COVID-19 & Your Business: Frequent Questions

How much pay is an employee entitled to receive for paid sick leave under the EPSLA? (29 CFR 826.22)

The regulations explain that the required amount of pay depends on why the employee is taking paid sick leave. As set forth in the EPSLA, there are six (6) circumstances which make an employee eligible for this leave:

For the purpose of this section, the “scheduled number of hours” is determined as follows:

(i)        The Employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;

(ii)       The Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;

(iii)       The Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis from a health care provider;

(iv)       The Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (i) or directed as described in (ii) above;

(v)       The Employee is caring for his or her Son or Daughter whose School or Place of Care has been closed for a period of time, whether by order of a State or local official or authority or at the decision of the individual School or Place of Care, or the Child Care Provider of such Son or Daughter is unavailable, for reasons related to COVID-19; and

(vi)       The Employee has a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

If an employee is taking paid sick leave for reasons (i) – (iii), for each hour of paid sick leave taken by an employee, an employer must pay the higher of:

  • The employee’s average regular rate;
  • The federal minimum wage to which the employee is entitled; or
  • Any State or local minimum wage to which the employee is entitled.

Under these circumstances, the employer is not required to pay the employee more than $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate per employee.

If an employee is taking paid sick leave for reasons (iv) – (vi) above, the rule is that, for each hour of paid sick leave taken by an employee, an employer must pay two-thirds (2/3) of the higher of:

  • The employee’s average regular rate;
  • The federal minimum wage to which the employee is entitled; or
  • Any State or local minimum wage to which the employee is entitled.

This amount is subject to a limitation of $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate per employee.

Last updated June 22

These materials are made available by Jackson Walker for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal or medical advice, and are not a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. The laws of other states and nations may be entirely different from what is described. Your use of these materials does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Jackson Walker. The facts and results of each case will vary, and no particular result can be guaranteed.