Emergency Sick Pay & Documentation: What You Need To Know

Sick at work.The answer to this question is both yes, and no. It’s important to note that there are six reasons you can qualify for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA):

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to either number 1 or 2 above.
  5. The employee is caring for his or her child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or the child care provider of such child is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the secretary of health and human services in consultation with the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of labor.

While an employer is absolutely within their right to ask for documentation, be aware that there are only three qualifying reasons (1,2 and 5) where documentation can actually be obtained. Employers have a right to request documentation. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re actually going to get it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cautioned against burdening already stressed medical facilities with providing documentation to prove eligibility for existing programs such as the EPSL.

As for reasons 3, 4 and 6 mentioned above, the only documentation you may be able to receive is a statement from the employee guaranteeing their eligibility under these reasons, and Achilles Group cautions employers from disqualifying someone for benefits under EPSL simply because they cannot provide documentation.

Whether or not an employee qualifies for EPSL varies on a case-by-case basis. To get more specifics on your company’s unique situation, please contact Jennifer Heylmun at 281-469-1800 or by email at Jennifer.heylmun@achillesgroup.com

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