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You Requested Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19 – Can Your Employer Ask All of These Questions?

SLF Blog Red Stamp Displaying Paid LeaveThe IRS is telling employers they must have certain documentation to get the tax credits for paid sick leave promised under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Therefore, if you must take FFCRA paid sick leave, your employer will likely ask you for the documentation it needs.

The employer will ask for:

  • Your name;
  • The date(s) for which leave is requested; and
  • A statement of the COVID-19 related reason for the paid leave.

The employer must also provide the IRS with a statement that you are unable to work or telework during the leave period. If you are taking leave pursuant to a quarantine order, you will need to provide the name of the government entity or health care professional that is ordering or recommending the quarantine.

Additionally, for leave taken to care for a child, you must provide:

  • The name and age of the child or children needing care;
  • The name of the child’s school or place of care;
  • A representation that no other person will be caring for the child; and
  • If the child is older than 14, a statement describing “special circumstances” making it necessary for you to be absent to care for the child.

Right now, this is what the IRS is telling employers to provide, so you should be prepared to share this information with your employer in order to take paid leave under the FFCRA. However, employers should be mindful that employee medical records and information should be maintained confidentially and separate from an employee’s general personnel file in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).