Sequencing of Sick Time Employers may not require that an employee use any other paid time program offered by the employer before using this sick time. In other words, employees are entitled to use COVID-19 sick leave prior to using any other paid leave available to them. ”Topping Off” Paid Sick Time with Other Sick Leave Employers may supplement COVID-19 paid sick time benefits with other paid sick leave benefits for an employee. The aggregate amount of COVID-19 paid sick time and other paid sick time benefits may not exceed an employee’s normal earnings. Employer tax credits are only available for the statutory sick time payments. No Carry Over, No Payout The paid sick time does not carry over to the following year. Furthermore, employers are not required to reimburse employees for unused paid sick time if the employee terminates employment with a balance of paid sick time. No Accrual of Sick Time COVID-19 sick time is available for immediate use by all employees. Employers may not apply an accrual mechanism to the 10 days. No Double Dipping on Sick Time by Employees Employees cannot collect more than the statutory maximum by taking paid sick leaves for different purposes. No Restrictions on Sick Time by Employers Employers cannot deny employees sick time under the FFCRA on the grounds that they provided leave for the same reasons prior to the effective date of the paid sick time provisions implemented on April 1, 2020. This means that if an employer-provided “regular” sick leave that was used prior to the effective date of the FFCRA, the employer cannot offset the employee’s entitlement to 80 hours of COVID-19 sick leave by the time already taken under a regular sick leave program. How Are Employees Counted? Essentially, all employees are counted. This includes full-time employees, part-time employees, employees on leave, temporary employees (even if they are jointly employed through an agency), and day laborers from a temp agency. Companies are typically treated as separate employers, but different rules apply if companies are joint employers under the FLSA or meet the integrated employer test under the FMLA. Calculation of Hours for Part Time Employees The DOL has modified the calculation method for part time employees whose schedules vary from week to week, in order to determine the number of paid sick leave hours. • For Part Time Employees with Regular Schedules : The number of paid sick time hours should be determined based on the number of hours an employee works, on average, over a 2-week period. • For Part Time Employees with Variable Schedules : The number of paid sick time hours should be determined based on the number of hours an employee was scheduled per day over the rolling 6-month period ending on the date on which the employee takes the paid sick time.
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