Keenan Blog

Guidance Issued for Schools and Summer Camps Regarding COVID-19

June 30, 2020

To quote the poet, Alice Cooper— “School’s out for summer.” In 2020, school was pretty different from school in Alice’s day, and as it turns out, summer is going to be different too. With some camps closed and with families practicing social distancing, many employees are scrambling to replace planned summer activities. In light of this struggle, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance regarding school and summer camp.

Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-4 provides additional guidance on when an employee may take leave under the family leave provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The FFCRA requires covered employers (generally those with fewer than 500 employees and most public employers) to offer up to two weeks of paid sick leave and up to twelve weeks of expanded family and medical leave, of which up to 10 weeks must be paid leave.

Under FFCRA, this leave may be taken if the employee is unable to work or telework due to a need to care for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons. Bulletin 2020-4 provides additional information as to what qualifies as “school” or a “place of care,” as well as what it means for a place of care to be “closed.”

The Bulletin provides that “summer school or other academic work during the summer required and provided by the school attended by the child during the academic year is treated as the child’s school for purposes of the FFCRA.”

A summer camp or summer program may qualify as a “place of care” for purposes of FFCRA leave even though those programs were not operating at the time FFCRA regulations were issued in April. The operative question, according to WHD is whether a specific summer camp or program would have been the place of care for the employee’s child had it not closed for COVID-19 related reasons. Evidence of a parent’s intent to enroll the child would include actual enrollment, or affirmative steps short of actual enrollment, such as submission of an application or a deposit. The Bulletin also indicates that prior attendance at the camp may be sufficient to show intent to attend, under certain circumstances.

A summer camp may be considered “closed” for purposes of FFCRA family leave if it is partially closed for reasons related to COVID-19, such as operating at a reduced capacity such that some children who would have attended the camp or program this summer will not be able to.

For more information on the family leave provisions of the FFCRA, please go to our Briefings at:

https://www.keenan.com/Resources/Briefings/Briefings-Detail/hr-6201-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-provides-new-provisions-aimed-at-coronavirus-preparedness

https://www.keenan.com/Resources/Briefings/Briefings-Detail/covid-19-update-cares-act-passes

Field Assistance Bulletin 2020-4 can be found at:

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/legacy/files/fab_2020_4.pdf


About Amy Donovan
Amy is Keenan's Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, authoring the firm's Briefings and position papers on legislation, regulation and litigation that have an impact on the firm and its clients.