits at 949-833-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burnham Benefits does not engage in the practice of law and this publication should not be construed as the providing of legal advice or a legal opinion of any kind. The consulting advice we provide is intended solely to assist in assessing its compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and other applicable federal and state law requirements, and is based on Burnham Benefit’s interpretation of federal guidance in effect as of the date of this publication. To the best of our knowledge, the information provided herein, and assumptions relied on, are reasonable and accurate as of the date of this publication. Furthermore, to ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any tax advice contained in this publication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of (i) avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter.