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Can I use the pandemic paid sick leave for canceled summer camp?

SLF Blog Red Stamp Displaying Paid LeaveUnder the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), eligible workers can take up to two weeks paid sick leave, as well as expanded paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), to care for children if schools or places of care are closed due to the pandemic.  To learn more about worker eligibility, see our March 2020 blog Breaking News: Emergency Paid Sick Leave Laws in Response to Coronavirus.

With school out for summer break, questions arose whether summer camp plans that got canceled due to the pandemic qualified for paid sick leave or expanded FMLA leave under the FFCRA.  Today, the Department of Labor clarified that the paid leave laws extend to cancelled summer camps.  The DOL recognized that a summer camp is a place of care as defined by the FFCRA.  You may qualify for the paid leave for summer camp closures if you can demonstrate that:

  • Your child “applied to or was enrolled in the summer camp or program” before it closed; or
  • Your child attended the summer camp or program in prior years and “was eligible to attend again.”

But these are not the only options to demonstrate you are entitled to leave.  The DOL recognized that there may be other circumstances which may show that a parent planned to send a child to a canceled summer camp or summer program—such as accepting a wait-list for a summer program pending its reopening. If you wonder if your circumstances are sufficient, get advice from an experienced employment lawyer.

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