Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how employees of the Government of the Virgin Islands will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides specific expansions regarding COVID-19 to the FMLA and creates Emergency Paid Sick Leave for time off taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, for employees who cannot work or telework for COVID-19 related reasons.
If an employee is able to telework while experiencing any reason outlined below, emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave is not available.
Subject to a coronavirus quarantine or isolation order
Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus concerns
Experiencing symptoms of coronavirus and is seeking a medical diagnosis
Caring for an individual described in (1.) or (2.):
- Subject to a coronavirus quarantine or isolation order
- Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus concerns
A parent to a child whose school or place of care is closed, or the child care provider of the child is unavailable, due to coronavirus precautions
Experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor
The FFCRA does not apply to GVI employees who are health care providers and emergency responders.
Health Care Providers
- Any employee that the Governor, determines is a Health Care Provider necessary for the territory’s response to COVID-19.
- Any employee employed at any hospital, health care center, clinic, post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, medical school, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, nursing facility, retirement facility, nursing home, home health care provider, any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, agency, or entity, including any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions.
- Any employee that provides medical services, produces medical products, or is otherwise involved in the making of COVID-19 related medical equipment, tests, drugs, vaccines, diagnostic vehicles, or treatments
- Any employee that the Governor, determines is an Emergency Responder necessary for the territory’s response to COVID-19.
- Any employee who is necessary for the provision of transport, care, health care, comfort, and nutrition of such patients, or whose services are otherwise needed to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to military or national guard, law enforcement officers, correctional institution personnel, fire fighters, emergency medical services personnel, physicians, nurses, public health personnel, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency management personnel, 911 operators, public works personnel, and persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency as well as employees who work for such facilities employing these employees and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility.