COVID-19 & Your Business: Frequent Questions

If our company offers PTO of a minimum of 3 weeks per employee, does that cover the 2 weeks of sick time required by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act specifically states that an employer may not require an employee to use other paid leave provided by the employer before using the paid sick time provided under the Act. Further, the EPSLA asserts that nothing in the act in any way diminishes the rights or benefits an employee is entitled to under any federal, state or local law, collective bargaining agreement or an existing employer policy. As such, the 80 hours of paid sick leave must be offered to employees in addition to, and prior to, any other paid time off already offered by the employer. The DOL has recently clarified that if the employee and employer agree, the employee can use accrued paid time off or vacation time to supplement the amount the employee receives from paid sick leave up to the amount of the employee’s normal earnings. However, the employer is not entitled to a tax credit for any paid sick leave that is not required to be paid or that exceeds the limits set forth under the EPSLA.

Last updated April 9

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