Amid the coronavirus, small business owners will likely have to provide mandatory paid sick leave under temporary rules. spouses, children, parents, grandparents). If you employ fewer than 50 employees, there is no federal law requiring you to provide maternity leave. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. Business owners should move to a non-defined paid time off policy by 2020 to remain competitive with other small and midsize business (SMB) compensation packages. Employers should also consider whether employees will be allowed to take leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. Note: A handful of states have paid disability/family/caregiver leave programs, which are funded by employees via payroll deductions. Generally, part-time employees are eligible to receive the average number of hours they work over two weeks. Small business experts share 3 survival tips during COVID-19, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Additionally, the DOL advises business owners to refer to local and state medical leave laws to ensure compliance. The policy should state the maximum amount of leave available to eligible employees. Erin Ollila graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. In 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act was created so that eligible employees would be able to take unpaid, job-protected time off work to care for a family member or attend to their own medical issues. When leave is taken for a serious health condition, you may want to require employees to provide certification from a health care provider. The employer should notify the employee about whether the leave is approved or denied in writing as well. Similarly, an eligible employee can take up to 26 workweeks to care for a service member (as long as the employee is the son, daughter, spouse, parent or next of kin of the service member) in a 12-month period. The employee is caring for an individual who is under quarantine or was advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider. Erin believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. FMLA requires businesses to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Copyright © 2020 United Concordia Companies, Inc. The absence of the employee for that time would pose a substantial risk to the business’s financial health or operational capabilities due to their responsibilities or skill sets. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Integrated and joint employers Even if your business has fewer than 50 employees, you might be required to offer FMLA leave if you are considered an integrated employer or a joint employer. Should you follow state guidelines? The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) expands the current Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) temporarily for employees who have been with an eligible business for at least 30 days.