Sick Pay, Leave Pay, Truckers & Covid-19

There is a great deal of confusion regarding sick/leave pay regarding Covid 19 and understandably so. It’s complicated. The following is an attempt at simplification of what you might be eligible for. Disclaimer: this is not intended to be legal advice. Do your own due diligence. State laws may offer other options. Things are changing very fast, so please keep up to date. Please verify everything as it pertains to you, your family, your employer and where you live.

Phase 2 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is basically about sick pay and leave. (See details here.)

If you work for an employer that has LESS THAN 500 employees or work for the government or a government agency:

Under EPSLA (Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act), you may collect two weeks (80 hours) of sick pay if you are subject to a governmental quarantine or isolation order, and/or have been advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine.

This also applies if you are caring for someone else, or if your child’s school or child care provider is closed.

However, if the employer has less than 50 employees, you may not be eligible if they apply for, and receive, a hardship exemption.

Under EFMLA (Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act), you may collect up to 10 additional weeks paid leave at at least 2/3 of your regular rate of pay if you cannot work because your child’s school or child-care provider is closed as a result of Covid 19. You must have been employed with that employer for at least 30 calendar days.

The employer can exhaust all other forms of your paid leave first; ie, vacation, PTO, etc.

If you work for an employer that has MORE THAN 500 employees, you are not eligible for any paid sick leave in the Covid 19 legislation passed as of the date of this article.

WORKER’S COMPENSATION – Federal employees and health care workers, classified as “high risk,” may be able to receive up to 45 days worth of pay. Unless you are classified as “high risk,” (truck drivers are not), you must be able to prove you contracted Covid 19 while on your job. This is literally impossible. More information.

SHORT TERM DISABILITY – If you are diagnosed with Covid 19 and cannot work as a result, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits if you have a STD policy. However, you must have a 1) diagnosis and 2) symptoms restricting your ability to perform your job. Documentation from your physician will be required. What is covered will vary. See this link for a few of the major carriers’ policies.

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