Any employee who receives either a mandatory or precautionary quarantine order, or who is caring for a minor child subject to such an order, is entitled to unpaid sick leave for the order’s duration. The quarantine leave must be in addition to any other leave, disability or family benefits to which the employee is entitled. Accordingly, the quarantine leave may not replace or run concurrently with any other such benefits or leave. Depending upon the size of the employer, additional paid leave may be required, which also cannot run concurrently with, or replace, any other leave or benefits. Notably, if an employee can work remotely then the leave requirements do not apply, provided that the individual is either asymptomatic or is under precautionary quarantine and has not yet been diagnosed with COVID-19. The chart below summarizes the applicable quarantine leave benefits.
Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine Leave
After the employee’s quarantine order is terminated, the employer must restore the employee to their prior position at their prior compensation level. The employer may not discriminate or retaliate against the employee for having taken quarantine leave.
Please note that an employee is not entitled to paid benefits if the employee traveled to a country for which the CDC issued a level 2 or 3 health notice, provided that (a) the employee was not traveling for their employment or at the direction of their employer, (b) the employee received notice of the CDC health notice prior to their travel, and (c) the employee received notice of this limitation upon paid leave. The employee’s travel does not impact their unpaid quarantine leave rights.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Matthew J. McDonald is a partner in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.